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By the 32nd week, all five senses are in full working order. The fetus can see, taste, smell, feel and hear. Hair continues to grow, though some babies will be born with much more than others. Weight gain slows down a bit, especially for women pregnant with multiples. Between weeks 32 and 40, multiple fetuses will steadily gain less weight than singlets.
The fetus is not changing much, but the pregnant woman is changing every day. The uterus continues to expand upward pushing organs in all directions. This can cause heartburn and constipation, along with pain from stretching ligaments.
Multiple pregnancies have reached the point where the uterus is the same size as a 40 week singlet pregnancy. This means the chance for preterm labor is high from this point until the end of the pregnancy. The female body is programmed to carry one baby for 40 weeks. If the uterus grows too large, it could signal the end of pregnancy or active labor. Braxton Hicks contractions are stronger for women with multiples, so it is important to keep an eye on contraction frequency and duration.
At this point, the nursery is nearing completion and all those honey-do projects are completed. The waiting game has begun. If parents have chosen to keep baby’s sex a secret, some friends and family members may start to guess the sex of baby based on abdomen size, how weight is distributed or the actions of dad in the coming weeks.
Water is a pregnant woman’s best friend. Not only does increasing water intake help to fight off constipation, but it can also keep preterm labor at bay. Dehydration is one of the main reasons why women start feeling stronger contractions. It is important to drink at least 64 ounces of water every day even though the size and location of the stomach can make this task difficult.
Preterm labor is marked by stronger contractions that come in a pattern. If Braxton Hicks contractions change in duration, frequency or a pattern of contractions begins, it is important to contact the attending physician. Preterm labor can be stopped with medications, though in some cases hospitalization is required until the end of pregnancy. Multiple pregnancies most often end around week 37 or 38, so mom may be just about there.