WEEK 32: Loading up on the cortisol
This week your baby will produce huge amounts of cortisol in preparation for labour. Pregnancy hormones may make your digestive system slow, but there’s ways you can cope.

32 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy tips and nutrition

In Pregnancy

    4-minutes read

    At a glance

    Eat fibre-rich food, such as dried fruit, and drink lots of fluids to encourage your digestion

    Eat colourful, natural fruits and vegetables to get the daily vitamins you need


    Now’s a good time to go shopping for things for your baby’s birth

    Have an antenatal check-up this week – then again on weeks 36, 38 and 40

    Baby’s skin is starting to lose its redness and become that lovely newborn baby pink.

    Baby's development at 32 weeks

    Baby’s skin is starting to lose its redness and become that lovely newborn baby pink. The adrenal glands are enormous – about the same size as a teenager’s! That’s because they’re secreting impressive amounts of steroid-like hormones, including cortisol (natural cortisone). In fact, baby is producing 10 times more cortisol than a normal adult. Cortisol is important because it helps induce labour when the time comes, as well as helping organs, such as the lungs, to mature properly. After birth, baby’s adrenal glands will shrink until they’re in proportion with the rest of the body.

    Your body

    Have you found that your digestive system seems a bit slow lately? It’s just those pregnancy hormones again. Try eating fibre rich food, such as dried fruit, and drink lots of fluids. This should help your bowels to function better and improve your general feeling of wellbeing.

    From now on, if everything is going smoothly, it’s advisable to have an antenatal check-up at 32 weeks, 36 weeks, 38 weeks and 40 weeks. This is just to ensure that everything is exactly as it should be.


    It's best to get vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, but when you are pregnant you will need to take some supplements as well, to make sure you get everything you need. It is recommended that you take 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born if you are breastfeeding.

    A good rule of thumb: the more colourful your food is (naturally), the more vitamins you’ll get.

    Pregnancy tips

    There are so many lovely baby things available these days. But what do you actually need?!

    As far as clothes are concerned, you’ll need five to seven bodysuits, tops and sleep-suits. Babies sometimes bring up their milk at the beginning, or might need changing for other reasons! In addition, you might need one or two little cotton caps, a sleeping bag and cardigans, rain/snowsuits and hats according to the season. You can find everything you need to help you prepare for baby’s arrival here.

    On top of this, you’ll need equipment for sleeping, bathing, changing nappies, eating and playing. You’ll be the favourite toy at first though.

    It’s a good idea to get a little stock of toiletries so that baby is nice and neat right from the beginning.

    A little tip: babies outgrow their clothes really quickly – they don’t stay tiny for long! So don’t buy too much. And don’t forget a baby-seat for the car. You’ll need one to get home from the hospital.

    Read more about baby’s first clothes


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    Important advice to mothers

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.