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Pregnancy at week 28

5-minute read

Your baby

Your baby's major organ systems are now fully developed. Their lungs are mature enough to breathe air and are producing surfactant, a substance that helps their lungs to expand and contract properly.

Your baby may be seen on ultrasound practicing their breathing movements. Their brain and hearing is also developing at a rapid rate. Your baby is able to recognise familiar voices and sounds, including your voice. You may notice that your baby may startle in response to loud noises. Talking or singing to your baby can be a nice way for you and your partner (if you have one) to bond with your baby during pregnancy.

Your baby may also get the hiccups, which is caused by their diaphragm contracting, its normal if this happens.

They may be in the breech position at this stage, with their head up and their bottom down. Don’t worry though - most babies will move into the head-down position by the time they are getting ready to be born.

Your body

Congratulations - you have reached the third trimester! As the birth gets nearer, you will probably start seeing your doctor or midwife for antenatal appointments more regularly.

Many women find things get more uncomfortable in their third trimester. You might have back pain and leg cramps, indigestion and heartburn, and your hands and feet might get quite swollen. It’s a good idea to take off any tight jewellery and put your feet up as often as you can.

You should sleep on your side as your pregnancy progresses, especially from 28 weeks. Lying on your back puts pressure on major blood vessels. This can reduce the flow of blood to your uterus, which can restrict your baby’s oxygen supply. Research has shown that sleeping on your side from 28 weeks can reduce the risk of stillbirth by half.

Things to remember

If your blood is Rhesus (Rh) negative, you be offered an injection of Anti-D now to protect your baby against Rhesus disease. If you are Rh-negative and your baby is Rh-positive, then you can produce antibodies that attack the baby’s blood in subsequent pregnancies. This can make them very sick. It can be prevented by having an injection called anti-D. You will be offered this injection now and then again at your 34 to 36 week check-up.

Remember, it is important to make time regularly each day to notice your baby’s movements. If you are busy or not paying attention it can be easy to miss this very important signal from your baby. It may be helpful to set reminders for yourself to check in with your baby a few times each day. At any stage of your pregnancy, if you are concerned about your baby's movements, contact your midwife or doctor immediately. Do not wait until the next day. A slowing down of movement may be a sign that your baby is unwell.

If you haven’t had it already, you may also be offered a Glucose Tolerance test to check whether you have gestational diabetes at 28 weeks.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 29 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

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Last reviewed: August 2023

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