Your guide to being 29 weeks pregnant
How are you feeling at 29 weeks?
Your baby is still in the midst of a period of intense activity and gaining around 25g in weight every day. The blood vessels in his lungs are maturing and they’re gradually getting ready for his first breath. For now your placenta is providing him with all the oxygen he needs.
All five of your baby’s senses are developing well (sight is the last to develop and will continue maturing once he’s born). He’s increasingly sensitive to changes in light, sound, taste and smell and may indicate preferences for particular tastes or odours. Whatever you are eating will flavour your amniotic fluid – it can smell strongly of curry, garlic, onion and cumin for example – and researchers have found your baby will drink it faster the sweeter it tastes (one study showed that a 33 – week premature baby will suck harder on a sweetened nipple than on a plain one).
What’s happening to you
Your baby’s nutritional needs are at their peak from now on so don’t be surprised if you’re often ravenous. Try to include plenty of protein, iron, vitamin C, folic acid and calcium in your diet from the best, freshest sources possible.
Backache and aching muscles may be commonplace as everything is under more pressure and all your ligaments are loosening as your body produces the hormone relaxin to soften the joints of your pelvis prior to the birth. Take care not overstretch your legs when exercising – or even simply when walking!
Your baby is gaining weight at a rate of knots and your bump is expanding all the time. It’s not unusual to feel sharp, stabbbing pains at the bottom of your bump that last for a few second as your ligaments stretch.
When to check it out
Lower back pain or pain in the right shoulder that doesn’t go away can occasionally be a sign of pre-eclamsia, especially if it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision or swelling. If you are at all worried, call your GP or midwife.
‘To do’ this week
While it’s great to know your baby’s growing, if you’re worried about how much weight you’re gaining, now’s a good opportunity to scrutinise your diet. While you shouldn’t restrict your calorie intake, you can limit any unnecessary weight gain by ensuring everything you eat is as nutritious as possible, keeping high fat and sugary and refined foods to a minimum.
Every woman is different, but as a rule of thumb you can expect to gain between one and a half to two stone overall if you were a normal weight to start with, less if you were overweight and more (at least a stone) if you were underweight.
Wow! Did you know…
If you could see him, you’d be able to observe your baby making faces – frowning, grimacing and making what looks like a smile (although a true smile doesn’t occur until he’s about six weeks old).