WEEK TWENTY NINE
Your baby is the size of a acorn squash.
Your baby weighs nearly three pounds now and measures about 17 inches. Thought that was heavy ? Guess what – 0ver the next 11 weeks, your baby will more than double — or even come close to tripling — in weight. As more fat is deposited under the skin surface, the wrinkled skin is smoothing out. This fat, called white fat, is different from the earlier brown fat that your developing fetus accumulated. Brown fat is necessary for body temperature regulation, while white fat (the fat you have, Mom) actually serves as an energy source.
Also this week, your baby is getting stronger by the minute. The pushes, kicks, and rolls will likely occur more frequently – and forcefully. So don’t be surprised if you feel an extra-strong karate chop or two! Around this time, the part of your baby’s brain associated with intelligence and personality becomes far more complex. You can get to know your baby by paying attention to how your baby reacts to different foods, sounds, and lights.
One more exciting development this week: as you’ll recall, your baby’s baby-teeth buds formed weeks ago. But now, the buds for permanent teeth are forming in his or her gums!
During pregnancy, you’ll experience a lot of surprising symptoms, and one that can happen during the third trimester is leaky breasts. The yellowish, thin fluid is colostrum, which is the precursor to breast milk. Usually you’ll notice only a drop or two, if any at all, but if the flow becomes greater, you can put nursing pads inside your bra to keep things under control. This fluid contains antibodies that help fight infection and build resistance to many common illnesses during your baby’s first days on the outside. So even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding for the long haul, you might want to consider nursing just for a couple of days so your baby can take advantage of this nutritional head start.
TIPS & TO DOS
- Unfortunately, you are more susceptible to urinary tract infections this trimester — avoid using public toilets.
- Being kept awake by restless legs? No one’s sure why, but they’re common during the third trimester. Make sure you get enough iron in your diet and enough movement during the day.
- Haemorrhoids: If the veins in your rectum have begun to bulge and pop out (as a result of increased pressure and blood flow to the pelvic area), reduce discomfort and irritation by using gentle wipes or warm water on soft toilet paper after bowel movements and, of course, drinking lots of fluids so your stool isn’t hard.
- Pregnancy Brain
- Fast-Growing Nails
- Heartburn or Indigestion
Your baby is the size of a Cucumber.
From this point on your baby will gain about a half pound each week. All that baby weight is for more than filling out the chubby cheeks. Now that all of the major body systems are in place and functioning, your baby needs padding to protect and insulate the organs. The built-up fat tissue will also help your baby regulate body temperature after birth and provide the energy your baby needs. Because your baby is adding fat and growing bigger, you might find the movements become less frequent – it’s getting harder for your baby to manoeuvre. But if you’re not feeling any jabs or the occasional kick, consult your doctor.
Another big change at 30 weeks pregnant is that your baby’s bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells (earlier, tissue groups and then the spleen took care of producing the blood cells). This is an important step for your baby, because it means he or she is better able to thrive on his or her own once born.
As your skin expands to accommodate your baby, stretch marks aren’t always the only side effect. An estimated 20 percent of expectant moms also experience itchy skin. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines or ointments, but a calming lotion can also provide relief. As for those stretch marks? At least half of moms-to-be get them, usually in the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy. And no matter what the fancy-product pushers may have you believe, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent them. The good news is that they will fade significantly over time, though they won’t disappear completely. There are some prescription creams and in-office laser treatments that may help lighten them, but you’re best off waiting until you’re at least a few months postpartum (or until you’re done nursing, if you want to try certain prescription creams) to weigh these options with a dermatologist.
TIPS & TO DOS
Breathless? Your growing baby is pressing against your diaphragm. Try sleeping in a semi-seated position, with pillows propping up your back.
- Increasing Fetal Movement
- Bloating & Gas
- Stretch Marks
- Swollen Feet & Ankles
WEEK THIRTY ONE
Your baby is the size of a pineapple.
Weighing in at three-plus pounds and measuring 18 inches in length, your baby is quickly approaching birth length. You baby is also putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you’re probably noticing more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest.
Your baby’s brain is working overtime these days, developing faster than ever. The nerve cells are developing at a super-fast rate. Your baby is now processing information, tracking light and perceiving signals from all five senses. Sure, your baby can’t smell anything right now, but that’s only because your baby is still submerged in amniotic fluid and needs to be breathing air to get a whiff of anything.
Also your baby has been making faces, hiccuping, swallowing, breathing, and doing some great pedaling with the little hands and feet along your uterine wall. Did you know – your baby could also be sucking on his or her own thumb and toes while inside the womb?
Your uterus can now be felt four inches above your belly button. This means that your uterus is pushing all the internal organs that used to be there somewhere else, crowding your lungs and making it more difficult for them to expand fully. The result: Your body is spare on air and will be until your baby drops near the end of pregnancy, in preparation for birth. While this shortness of breath may feel very uncomfortable to you, your baby is as happy as a clam because he’s getting his oxygen from the placenta.
TIPS & TO DOS
It may not be just pregnancy weight. If you notice sudden facial swelling, talk to your doctor. Along with changes in vision and headaches, swelling can be a sign of preeclampsia.
- More Frequent Urination
- Occasional Headaches
- Varicose Veins
- Pregnancy Brain
- Sleep Problems
WEEK THIRTY TWO
Your baby is the size of a squash.
Your baby is starting to get ready for the big debut, tipping the scales at almost four pounds and topping out at just about 19 inches. In these past few weeks, it’s all about practice, practice, practice, as your baby hones the skills needed to thrive outside the womb — from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking. And though you’re weeks away from D-day, your baby’s looking more and more like a newborn; As more and more fat accumulates under the skin, it’s becoming less transparent and more opaque.
At 32 weeks pregnant, you’re likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby’s signature rocking and rolling. That’s because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now — your baby is actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!). Your baby has also probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis in preparation for birth. That’s because the fetus’ head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus; plus it’s easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first.
And speaking of that big day, hope you’re resting up for it — because your bambino certainly is. In preparation for that big first date with you, your baby is sleeping (like a baby!) — with sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes long (which would also account for the decrease in movement you’re likely feeling these days).
This week, your body may start prepping for delivery day by flexing its muscles… literally. If you feel your uterus bunching or hardening periodically, those are Braxton Hicks — irregular practice contractions that are first felt around mid-pregnancy, and increase in frequency and strength as your pregnancy progresses. These pre-labour rehearsals are a warm-up for the real thing, and are typically experienced earlier and with more intensity in women who’ve been pregnant before (many first time moms-to-be don’t notice them as much). They feel like a tightening sensation that begins at the top of your uterus and then spreads downward, lasting from 15 to 30 seconds (though they can sometimes last two minutes or more). How do you know they aren’t real labour? They’ll stop if you change position (try getting up if you’re lying down or walking if you’ve been sitting). They’ll also become progressively stronger and more regular — in this case call to your doctor. In the meantime, try taking a warm bath to help with the discomfort.
TIPS & TO DOS
- Learn the signs of early labour, just in case: water breaking, period-like cramps, vaginal bleeding, diarrhea and a tightening feeling in your uterus.
- With your big uterus crowding your insides, you may find your appetite waning now (shocking!). Try to eat regular, small snacks (a bite of a banana counts), instead of big meals.
- Bloating & Gas
- Faintness or Dizziness
- Leg Cramps
- Itchy Belly
- Colostrum (Leaky Breasts)
Information Credit: Whattoexpect.com