Your guide to being 30 weeks pregnant
How do you feel at week 29?
It’s a busy week for your baby. Her bone marrow takes over production of red blood cells meaning she’ll be better able to cope on her own when she’s born. She can also recognise your voice as distinct from other people’s. Research has shown that the fetal heart rate slows down when the mother speaks, suggesting that your baby not only hears and recognises your voice, but is also calmed by it.
Your baby’s growth in length will slow down, but she’ll continue to gain weight and as that happens the volume of amniotic fluid that surrounds her, which is currently about 750ml, will gradually decrease. Also, the fine, downy hair (lanugo) that has covered her body is beginning to disappear as her fat stores increase and help to regulate her body temperature.
Her first poo, known as meconium, is being formed in the intestines – it’s made up of various waste products including lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid and old skin cells. She’ll pass in it the first 24 hours or so after birth, and it will be dark green and sticky!
What’s happening to you
You’ll probably start to feel increasingly breathless as your baby gets bigger and your uterus presses against your diaphragm (the major muscle used for breathing), although this may recede later when your baby moves down in position for birth.
This week don’t be surprised if your breasts increase in size by as much as a third of their current size. They may leak colostrum too, the creamy pre-milk that contains antibodies and nutrients for your baby at birth. It’s normal but you may want to slip a breast pad into your bra.
You may experience heartburn around now. It occurs as your growing uterus pushes the stomach upwards, putting pressure on the muscle that stops stomach acids from travelling back up into your oesophagus. Try drinking milk (full fat may be best) when you feel an attack coming on and before bed time.
When to check it out
Most antacids are safe to take in pregnancy and may help relieve the discomfort, but always ask your pharmacist who will be able to advise you which ones are suitable (those containing sodium for example aren’t advised during early pregnancy). Heartburn doesn’t cause any long term damage to you and isn’t dangerous for your baby, but if you get no relief and it’s getting you down, speak to your GP who may prescribe drugs that can help.
‘To do’ this week…
Think about the kind of birth you’d like (if you haven’t yet done so). At the same time, consider what you want if things don’t go according to plan – and make sure your birth partner knows, too. Labour and birth can be unpredictable, and the more prepared you are for every eventuality, the more confident you’ll feel and the greater your likelihood of having a positive experience.
Wow! Did you know…
By 30 weeks your baby has the ability to produce tears!