Pregnancy and baby

You and your baby at 29-32 weeks pregnant

How often should my unborn baby move?

Media last reviewed: 20/03/2014

Next review due: 20/03/2016

Your baby's development in pregnancy

Your baby continues to be very active at this stage, and you'll probably be aware of lots of movements. There is no set number of movements you should feel each day – every pregnancy is different. You should be aware of your baby's own pattern of movements, and if this pattern changes contact your midwife or hospital to tell them.

The sucking reflex is developing by now and your baby can suck its thumb or fingers.

The baby is growing plumper and the skin begins to look less wrinkled and much smoother.

The white, greasy vernix and the soft, furry lanugo (fine hair) that have covered your baby's skin for some time begin to disappear.

Your baby's eyes can focus now. The lungs are developing rapidly, but your baby wouldn't be fully able to breathe on its own until about 36 weeks.

By about 32 weeks, the baby is usually lying with their head pointing downwards, ready for birth. This is known as cephalic presentation. If your baby isn't lying head down at this stage, it's not a cause for concern – there is still time for them to turn.

The amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus is increasing, and your baby is still swallowing fluid and passing it out as urine.

Your body at 29-32 weeks of pregnancy

As your bump pushes up against your lungs and you have extra weight to carry around, you may feel breathless.

Leg cramps at night are common at around 29 to 32 weeks. You may find it hard to sleep because you can't get comfortable. Try lying curled up on your side with a pillow between your legs and a cushion under your bump, to see if it feels more comfortable. You might also find you need to pass urine a lot.

Read about more common pregnancy health problems.

If this is your first baby, your midwife or GP will measure the size of your womb and check which way up the baby is when you are 31 weeks pregnant. They will also measure your blood pressure, test your urine for protein and discuss the results of any screening tests from your last appointment.

Find out about the stages of labour and the signs that labour has started.

Tips for pregnancy 29-32 weeks

Maternity leave

If you are taking maternity leave from work, you need to tell your employer in writing at least 15 weeks before your baby is due. This is when you are 25 weeks pregnant. If your partner plans to take paternity leave (female partners can take paternity leave too) they also need to inform their employer at this time.

Maternity Allowance

If you're entitled to, you can claim Maternity Allowance from when you are 26 weeks pregnant. GOV.UK has information about benefits for families.

Starting your birth plan

Think about your preferences for labour and birth, such as pain relief and the positions you would like to be in. You can save your birth plan online, and also print out a blank version to fill in and discuss with your midwife.

You can save a to-do list online to keep track of all the essentials for your pregnancy.

Warning signs during pregnancy

High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia

High blood pressure and protein in the urine are signs of pre-eclampsia, which can be life-threatening if untreated.

Severe itching

Severe itching at any stage of pregnancy can be a sign of the rare liver disorder obstetric cholestasis.

Pregnancy week by week

Find out what's happening to you and your baby at:

0-8 weeks pregnant

9, 10, 11, 12 weeks pregnant

13, 14, 15, 16 weeks pregnant

17, 18, 19, 20 weeks pregnant

21, 22, 23, 24 weeks pregnant

25, 26, 27, 28 weeks pregnant

33, 34, 35, 36 weeks pregnant

37, 38, 39, 40 weeks pregnant

Over 40 weeks pregnant


Page last reviewed: 11/02/2015

Next review due: 11/02/2017


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The 2 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Lizzie Lewis said on 21 June 2012

Hi Hannah, Yes this worries me too! It's such a horrible thought! I bought some perineal gel from Mothercare the other day and I hope this works!

I'm 29 weeks pregnant with my first. My sister had her first 2 years ago and said she didn't tear, so I hope I don't either.

I'm also doing pregnancy yoga once a week and hoping this helps too.

When is your EDD?

Good luck!

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Hannah Parker said on 19 June 2012

I recently turned 32 weeks pregnant and something (slightly terrifying!) has been brought to my attention, which is perineal tearing. It ranges from the superficial to a full tear from your vagina to your anus. Not pleasant! And, you are at more risk if you are planning to have your first vaginal delivery.

However, it can be prevented so I would add this to your to do list!

I've written a post about what you need to do here:

The recommendation is to start from 34 weeks pregnant onwards, so that gives us a few weeks to get the Vitamin E oil we need (it seems to be taking me twice as long to do anything these days!).

Hope that's helpful xx

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