Logo of Maricopa OBGYN, Phoenix Obstetrics and Gynecology

PHOENIX
1661 E Camelback Rd
Suite 160
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-241-1671

AHWATUKEE
4530 E. Ray Rd
Suite 125
Phoenix, AZ 85044
480-759-9191

Weeks 28 to 32 of Your Pregnancy

Your Care Instructions

You are now in your last trimester of pregnancy. Your baby is growing rapidly. And you'll probably feel your baby moving around more often. Your doctor may ask you to count your baby's kicks.

Your back may ache as your body gets used to your baby's size and length.

If you haven't already had the Tdap shot during this pregnancy, talk to your doctor about getting it. It will help protect your newborn against pertussis infection.

During this time, it's important to take care of yourself and pay attention to what your body needs. If you feel sexual, explore ways to be close with your partner that match your comfort and desire. Use the tips provided in this care sheet to find ways to be sexual in your own way.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Take it easy at work

  • Take frequent breaks. If possible, stop working when you are tired, and rest during your lunch hour. Take bathroom breaks every 2 hours.
  • Change positions often. If you sit for long periods, stand up and walk around.
  • When you stand for a long time, keep one foot on a low stool with your knee bent. After standing a lot, sit with your feet up.
  • Avoid fumes, chemicals, and tobacco smoke.

Be sexual in your own way

  • Having sex during pregnancy is okay, unless your doctor tells you not to. You may be very interested in sex, or you may have no interest at all.
  • Your growing belly can make it hard to find a good position during intercourse. Experiment and explore. You may get cramps in your uterus when your partner touches your breasts.
  • A back rub may relieve the backache or cramps that sometimes follow orgasm.

Learn about preterm labor

Watch for signs of preterm labor. You may be going into labor if:

  • You have menstrual-like cramps, with or without nausea.
  • You have about 4 or more contractions in 20 minutes, or about 8 or more within 1 hour, even after you have had a glass of water and are resting.
  • You have a low, dull backache that does not go away when you change your position. You have pain or pressure in your pelvis that comes and goes in a pattern.
  • You have intestinal cramping or flu-like symptoms, with or without diarrhea.
  • You notice an increase or change in your vaginal discharge. Discharge may be heavy, mucus-like, watery, or streaked with blood.
  • Your water breaks.

If you think you have preterm labor:

  • Drink 2 or 3 glasses of water or juice. Not drinking enough fluids can cause contractions.
  • Stop what you are doing, and empty your bladder. Then lie down on your left side for at least 1 hour.
  • While lying on your side, find your breast bone. Put your fingers in the soft spot just below it. Move your fingers down toward your belly button to find the top of your uterus. Check to see if it is tight.
  • Contractions can be weak or strong. Record your contractions for an hour. Time a contraction from the start of one contraction to the start of the next one.
  • Single or several strong contractions without a pattern are called Braxton-Hicks contractions. They are practice contractions but not the start of labor. They often stop if you change what you are doing.
  • Call your doctor if you have regular contractions.

Pay attention to your baby's movements

  • You should feel your baby move several times everyday.
  • Your baby now turns less, and kicks and jabs more.
  • Your baby sleeps 20 to 45 minutes at a time and is more active at certain times of day.
  • If your doctor wants you to count your baby's kicks:
    • Empty your bladder, and lie on your side or relax in a comfortable chair. Write down your start time.
    • Pay attention only to your baby's movements. Count any movement except hiccups. After you have counted 10 movements, write down your stop time.
    • Write down how many minutes it took for your baby to move 10 times.
    • If an hour goes by and you have not recorded 10 movements, have something to eat or drink and then count for another hour. If you do not record 10 movements in either hour, call your doctor.

Ease heartburn

  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Do not eat chocolate, peppermint, or very spicy foods. Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and sodas.
  • Avoid bending over or lying down after meals.
  • Talk a short walk after you eat.
  • If heartburn is a problem at night, do not eat for 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Take antacids like Mylanta, Maalox, Rolaids, or Tums. Do not take antacids that have sodium bicarbonate.

Care for varicose veins

  • Varicose veins are blood vessels that stretch out with the extra blood during pregnancy. Your legs may ache or throb. Most varicose veins will go away after the birth.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time. Sit with your legs crossed at the ankles, not the knees.
  • Sit with your feet propped up.
  • Avoid tight clothing or stockings. Wear support hose.
  • Exercise regularly. Try walking for at least 30 minutes a day.
Care instructions adapted under license by Az Obgyn Affiliates. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

Phoenix Office

602-241-1671
602-230-7982

1661 E Camelback Rd
Suite 160
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Ahwatukee Office

480-759-9191
480-759-9105

4530 E Ray Rd
Suite 125
Phoenix, AZ 85044

Hospital Affiliation

         Main 602-839-2000
OB Triage 602-839-6700

Banner University
Medical Center Phoenix

1111 E McDowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85006