Baby Growth at 30 Weeks Pregnant
Welcome to week 30 of your pregnancy. You now comfortably – or maybe not so comfortably – have your foot in the front door of the 3rd trimester. You and your baby are getting ready for the arrival as evidenced by physical changes and by doing things like taking a breastfeeding or lamaze class or getting the baby's nursery ready.
Your baby is really growing now. It is almost 3.5 lbs and will continue to gain about half a pound per week from now until birth. As far as size is concerned, your baby is about 15 to 17 inches long – or about the size of a broccoli bunch.
The brain continues to develop to the point that your little one can now regulate their own body temperature this week. Your baby’s bone marrow is continuing to create red blood cells as well. They also may have a full head of hair – possibly like Jason Momoa or perhaps like Howie Mandell, only time and genetics will tell. Your baby is also starting to lose the lanugo, which is the fine hair that has been covering their body for warmth.
The baby is developing all that cute baby fat and can see and hear too. Cool fact – the irises of the eyes are slate blue for most babies and their permanent eye color will not appear until several days or weeks after birth. The baby is doing all those cute baby things inside the womb like crying and sucking their thumb. Most importantly, most internal systems are well developed now except the lungs.
The main attraction in terms of growth this week is that the baby's brain, nervous system and organs are continuing to mature. They may even be practicing breathing movements at this stage which would cause a slight twitching in your abdomen. Grooves and folds in the brain's surface are developing. These “wrinkles” give your baby's brain tissue the needed room to expand as they develop and learn throughout their lifetime.
You and Your Body at Pregnancy 30 Weeks
A lot is going on with mama now. Your uterus continues to expand this week in order to make room for your rapidly growing baby. The lower back or hip pain you may be experiencing is very common with the extra weight you are now carrying at this stage of your pregnancy. Things are moving around – including the baby – and you will continue to feel it more as you inch closer to your baby’s birth.
You may notice swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face (if it becomes sudden or severe ask your physician as it may be a possible sign of preeclampsia, a complication characterized by high blood pressure). Hemorrhoids, tender breasts, constipation, heartburn, and indigestion may occur.
What do you actually see changing with your body? Your belly button may be protruding and a white-colored vaginal discharge (leukorrhea) may increase. Other changes are occurring in your body that you cannot see as your body prepares for the birth. Your cervix is becoming thinner and softer; this is what is known as ‘“effacement.” This helps the cervix open during childbirth. The baby is moving lower in your abdomen.
Since you are well into the third trimester, your healthcare provider or midwife may change the schedule of your prenatal visits to a more recurring timeline; something like every month to every 2 weeks.
Typical Symptoms at 30 Weeks Pregnant
Using the bathroom more and lack of sleep aren’t the only symptoms common at this stage of your body and baby’s development. You may also regularly experience:
- Acid reflux
- Restless leg syndrome
- Breast pain
- Frequent urination
- Shortness of breath
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Hormonal changes are likely the culprit of all of the symptoms above along with a few others. The volume of fluid in your body has doubled due all the extra blood circulating through your body, those extra liquids are now being passed through your kidneys and contributing to the swelling you may be recognizing.
Your body has adapted to this pregnancy in many ways. Your growing uterus might press on nerves connecting to your legs. This can cause your legs and toes to tingle. Your expanding uterus is also pushing your diaphragm out of place – which may leave you short of breath. Your body's progesterone boost will assist you to take in more air, meaning you may be breathing a bit more heavily than before you were pregnant to accommodate.
It may be hard for your veins to return all the blood from your arms and legs to your heart. Your body has adapted once again by letting some of the fluid flow from your veins into other tissues, and may leave you extra swollen. Put your legs up and take a load off before that baby comes.
Pregnant Week 30 Tips & Advice
This is a great time to continue to take care of yourself by eating well and exercising lightly. Use this time for last minute preparations and to-do list items as labor will be here before you know it.
This is also a great time to get out and be social with friends or family or have a fancy dinner date with your partner before the baby arrives. You will surely be preoccupied for a few months with your newborn!
Here are some self-care tips for nerve pain and swelling during week 30. Back pain can be improved by prioritizing better posture or simply placing a pillow behind your back for support when resting and at night. Cucumbers, celery and watermelon are all hydrating snacks that can ease swelling along with resting with your feet elevated. Placing cold packs on swollen joints can also help to ease any discomfort you may be feeling.
Stay active but do not overdo it. Swimming is a great option for a low impact and enjoyable workout in the third trimester and gives you a break from that belly weight. As always, stay hydrated and continue to practice self care in the weeks to come. You are getting to that special day and you and your baby are making sure to get ready.