Welcome to Week 28! If you haven’t already noticed, growth in the third trimester can be a little uneven, both for you and your baby. Some weeks it may seem like not a lot has changed, other weeks you will experience a noticeable growth spurt in a matter of days. As long as you are gaining a healthy amount of weight and your baby is continuing to grow, this is nothing to worry about. Remember, every pregnancy is unique and every baby grows at a different rate, so not following the exact same growth pattern as friends, relatives, or even previous pregnancies, is entirely normal.
Not everyone agrees on exactly when the trimester breaks occur; some sources say the third trimester begins in week 27, others in week 28. However, now that you have reached week 28, there is no doubt that you have entered the final third of your pregnancy.
At this point, you are likely to still be having monthly visits with your doctor or midwife. During these visits, your healthcare provider will be testing for a number of issues, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and group-B streptococcus infection. ABO blood type testing may also be performed around now. Your doctor may suggest you start doing ‘kick counts’, whereby you count the number of times you feel your baby move in a certain time period.
You might have also noticed that you are starting to experience weird or very vivid dreams. This is common among pregnant women. There are a number of reasons why pregnant women seem to report stronger, and sometimes more unsettling, dreams. First, and most obviously, when pregnant it is harder to fall into a deep sleep, so you spend more time in REM sleep, which is the stage in the sleep cycle when people have dreams they remember. However, there is more to it than that. Dreams are considered to be a way for your mind to release tension and work through the day’s issues. Whilst pregnancy may be a time of excitement and eager anticipation, it also comes with a significant amount of stress and anxiety, even for those having an ‘easy’ pregnancy. By week 28, you will probably have many questions filling your head at all times of the day and night. It is normal to spend time considering your own health, your developing baby’s health, your relationship, and the changes that will happen after the baby is born. It is not unusual for both prospective parents to feel slightly overwhelmed with the thought of having a baby. They may be wondering how their relationship will fare, what the new family dynamics will be and whether their own personalities will change. With all these thoughts filling your mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that your dreams become more focused, intense or memorable. You might also find yourself dreaming about your baby, and these dreams can be both good and bad. You might have recurrent nightmares or dreams that make you feel very anxious. If you do suffer from unpleasant dreams, remind yourself that they are not a reflection of reality, just a way for your mind to ease the burden of overactivity during the day.
Some mums-to-be enjoy having vivid dreams that they can remember, others find it upsetting or unsettling. If you are finding your dreams a little difficult to manage, try keeping a dream journal and/or find a trusted friend or confidant to talk to so you can work out whether there are any specific issues that are provoking your dreams.
Your baby’s foetal age is now 26 weeks. The baby is probably somewhere between 1 and 1.1 KG and about 38cm long from the top of their head to the tips of their toes. If your baby were a vegetable, they’d be a decent-sized aubergine (eggplant), and he or she is starting to fill out and look less skinny.
On the subject of dreams, you may not be the only one whose mind is racing during periods of sleep. Researchers believe that a baby at 28 weeks gestation is fully capable of dreaming. Around now, the brain takes a major developmental leap forward. The surface of the brain is starting to form its characteristic wrinkles and grooves, and it is increasing in size. All of this neurological development means that your baby is probably experiencing some pretty vivid dreams of their own, focused around the sounds they hear and the hazy light that sometimes filters into their world.
Space is starting to become a little more restricted inside your uterus and it will not be long before your baby starts to migrate into the position he or she will be in for the duration of the pregnancy and during birth. Their head will be down and their arms and legs curled up into a ball. However, even with less space to move, your baby will remain very active, wriggling, kicking and punching. Even when he or she is not making really obvious movements, they will still be breathing amniotic fluid, sucking, blinking, hiccupping, and making faces in response to the outside world.
“Most healthcare providers agree that feeling your baby move 10 times in 2 hours is a good indicator that all is well.”
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