At 29 weeks pregnant you're in the early stages of your third trimester and the realization that you'll be giving birth soon is probably starting to hit you. Some women start to panic at this point that they still have so much to do to prepare for Baby's arrival, but don't panic over it. You still have 11 weeks left before your due date, so take things one step at a time.
Now you're into your third trimester, you might be finding all your second trimester energy is starting to dwindle, and more unpleasant symptoms reminiscent of your first trimester are starting to appear. This is a normal part of pregnancy, but rest assured most symptoms will disappear as soon as your baby is here.
Baby: What's Happening?
The average baby weighs in at about 2.5 lbs at 29 weeks, although weights from 2 to 3 lbs are totally normal. You may not be scheduled for any more scans, but if you do have an ultrasound around now and you're given an estimated weight of your baby, you can expect that weight to triple before your due date. Don't worry if you're expecting a big baby, some Moms claim bigger babies are easier to birth!
Your baby's eyes are becoming more accustomed to their environment and although vision is still not perfect (well, there's not much to see in your uterus anyway!), the eyes are becoming much more aware of, and sensitive to, light. You'll probably notice big reactions to turning the lights on in a previously dark room (â€œMom! I was sleeping in here!â€).
Your baby's bones are still a little bit soft, and this week they'll start to harden more. This allows your baby's body to have a healthy structure and is also vital for protection against trips and falls (which there will be a lot of in the toddler years!). The vitamins needed for bone strengthening all come via the placenta.
Baby's lungs are still developing, but they're almost there. If your baby was to be born now, he or she could probably do quite a good job of breathing by themselves, although they would likely become tired and out of breath very quickly. A little medical assistance could help them out with that, but any intervention would be minimal.
You: What's Happening?
The third trimester is renowned for being a bit sneaky. There you were, thinking the nausea, constipation and fatigue were gone, when all of a sudden....WHAM! They make an unexpected and rather unwelcome return. Fortunately, only a small percentage of women have morning sickness in the third trimester, but if you suffered a lot with this in the early stages of pregnancy, you're more at risk of seeing an encore.
A classic third trimester symptom is constipation. There's a lot of progesterone racing round your system now which is the hormone that relaxes your pelvic region, making it more malleable to allow for a 7 lb baby passing through. Unfortunately, the progesterone also relaxes much more than just the pelvis, especially the digestive system. A sluggish digestive system means food isn't processed as efficiently, and you may find it quite difficult to move your bowels.
While we're talking about bottom troubles, here's another; hemorrhoids. Your uterus is pretty big now, about 29 cm or 11.5 inches from top to bottom, and this takes up a lot of space. Your uterus pushes anything out of its way so it can continue to grow, including blood vessels. If they're pushed too hard, these blood vessels could pop out of your bum, giving you piles. Once your baby's born and your uterus starts to shrink, these should pop right back in where they belong.
With your baby's bones hardening more and more, they're going to need a lot of calcium, almost draining you of your existing supply. To make sure both you and your baby have enough, try to include lots of calcium rich foods in your diet. Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are great, but there's plenty of other options too. Nuts, fish, green leafy veg and even dried herbs can help you to up your intake, and there's always supplements if you feel you can't get enough, just be sure to check with your Midwife first.
If you're burdened with hemorrhoids, there's a few things you can do at home which could make you more comfortable. When wiping, be very gentle. In fact, it may be best to dab your bottom with an unscented wet wipe. This will reduce the risk of bleeding. You may also find it beneficial to sit on an ice pack which can help with the pain and also help to reduce any inflammation. Sitz baths are also useful, but again check with your Midwife first as hot baths can raise your temperature, which Baby may not like.