28 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Welcome to the third trimester! At 28 weeks pregnant, you have some exciting baby developments in store. For example, your little one is now able to open and close his eyes. He may even have some eyelashes! With his eyes open, your baby is now able to tell light from dark. He may even turn or move around as a reaction to changes in light.

Your baby’s brain is still developing, but the central nervous system has developed enough to allow your baby to begin to control his body temperature. When you’re 28 weeks pregnant, your baby’s position in the womb could be with his head facing down — or with his buttocks, feet, or both pointed down, which is called breech. Your healthcare provider may be able to tell you which direction he’s facing at your next appointment if you have an ultrasound at 28 weeks pregnant, but don’t worry if he’s in the breech or another unusual position now. Over the next few weeks, he’ll likely turn himself around.

This could be a good time to begin tracking your little guy’s movements (more on this later). You may find he’s more active when you are resting or after a meal. Think of counting those little kicks as one of your first bonding experiences!

Download our third trimester pregnancy guide to learn more about what you can look forward to over next few weeks as your baby continues to grow.

How Big Is Your Baby at 28 Weeks?

Your baby is now the size of a head of lettuce, weighing about 2.5 pounds and measuring about 10 inches long, crown to rump.


Mom’s Body at 28 Weeks Pregnant

As you start the third trimester, keep in mind that you and your baby still have a bit of growing to do. Your growing belly at 28 weeks pregnant may get in the way at times, and throughout the remaining weeks, you may find yourself getting tired more easily. Your body is doing a great (and tough) job of providing a home for your little one as he continues to grow and develop during the final trimester.

Continue paying attention to your diet, eating healthy, nutritious meals every day. Eating well may also help keep your energy levels up if you’ve been feeling worn out. If your healthcare provider recommends it, you might need to take prenatal vitamins or supplements to make sure you’re getting enough calcium and iron. Finally, continuing to exercise (moderately, and as your healthcare provider suggests) will help boost sagging energy levels. If you’re concerned about your weight gain at 28 weeks pregnant, check in with your healthcare provider to make sure your weight is increasing at a healthy rate.

28 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

  • Back pain. Brace yourself, because lower back pain comes with the territory for many moms-to-be, especially in the last trimester. To prepare for labor and delivery, the joints and ligaments in your pelvis start to loosen, which sometimes causes lower back and pelvic pain. You may notice these pains when taking a flight of stairs or getting in or out of your car. As your body expands, your center of gravity shifts and your posture changes, often straining your back muscles. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about back, pelvic, or hip pain. Try wearing low-heeled, supportive shoes, and stay off your feet whenever possible. You can also place a pillow behind you when sitting in a chair. You can take some comfort in the fact that these symptoms usually subside after you give birth.

  • Shortness of breath. As your uterus expands, your abdominal organs start to get a bit crowded. Your stomach and diaphragm can place pressure on your lungs, making it more difficult to take deep breaths. Don’t worry, though. Your baby is getting plenty of air, even if it feels like you’re not. If you find yourself out of breath, try to be mindful of your posture. Standing up straight can give your lungs a bit more room to expand, and you may find breathing becomes easier.

  • Hemorrhoids. Your ever-growing uterus also puts pressure on veins, which can sometimes lead to painful or itchy varicose veins in your rectal area — which are hemorrhoids. If you’re also suffering from constipation, the strain on your bowels can make hemorrhoids worse. To help keep hemorrhoids at bay, make sure to stay hydrated and include plenty of fiber in your diet. Choose high-fiber foods such as fruits, veggies, and whole-grain breads or cereals. If hemorrhoids do strike, soaking in a warm bath may relieve some of the discomfort. Ask your healthcare provider for further treatment recommendations.

  • Braxton Hicks contractions. These so-called practice contractions are one way your body prepares to give birth, and can strike at any time. However, they don’t open your cervix, so you’re not actually going into labor. You may feel sensations ranging from a slight tightness in your abdomen to something more painful. These contractions are more likely to hit in the evening or after physical activity like exercise or sex. They can get stronger as your pregnancy progresses, and sometimes it can be tricky to tell whether you’re experiencing Braxton Hicks or true labor contractions. If you have any concerns about what you’re experiencing, ask your healthcare provider for advice.

  • Frequent urination. You might have encountered this pesky symptom early in your pregnancy, and it can return with a vengeance in the third trimester. In the early weeks of your pregnancy, your urge to pee was caused by the increase of blood in your body, causing your kidneys to work overtime. Frequent urination in the third trimester [https://www.pampers.com/en-us/pregnancy/pregnancy-symptoms/article/frequent-urination-during-pregnancy\] is likely due to your growing little one putting pressure on your bladder. Don’t cut back on water and other fluids, but do try wearing a panty liner if you’re dealing with any bladder leakage.

28 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • Your healthcare provider may suggest that 28 weeks pregnant is a good time to start “kick counting.” Here's one way to do this: Sit in a comfortable spot with your hands on your abdomen. Check the time when you start, and then wait until you feel 10 kicks, rolls, or other movements. Make sure you’re counting good, strong fetal movements, and not your baby’s hiccups, for example. At 28 weeks pregnant, if you don’t feel at least 10 baby movements in two hours, contact your healthcare provider. If you don’t feel much movement, your little one could simply be sleeping. It’s usually helpful to choose a time of day when he’s more active, like after a meal. Download our fetal movement tracker to help you keep up with your little one’s moves.

  • Are you practicing your Kegel exercises? It’s never too late to get started! If you’re struggling with bladder leakage, Kegels are a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder control. Some moms-to-be find that they have some urine leakage after giving birth, and Kegel exercises can help get these pelvic muscles become strengthened and back to normal sooner. Read more about Kegel exercises and their benefits.

  • Think about the type of birth control you may want to use after your baby is born, and discuss your options with your healthcare provider. Hormonal birth control pills containing estrogen may not be suitable to use while breastfeeding, so talk to your healthcare provider, who will give you specific advice.

28 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • I’m afraid I’m bothering you with my questions or false alarms. How do I know when to call you and when to relax?

  • Is a decrease in my baby’s movement normal around this time? What causes those times when my baby seems to move less?

  • I’m thinking of having a birth plan. What should I include?

How we wrote this article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.