In week 32 of your pregnancy, the top of your uterus is now about 13cm (5 inches) higher than your belly button. Your internal organs are being pushed aside to make room for your baby. This could cause more intense heartburn and constipation from now until you deliver.
As the uterus pushes your stomach up, the duodenal flap that normally stays closed could be pushed open. This causes the heartburn. To minimize heartburn, you should try to eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid some of the things that make heartburn worse. Spaghetti sauce and pizza are known culprits. You can also take antacids but it is recommended that you talk to your doctor first.
Constipation can get worse and the level of progesterone in your body increases. If you are plagued with constipation, drink lots of fluids and make sure that your diet includes fibre. If your bowel movements are too painful, talk to your doctor. He can recommend stool softeners that would be safe to take during your pregnancy. Stool softeners should be used sparingly as your body can actually become reliant on them.
Some other symptoms that you may be continuing to experience this week are indigestion, breathlessness, and fluid retention. If you are experiencing fluid retention, you should know the signs of preeclampsia and know what to do if you recognise them.
Preeclampsia is a condition in which the mum’s blood pressure rises to a dangerous level. The cause of preeclampsia is not known, although it is most common during first pregnancies. Preeclampsia occurs in approximately 3 to 4 percent of all pregnancies and it is the number one reason for low birth weight, premature birth, and still birth. When preeclampsia advances it becomes eclampsia which can lead to seizures, coma, and even death if not treated. The signs of preeclampsia are high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and face, weight gain that is rapid and abnormal, and protein in the urine. There could also be vision problems, pain in the abdomen, and headaches. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.