Your baby is the size of a head of lettuce

28 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

By this stage, your little one is now fully formed, although major organs such as the lungs still need a bit more time to mature in preparation for life outside the uterus. Your foetus is gaining weight steadily as a layer of insulating fat builds up under the skin.

Here’s some exciting news: It’s now possible to hear your little one’s heartbeat with a stethoscope.

Your partner might even be lucky enough to hear it without any special equipment, simply by placing an ear against your bump. It’s not easy to find the right place though, so don’t be disappointed if these efforts are only rewarded with the sounds of your tummy rumbling!

Your foetus’s heartbeat continues to slow gradually from its peak of close to 170 beats per minute, which occurred at around the time you were 10 weeks pregnant. It’s now beating at about 140 beats per minute. Your foetus’s heartrate usually drops further to around 130 beats per minute by the time he’s ready to be born.

Just to compare – your own resting heart rate is probably around 80-85 beats per minute. Your little one’s heart is quite a lot smaller, so it needs to work a little faster to supply his growing body with all the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function and keep on developing.

Experts advise against ‘diagnosing’ the health of your little one at home by listening to the foetal heartbeat, either using special equipment or by ear. If you’re worried about a change in your foetus’s movements, or anything else, talk to your doctor or midwife straight away.


Baby name generator

By gender:




By theme:









The Size of the Foetus at 28 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you’re 28 weeks pregnant, your foetus is about the size of a head of lettuce, measuring close to 37.6 centimetres from head to heel, and weighing in at around 1 kilogram.

Check out the illustration below for a glimpse of how your baby may be taking shape this week. Snug as a bug!

28 weeks pregnant

Mum’s Body at 28 Weeks Pregnant

Welcome to the third trimester of your pregnancy! At 28 weeks pregnant you’ve only got 12 weeks or so left until your due date.

At 28 weeks pregnant, you and your little one still have a lot of growing to do, and you may start to feel more tired and uncomfortable as you move into this final stage. Hang in there! You’re on the home straight now!

Keep in mind that your due date is only an estimate, so you won’t necessarily give birth on that exact day. Your little one is more likely to make an appearance a week or two either side of it.

You may be wondering how many months you’ve got left to go at 28 weeks pregnant. Converting the pregnancy weeks to months is an imprecise science, but at a rough estimate you’re about seven months pregnant.

As your little one now takes up more space inside your belly now that you are 28 weeks pregnant, the extra pressure on your stomach may be causing you more heartburn and indigestion.

Symptoms can include a feeling of being full or bloated, a burning sensation or pain in the chest, burping, feeling sick or bringing up food.

You’ll usually find that these symptoms happen soon after eating or drinking, but sometimes the symptoms might only kick in a little after eating.

You’re more likely to get indigestion when you’re full. As your growing foetus starts pushing on your stomach, you may not be able to eat as much in a single sitting as before. Try eating smaller amounts more frequently, instead of three or four square meals a day.

Other ways to lower the chance of indigestion is to avoid eating immediately before going to bed, and cutting down on caffeine-based drinks or rich and fatty foods.

Continue paying attention to your diet, and aim to eat healthy, nutritious meals every day.

This means getting about five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, as well as the right amount of carbs (starchy foods like bread, pasta and potatoes) and protein, which can be found in beans, fish, eggs, meat and dairy.

It’s not the end of world if you give in to your cravings occasionally, but in general steer clear of foods that are too fatty or sugary.

Eating well not only helps keep your weight gain on track, it may also help keep your energy levels up if you’ve been feeling worn out at 28 weeks pregnant.

Gentle exercise such as walking or swimming may also help boost your sagging energy levels.

If you join a fitness club or sign up for exercise classes, don’t forget to let your instructor know how many months or weeks pregnant you are.

If your doctor recommends it, you might also need to take vitamins or supplements to make sure you’re getting enough calcium and iron.

28 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing at 28 weeks pregnant:

  • Back pain. Your body is doing a great job of providing a home for your little one as he or she continues to grow and develop during this final trimester, but the weight of your growing belly and changes in your posture could be putting more of a strain on your back now that you’re 28 weeks pregnant. Added to this, your joints are probably looser as the hormone relaxin softens up your ligaments. As with many other pregnancy-related aches and pains, such as swollen feet and pelvic pain, getting plenty of rest is important in helping reduce backache. Try and maintain good posture by keeping your back straight and well supported when sitting down. A maternity support pillow could help with this. Avoid lifting heavy items, and always bend your knees and keep a straight back if you need to pick something up from the floor. Warm baths and massages are great for easing your backache, and prenatal yoga or ‘aquanatal’ water exercise classes can help strengthen the muscles that support your back. If your backache is severe, your doctor may refer you to a physiotherapist and advise you on what forms of pain relief are safe during pregnancy.

  • Shortness of breath. It might not just be the extra weight of your bump that’s leaving you feeling a bit puffed out sometimes. In the third trimester your growing foetus can start putting pressure on your lungs, making you feel short of breath. Symptoms like this, which you may be experiencing at 28 weeks pregnant, are likely to continue at least until your little one moves into a lower down position in readiness for birth. This is unlikely to happen until the last few weeks before your baby is due though, if at all. Until then, the best advice is to take it easy – avoid unnecessary exertion and take frequent rest stops to catch your breath.

  • Piles. Just when you’re being told to take the weight off your feet at 28 weeks pregnant, sitting down might not be much fun either if you’ve got piles (otherwise known as haemorrhoids). These are often painful or itchy swellings in or around the rectum and anus areas of your bottom. This condition is caused by dilated (enlarged) blood vessels. You don’t have to be pregnant to get them, but it helps – those extra hormones coursing through your body can relax the veins, making them more likely to enlarge. Another common pregnancy symptom, constipation, can also cause piles or make the condition worse. Drinking enough water and getting plenty of fibre in your diet – for example by eating lots of wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables and pulses – can reduce the likelihood of developing haemorrhoids. While sitting down might be painful, it’s also advisable to avoid standing for long stretches of time, so take the weight off your feet when you can, and exercise regularly to keep your circulation up.

  • Leaky bladder. At 28 weeks pregnant the extra pressure on your bladder might be causing little leaks of urine, especially when you cough, laugh, sneeze or strain. Pelvic floor exercises are a great way to improve your bladder control. It’s never too late to make these simple exercises a part of your daily routine, and it’s possible to do them almost anywhere. All you have to do is clench and relax the muscles you would use to stop yourself peeing. Around eight squeezes three times a day is a good target to aim for. The pelvic floor muscles also have a key role during labour, and strengthening them can help lower the risk of incontinence after a vaginal birth. Ask your midwife if you’re not sure how to do pelvic floor exercises.

28 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • You’ll usually have an antenatal check-up at around 28 weeks pregnant. At this appointment your doctor or midwife will probably measure your fundal height, which is the distance from the top of your bump to the top of your pubic bone. Based on this, your antenatal team will be able to estimate the size of your uterus. You’ll also likely have your blood pressure taken, and be asked to give a urine sample. This will be tested for protein. You may be offered other screening tests depending on your personal situation. This antenatal appointment – like all the others – is a good opportunity to talk to your midwife or doctor about any concerns or worries you have.

  • If the blood test performed during earlier antenatal screening tests showed that your blood group is rhesus negative, you’ll probably be given a shot of anti-D immunoglobulin at the antenatal appointment scheduled for around 28 weeks pregnant. This injection is a precaution against rhesus disease, which occurs if your body produces antibodies against your foetus’s blood. This could happen if you little one’s blood is rhesus-positive, and any of her blood cells comes into contact with your own (rhesus-negative) blood, triggering a reaction from your immune system. At 28 weeks pregnant you might receive a single-dose treatment, or the first of two jabs, with the second scheduled for when you’re 34 weeks pregnant. After birth, your baby will be tested. If she does turn out to be rhesus positive, you may be offered another anti-D injection.

  • Think about the type of birth control you may want to use after your baby is born. Keep in mind that some hormonal birth control pills may not be suitable to use while breastfeeding. Natural contraceptive methods may be suitable for you, but they have to be followed correctly in order to be effective. Commonly held beliefs, like the myth that you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, should not be taken at face value. Instead, talk through the options with your doctor or midwife, who can give you advice based on your situation.

  • As your bump gets bigger you might like to ask your doctor or midwife about comfortable and safe sleeping positions. You might also like to buy a pregnancy pillow, which can help support your body in all the right places.

  • If you have the unusual urge to clean or organise your home now or in the coming weeks, it could be what’s called the “nesting” instinct that some women experience during the second and third trimesters. If you experience it, it’s OK to give in to your nesting urges, whether that means cooking batches of food to freeze for later, cleaning or getting everything ready in your baby’s nursery. Just don’t overdo it – take plenty of time to rest and relax, and make sure you conserve your energy for all that’s to come.

28 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • Are you at risk of gestational diabetes?

  • If you were diagnosed with placenta previa earlier in your pregnancy, is there anything you should look out for in the coming weeks and months?

  • Is there anything you can do to help prevent stretch marks?

  • Are you getting enough iron and calcium in your diet? Do you need to start taking iron supplements or other vitamins at 28 weeks pregnant?

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

  • Do you have any complications that might prevent you from flying at 28 weeks pregnant?

  • What should you include in your birth plan? (If you plan to have one.)

  • Are there any changes you should make at work now that you’re in the third trimester? When should you stop working? (You can do some reading on working while pregnant here)

28 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Make sure you have the contact details of your midwife, doctor and maternity hospital close at hand (including after-hours numbers). Stick them on the fridge and save them in your phone.

  • Book yourself and your birth partner in for some antenatal classes, if you haven’t already. Courses provided via the NHS are free, but demand is usually high so it’s worth signing up as early as possible.

  • Take our fun baby arrival quiz to see how ready you are for your new arrival.

  • Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips:

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 National Health Service (NHS). The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.