If you’re counting your pregnancy week by week then you’ll be interested to know that now’s the time to start thinking about your labour, and who you’d like to be there.
You may want to consider hiring a doula to support you and your partner in labour. Doulas are trained professionals whose job it is to support a mother during labour. The NCT has a network of trained doulas. For more information visit nct.org.uk.
Here’s everything else you need to know about being 28 weeks pregnant…
28 weeks pregnant: Symptoms
You may have stretch marks now and other uncomfortable symptoms of later pregnancy including puffy ankles, leg cramps, varicose veins and piles. Try eating your way back to comfort. For example, celery and watercress can help combat swollen ankles, high calcium snacks (such as cheese and yoghurt) can reduce leg cramps and red berries (including raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) can ease piles and varicose veins.
You may notice that you have a heavier milky vaginal discharge which is white and mild-smelling. This is perfectly normal part of pregnancy and is known as leucorrhoea. If you are experiencing increased vaginal discharge then panty liners will help keep you feeling fresh and dry.
28 weeks pregnant: Fetal development
Your baby now weighs about 2lbs and is growing rapidly, laying down fat for energy in preparation for labour. Their breathing system is developing and their lungs are developing air sacs known as alveoli.
If you’re expecting twins then this is the point at which their growth rate slows down compared to that of single babies.
28 weeks pregnant: The changes you should make
during your routine antenatal appointment your midwife will carry out her usual checks. She will take your blood pressure, test your urine for protein and measure and plot your symphysis-fundal height. As well as this, you’ll be offered a blood test to check to see whether or not you are anaemic. You may be offered iron supplements if your haemoglobin level is below 10.5 g/100 ml.
If you have Rhesus-negative blood and your baby has Rhesus-positive, you’ll be offered an Anti-D injection. Most people are Rhesus-positive, but where women have a different blood group from their baby, their immune systems can react against her baby’s blood by producing anti bodies. This can cause problems with subsequent pregnancies.
Antenatal Appointment and Growth Scan for Twins or Multiples If you are expecting twins then you will have another antenatal appointment and growth scan this week.
Who do you want to be with you at the birth? Most women want their partner with them and these days about 97% of dads are in attendance. However, if your man is worried about being the only person in attendance, then you may want to consider having your mum, sister or close friend to offer back-up support. Research has shown that women who have continuous support in labour are more likely to have shorter labours, less likely to use pain relief and are more likely to be satisfied with their birth.
A study involving around 1,400 women found that among those who had a vaginal delivery, those who’d done pelvic floor exercises in the last three months of pregnancy were the least likely to suffer from stress incontinence.