28 weeks pregnant

You and your baby's development

What's happening in week 28 of your pregnancy

Week 28 and your baby is continuing to put on weight, wriggle around, and enjoy snoozing!

At a glance

  • Your baby's little heart is beating strongly
  • Talk to your mummy pals to help make informed choices for the birth
  • Pack spare batteries or a charger for your camera in your hospital bag
28 Weeks pregnant

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How big is my baby at 28 weeks?

Your baby weighs around 2.2lbs now, and is around 37.6cm long and perfectly formed.

Its little heartbeat is so strong that your partner might be able to hear it with one ear on your bump! Baby's heartbeat may also be picked up by a doctor's stethoscope now, and not just the Doppler which your midwife uses to listen with at your antenatal appointments.

Your baby can now blink, and their eyesight has developed to the point where they will be able to see your face when breastfeeding!

Their brain is also continuing its development ready for the outside world and the thalamocortical complex begins to be active. This is the part of the brain thought to be responsible for consciousness and is an important part of the brain's development.

Your baby is continuing to pad out, and is gaining weight quickly, and although they look like a perfect little baby already, they will put on quite a few more pounds before birth.

Facts to know about your baby in week 28

  • Your baby will be able to smell the same things you're smelling
  • Your baby weighs around 2.2lbs now, is around 37.6cm long and is perfectly formed

You at 28 weeks pregnant

You are no doubt thinking more and more about your  baby's birth now – maybe even having dreams about it! 

It is entirely normal to have fears and worries about how you'll cope in labour, but all your friends who are already mums will be able to reassure you that you just WILL! 

Chatting to your pals who already have a baby could be really useful in these last months and help you make informed choices about the kind of birth you hope to have. 

Your midwife will also be happy to talk to you about all your options, so make the most of your antenatal appointments to get as much information as you can about what your hospital offers on their maternity unit, and what you would need to source yourself should you wish to use it (such as a birthing ball, or a TENS unit) during labour.

Around 28 weeks pregnant you will have your blood count checked by your midwife to see if you are suffering with anaemia and if you are you will be offered iron supplements.

A glucose tolerance test may also be offered to test for gestational diabetes, although not always routine. It is if you are of South Asian, Black, African Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin (even if you were born in the UK). Also if you have a raised BMI or family history of diabetes. In preparation for this test you will be asked to fast the night before so your midwife can get a fasting baseline level from your urine.

You will be given a thick, sugary drink. The test determines how well your body copes with glucose (the sugar you drank). It detects if your body can’t produce insulin, which is needed to help reduce glucose to normal levels. If this is the case it could be a sign of gestational diabetes.

Facts to know about you in week 28

  • Woo hoo! You are now in your final trimester of pregnancy
  • Feel out of breath? It's a result of the pressure from the growing uterus, the diaphragm cannot be drawn down as far during inhalation
  • Pregnancy speeds your metabolism to compensate for your weight gain
  • Small spot like glands in the areola enlarge and produce fluid that lubricates your nipples in preparation for breastfeeding
  • Many women report an increase in vivid dreams or nightmares, especially during the final trimester 
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What to think about in week 28

Have you thought about how you might record your labour and birth? Will you want your birth partner to take any photos, or even video your baby's arrival? 

Have you got your camera and spare batteries listed on your hospital bag packing list? 

Don't rely on your phone camera for those first images – it might run out of charge or the quality might be too poor to turn into lovely printable photos. 

Your maternity leave is not too far off now and you may be counting the weeks left at work now but what rights do dads have? If you haven’t thought about it yet, it might be a good time to start. 

Nowadays dads are not left out, just like mums, dads are beginning to have more rights that they are entitled to in the workplace when they have a new baby.

Unlike mums however, dads do not have the right to paid time off before their baby is born, (such as for antenatal appointments). But, if they have been with their current employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before your baby is due, they are entitled to  paternity leave .

There are two types of leave for dads - 1 or 2 weeks paid Ordinary Paternity Leave or if mum decides to return to work earlier, dads can claim up to 26 weeks’ paid Additional Paternity Leave to stay home with their baby.

By now you may well have the big essentials for your baby’s nursery , have a colour scheme in mind, the cot booked to arrive any day, so it might be time to have a little fun browsing those finishing touches that will bring the whole room together.

A good and a very practical item help to buy your baby, a cot mobile.

Cot mobiles can help calm your baby when in their cot or crib. Plus, they double up as a great source of entertaining stimulation for your baby while they are lying in the cot having something to watch and move.

Signs and symptoms at 28 weeks pregnant

Pregnancy mask (chloasma, melasma, hyperpigmentation, darkening of the skin)

Around 75 per cent of mums-to-be can experience brown patches of pigmentation appearing on their forehead, cheeks, and neck. This pregnancy symptom is called ‘melasma’, ‘chloasma’ or hyperpigmentation. Call it what you like, it can be a worrying visual symptom. It is caused because during pregnancy your body makes extra melanin, which is the tanning hormone that your body produces to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) light. Being exposed to the sun will darken the patches, so it’s really important to wear a sunscreen of SPF15 or more. Wearing a hat can also protect your skin from the sun. There are several skin conditions you can experience during pregnancy, find out more about this and other skin changes in pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks contractions are your body’s way of practicing contractions in preparation for labour. These ‘practice’ contractions can feel a bit like period pains or tightening around the uterus and your bump may feel really hard when you touch it. Many describe them as uncomfortable, like dull period cramps and say they aren’t really painful and only last for seconds before easing off. Drink plenty of water as dehydration can make Braxton Hicks feel worse – so can having a full bladder or being on your feet for a long time.

Watch our videos below: 

Video 1: Preparing a birth plan 

Vidoe 2: Caesareans explained

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At a glance

  • Your baby's little heart is beating strongly
  • Talk to your mummy pals to help make informed choices for the birth
  • Pack spare batteries or a charger for your camera in your hospital bag

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