Skip to main content Help with accessibility

28 weeks pregnant

28 weeks pregnant + gestational diabetes Breathe easy

Summary

Week 28: your baby is putting on weight rapidly by storing fat under their skin, and their lungs are developed enough that they could breathe air if they were to be born early. Gestational diabetes may be diagnosed in the third trimester. Find out what lifestyle changes might help.

Laying down fat in week 28

By the time you’re 28 weeks pregnant, your baby is fully formed and weighs just over 2lbs1. With the majority of their body systems working well, much of their development now centres around growth. Part of this involves laying down the fat stores1 that will keep them warm after birth.

"Your baby’s development at 28 weeks"

Your baby is so well developed at this stage that if they were born now, their lungs would be capable of breathing air, albeit with the help of a ventilator2.

"By week 28, your baby’s lungs are developed enough to breathe air.”

Have you heard your baby’s heartbeat recently? As your antenatal appointments become more frequent, your midwife will be checking it more often and you may be able to listen in, either through an ultrasound or a stethoscope. Their heart rate has slowed to around 140 beats per minute at this stage, and your partner may even be able to hear it by putting an ear to your abdomen1.

As your baby grows, they have less space in your womb to move around, so you’ll probably feel even the smallest stretch or kick.

the gift banner pregnancy
 the gift  of future health Learn more

Gestational diabetes

Keeping a balanced diet while you’re pregnant is vital to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients they need to develop healthily. It’s important for your own health too. Some women develop gestational diabetes while they’re pregnant, usually in their third trimester3. There are a number of reasons why some women may be more likely to develop this condition than others, including being overweight and having a body mass index of over 30 before pregnancy4.

"Some women develop gestational diabetes while they’re pregnant, usually in their third trimester."

Having gestational diabetes means your body can’t produce enough of a hormone called insulin which controls glucose levels in your blood. As a result, your blood sugar levels may become too high3.

Your requirement for insulin increases during pregnancy because of the extra demands of your growing baby. Throughout your pregnancy you will have regular urine tests to check to see if there is any glucose in your urine which is a sign that your blood glucose level is high. If your glucose levels are too high, it’s more than likely that your gestational diabetes can be treated through a healthy diet and exercise, although some women are given medication. Leaving gestational diabetes untreated can lead to a risk of complications at the birth.

Find out more about gestational diabetes and how lifestyle changes can help.

Next Steps

If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will be advised how best to manage it. Changes to your lifestyle could include4:

  • Eating regularly – don’t skip meals
  • Choosing low-GI foods when possible (foods that are broken down more slowly by the body, helping to keep blood sugar levels more stable)
  • Eating more fruit and vegetables
  • Limiting your sugar intake
  • Consuming more unsaturated fats
  • Monitoring calorie intake

View references

Hide references

drop down arrow

1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 25-28 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2015. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-25-26-27-28.aspx [Accessed August 2016]

2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p.44.

3. NHS UK. Gestational diabetes - Introduction [Online]. 2014. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/gestational-diabetes/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed August 2016]

4. Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. Information for you: Gestational diabetes [Online]. Available at: www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-gestational-diabetes.pdf [Accessed August 2016].

5. NHS UK. Gestational diabetes – Treatment [Online]. 2014. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/gestational-diabetes/Pages/Treatment.aspx [Accessed August 2016]

Last reviewed: 8th August 2016
app

Feel prepared with our free mobile app

Our free Preparing for Birth mobile app has practical tools & expert advice helping you feel prepared for the birth of your baby.

birth plan header image

Writing a birth plan

 From birthing positions to pain relief, a birth plan lets your midwife know your wishes for labour and birth. Find out how to write yours.

Learn more
Foods to avoid in pregnancy bump header

Join Aptaclub baby club and help shape your baby’s future

Register today to help us tailor our early life nutrition advice to every stage of your baby’s journey.

Over 5066 mums-to-be have signed up this week

The role of sugar in pregnancy header

The role of sugar in pregnancy

Sweet tooth? Learn why a low-sugar diet is better for you and your baby during pregnancy, and read ideas for healthier alternatives.

Learn more
related-article-careline

For help preparing for breastfeeding, to planning for your labour

Our expert team of midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are here to answer your questions. Just get in touch.
Call us on 0800 996 1000

birth partner

Choosing a birth partner

Choosing someone you trust and support as your birth partner can help relieve some of the nerves around giving birth

Learn more
Facebook

Join Aptaclub on Facebook

Like our Facebook page to join the thousands of mums-to-be and new mums who are discussing and sharing their experiences.

Vitamin K in pregnancy cereal breakfast header

The importance of vitamin K for you and your baby

Why vitamin K is so important for you and your baby, and how to make sure that you both get enough to prepare for the birth.

Learn more

WhatsApp Welcome to Careline via WhatsApp

Our experts are available to chat Monday - Friday, 8am-8pm, excluding bank holidays.

By clicking start, you will open a new chat in your WhatsApp app with our Careline team.

Start

Having trouble?

If you're having issues sending the Careline a message via WhatsApp, please try calling us on 0800 996 1000 instead.