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29 Weeks Pregnant

Jan 26, 2022 | 5 minutes Read

Your belly is leading the way from now on and it’s probably become difficult for you to ignore it. Even if you aren’t particularly big, you’ll certainly be feeling the effects of your pregnancy on your legs, your bladder, your belly and even your brain. This is especially true if you have toddlers to care for as well. Bending down to them is getting more difficult and you could worry they’ll "squash" the baby as they sit on top of your bump. Try not to be concerned. Nature has been very kind in terms of the protective mechanisms in place which will insulate your baby while it’s in utero. In fact, at 29 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is likely to give a swift kick in response to too much pushing. Consider this an early form of sibling rivalry, something which will become all too familiar in the years to come.

Oh, my aching back

One of the greatest areas at risk of strain is your back. To counterbalance the weight and bulk which is out in your front, your back is likely to automatically sway inwards from now on. In addition, your feet will be placed further apart as you walk. This will give you the all too familiar waddle of pregnancy, something you may have sworn you’d never succumb to. Watch your weight, wear flat shoes, take your time getting from a standing or lying position to being upright and do some back strengthening exercises. The abdominal muscles also work on supporting the back so don’t ignore their important role.

What pelvic floor?

Talking of exercises, try to squeeze in a few pelvic floor ones while you're at it. Think about your muscles as a sling, supporting all those vital organs and tissues in your pelvic region. Your bladder, rectum, vagina, cervix and uterus will need all the help they can get to stay upright, well supported and secure in all their correct positions. Coughing and sneezing can place undue strain on your pelvic floor so check with your pregnancy provider if you have a cold.

Your physical changes this week

You could find yourself becoming more swollen and puffier, simply because you have so much extra circulating blood and fluid volume within your body. Your legs, feet and even your fingers may look bigger than they usually do. If your rings are getting tight, consider taking them off now, in case you have problems removing them in the weeks to come. Many women wear their wedding and engagement rings on a chain around their neck in the last months of their pregnancy.

Feeling the heat? The third trimester is a time when many women notice a real shift in their body's temperature. You could find yourself having hot flashes, turning on the air conditioning when everyone else is almost shivering or just complaining about how hot it is. Your body is designed to cool off when it gets too hot and there is a risk of overheating. Avoid spicy foods and stress which will only make you feel worse.

Your breasts could be feeling increasingly heavy and denser. Dilated veins are becoming obvious, and your nipples will continue to darken. All these changes are necessary to prepare your breasts to produce milk for your baby. Other than not using drying soaps and avoiding general skin irritation, there is no nipple preparation recommended during pregnancy to prepare for breastfeeding.

Bending over will be getting more difficult. Now is the time to cut your toenails, shave your legs and go shopping for shoes which only need to be slipped on. As the next few weeks progress, you’ll find yourself groaning as you bend, something you probably thought you’d never do. Welcome to the third trimester!

Your emotional changes this week

You may be feeling yourself relax a little, knowing that if you went into premature labor, your baby's chances of survival are very good. If you've had a preterm baby before, this will undoubtedly cause you to feel concerned and anxious it may happen again.

Start to prioritize about what’s really important and what isn't. Think in terms of what you have to get done and what you want to get done before the baby is born. Be realistic about what will be more difficult to achieve, when there’s someone who is totally dependent on you for her care. Now is not the time to start a major renovation, plan a house move or start a new job. Try to avoid excess stress and aim for a simple life.

Try not to place too much value on your body image or how you look. You may need to change your ideas on what you perceive to be attractive and beautiful. Pregnant women's bodies are unique and have their own inherent beauty.

Mood swings are common in the third trimester. You could find yourself almost delirious with happiness one minute and in tears the next. Keep a box of tissues handy and be kind to yourself. Blame those hormones again which can depress your nervous system and cause symptoms similar to premenstrual tension.

Your baby's changes this week

Baby weighs around 3 pounds this week but is still less than half the weight she will be at birth. There’s lots of fat still being accumulated under baby’s skin and if born now she would look very thin with long limbs.

Her movements will probably peak in the month from weeks 26-30. There’s still room for complete body movements and changes of position now, before quarters get too cramped inside your uterus.

Baby’s airways are further maturing, with the little tree like structures - the bronchioles and alveoli - increasing in number. It takes up to eight years for a child's respiratory system to mature fully, so these are still early days.

Baby's chances of survival, if she were born early, are increasing with every week that passes. She may not even need respiratory support if you delivered this week.

It may be difficult for your pregnancy provider to say what position your baby is lying in this week. A bony head can easily be confused with a round bottom and she may be so mobile that it makes it hard to say with certainty which way she is facing.

Hints for the week

Ask your maternity care provider about the need to check your iron count. You will need a blood test around now to determine what level it is and if you need iron supplements. You may also need your blood group checked and an antibody screen. If you are an Rh negative blood group, it is important to make sure you have not developed any antibodies.

Make a list of baby names which can be further refined if you can’t ultimately decide. Many parents leave the final decision for when they actually see their baby and what name suits them. This is not as strange as it seems. In a moment of absolute clarity, most parents can look at their little one’s face and know what they need to be named. Sometimes, it's a name which has not even occurred to them.

No matter how much you believe in weight bearing exercise, put those weights down if you have hemorrhoids. They will just enlarge further by the increase in your intra-abdominal and rectal pressure. Instead, go for low impact exercise such as yoga or swimming.

30 weeks is next!

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.