Weeks 32 to 34 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Fetus in uterus, with detail of development at 32 weeks pregnant

Overview

During the last few weeks of your pregnancy, you may have more aches and pains. It's important to rest when you can.

Your growing baby is putting more pressure on your bladder. So you may need to urinate more often. Hemorrhoids are also common. These are painful, itchy veins in the rectal area.

You may want to talk with your doctor about banking your baby's umbilical cord blood. This is the blood left in the cord after birth. If you want to save this blood, you must arrange it ahead of time. You can't decide at the last minute.

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.

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?

Ease hemorrhoids

  • Get more liquids, fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet. This will help keep your stools soft.
  • Avoid sitting for too long. Lie on your left side several times a day.
  • Clean yourself with soft, moist toilet paper. Or you can use witch hazel pads or personal hygiene pads.
  • If you are uncomfortable, try ice packs. Or you can sit in a warm sitz bath. Do these for 20 minutes at a time, as needed.
  • Use hydrocortisone cream for pain and itching. Two examples are Anusol and Preparation H Hydrocortisone.
  • Ask your doctor about taking an over-the-counter stool softener.

Consider breastfeeding

  • Experts recommend breastfeeding for 1 year or longer.
  • Breast milk may help protect your child from some health problems. Breastfed babies are less likely than formula-fed babies to:
    • Get ear infections, colds, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
    • Be obese or get diabetes later in life.
  • Breastfeeding causes the release of a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone may help your uterus shrink back faster.
  • Breastfeeding may help you lose weight faster. Making milk burns calories.
  • Breastfeeding can lower your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.

Decide about circumcision for your baby

  • As you make this decision, it may help to think about your personal, religious, and family traditions. You get to decide if you will keep your baby's penis natural or if your baby will be circumcised.
  • If you decide that you would like to have your baby circumcised, talk with your doctor. You can share your concerns about pain. And you can discuss your preferences for anesthesia.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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