28 Weeks Pregnant
Welcome to the third trimester! Moms-to-be who are 28 weeks pregnant and beyond are known for their lack of sleep. If you find yourself up in the middle of the night, do something relaxing. This is not the time to vacuum the house from top to bottom—even though you might feel the urge to do that at some point. (It’s called nesting. You’ve probably heard of it.) Instead, read a book, drink chamomile tea or listen to soothing music. Then get back to bed and try to get some rest!
At 28 weeks, baby is the size of an eggplant. Putting on layers of fat, baby now measures about 14.8 inches from head to toe and weighs in around 2.2 pounds.
If you’re trying to figure out 28 weeks in months, we’ve got you. When you hit the 28-week mark, you're seven months pregnant. So what trimester is 28 weeks? This week, you’re embarking on your third trimester. Can you believe you’ve made it this far?!
How many months are you pregnant?
Have you found yourself wondering, “how many months are you pregnant for again?” Not to worry, the combination of pregnancy brain and the seemingly endless last seven months might have teamed up to make you forget. Technically, pregnancy is 40 weeks. That doesn’t break so cleanly into months, but if we had to say, pregnancy is a little shy of 10 months long.
As your body gets more and more crowded by your growing 28-week fetus and starts prepping for their arrival, you might be noticing some new pregnancy symptoms. These are common at this stage of the game:
- Trouble sleeping. As you get closer to your due date, you'll likely have more and more trouble getting ZZZ’s (which stinks, because you’re beat!). It could be hormones or nerves—or both!—causing your inability to snooze.
- Shortness of breath. Baby continues to crowd your lungs and diaphragm, making it tougher to catch your breath. Give yourself permission not to push too hard and to take breaks.
- Aches and pains. The third trimester can be really uncomfortable due to hormone fluctuations and the toll pregnancy is taking on your body. (We’re especially talking to you mamas who are 28 weeks pregnant with twins!) To deal, do yoga, stretch, swim, walk and/or convince your partner to give you a prenatal massage. Try wearing a maternity support belt if you’re on your feet a lot. Not sexy, we know, but it can relieve some of the pressure that’s making you so achy.
- Braxton Hicks contractions. These practice contractions might be getting stronger, more noticeable or more frequent as your body gets ready for labor. Keep an eye out and be sure that the contractions are only occasional. If they’re regular and continue getting closer together, and don’t stop when you switch positions, you could be in preterm labor and should call the OB ASAP.
- Leaky boobs. Your breasts may already be producing baby's first food, a yellowish substance called colostrum. And surprise—some of it might actually come out before baby does!
28 weeks pregnant: what to expect
Now that you’ve reached your third trimester (yay!), you’re about to start getting truly uncomfortable (boo!). As your 28 weeks pregnant belly continues to grow, it’ll get harder and harder to get (and stay) comfortable. This will be frustrating at times, but just remember—all this discomfort will bring baby to you, so as annoying as it is, it’s worth it.
Your OB will probably measure your 28 weeks pregnant belly at your prenatal appointment. This week, fundal height—the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus—should be about 26 to 30 centimeters. Knowing you’re measuring within that normal range is reassurance that baby’s growth is on track and that baby is in the right position, since a breech or sideways position could affect the measurement. For women who are 28 weeks pregnant with twins, on the other hand, fundal height usually isn’t measured. That’s because it’s harder for doctors to estimate an “average” for twin pregnancies.
Doctors recommend you start doing kick counts at 28 weeks. You’ll be keeping tabs on how often baby is moving and whether their movements are consistent from day to day. Here’s how you do it: Pick a time of day and set a timer. See how long it takes to get to 10 fetal movements—it should be less than two hours. The next day at the same approximate time, do the same thing. Record the times each day, and you’ll start to find an average range for your baby. It’s great reassurance that they’re doing well in there. If anything seems inconsistent, let your doctor know.
Inside your 28 weeks pregnant belly, baby is starting to develop more fat, so their once-wrinkly skin is starting to get smoother. In pretty amazing news, baby is practicing breathing. Your 28-week fetus’ lungs are mature enough that if they were to be born now, they’d probably survive. Wow!
Baby will keep getting bigger—and smarter—after week 28 of pregnancy, and then baby will just need a few more finishing touches before they’re ready to meet you.
Now that you’re 28 weeks pregnant, you’ll start seeing your OB twice per month (or every two weeks). If your pregnancy has been uncomplicated, don’t expect to get a 28-week ultrasound at this appointment. Even though you’d probably love to get a peek inside that 28 weeks pregnant belly, it’s simply not necessary to have more than a couple ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy, unless the doctor has a reason to monitor you extra carefully. Try to be patient! Soon baby will be here and you’ll get to gaze at them as much as you want.
Babies at 28 weeks in the womb: what do they look like?
At 28 weeks, baby’s size is getting serious, with baby now over 2 pounds! If you could peek inside your 28 week pregnant belly, you’d see baby going through periods of activity (hello, tap dancing on your bladder!) and periods of rest. In fact, baby can now experience REM sleep, which means baby is having dreams! That rapid eye movement continues when baby’s awake, though, because now they can blink too.
Time to start counting kicks
Kick counts can be both super fun (you get to interact with baby!) and sometimes anxiety-inducing (why has it been so long between kicks?!). Try doing your kick counts at the same time every day and at a time that baby is typically the most active, and try not to freak out about every period without kicks. Wiggles, bladder stomps, tumbles and pokes count too. Plus, remember that baby sleeps, so you might have to wake them up!
Time to make some decisions
Who knew that having a baby came with so many decisions! What kind of birth to have, what to name baby, whether or not to circumcise and on and on and on. Some decisions will be easier than others, and some are yours and yours alone, but it can be helpful to talk any decisions over with trusted friends, a partner or your doctor to help you arrive at an answer.
Get your pediatrician lined up
If you haven’t yet, it’s important to choose a pediatrician (yet another choice to make!) and make sure they know to expect a new patient in the next 12 weeks. The pediatrician will need to see baby within a few days of being born (exactly how soon depends on several factors), so it’s important to have everything lined up before baby arrives.
Baby will be here before you know it, so it’s a good idea to have things ready early (especially in case baby comes early too). Wash some baby clothes and baby sheets, set up baby’s nursery and start stocking up on some postpartum recovery essentials. It’ll be go time soon!
Reminders for the week:
Medical content was reviewed November 2020 by Patricia Pollio, MD, a New York-based ob-gyn and director of the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York.