Pregnancy: Week - 29

How your baby is growing:

Your baby is growing all over the place and his or her head has finally become in proportion with the rest of his or her body. This new growth is to accompany a growing brain which is still gaining neurons by the millions! At a whooping estimated fifteen inches tall and two and one half pounds your baby has really grown, in fact fat now makes up three and a half percent of his or her body weight, but your baby has plenty of more growing to do in the weeks to come as his or her weight will nearly triple in the next eleven weeks until his or her birth!

Brown fat deposits have completed and white fat deposits have begun. Brown fat is a deeper layer of fat that aids in temperature regulation, while white fat is used more to plump your huggable baby up and store energy for later use. Speaking of temperature regulation your baby’s brain is now capable of regulating its own temperature, as well as controlling rhythmic breathing. Guess what that means? If you baby were born now he or she likely wouldn’t even need a machine to help her breath. Maybe a heating tank and observation, but most baby’s born at this point do just fine all on their own.

Lastly muscle development continues and your baby can now move his or her eye balls in the sockets. Seems a small development, but every little detail counts. Can you imagine if you couldn’t move your eyes?

How your body is changing:

Common symptoms that make reappearance in week twenty-nine include itchy skin, shortness of breath, leg cramps, hemorrhoids, heartburn and/or indigestion, achy muscles, a feeling of being flushed and/or redness of the skin. Most of these we have already covered and are old hat from the first trimester so you know why they occur, what little you can do to improve or stop them, how they effect you personally etc. However, one particular symptom that may up the ante is heartburn.

Many women begin to experience more severe heart burn after week twenty-nine. Previously heart burn in generally felt like a simple burning sensation in the chest, while later in pregnancy (like now) it begins to be full blown and present as a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Some times you can even feel the stomach acid in your throat which may cause gagging. This happens for two reasons, one your growing abdomen is pushing and crowding the stomach which can make stomach acid far more likely to travel back up the esophagus, and second the same hormones that tell the joints to relax so your new baby come out, relax the muscular valve that holds stomach acid in the stomach. Being pushed up and no longer blocked, your tummy contents begin finding their way into your throat which can be painful and extremely annoying as it tends to occur more often after a meal and while lying down. (As if sleep wasn’t hard enough!)

Sadly all you can really do is try to avoid getting heartburn and pop some antacids. Ways to avoid heart burn has been discussed in early weeks. If it becomes severe naturally, like with everything else, let your doctor know.

How your life is changing:

You may be feeling a little less wonderful as the third trimester has begun, but you are experiencing a wonderful feeling, powerful kicks and jabs. These are not the subtle acrobatics of a tiny baby in your belly, they are the pushing and shoving of your almost ready to be born baby becoming cramped, and while they can become painful (rib shots in particular) it’s a validating sort of pain. They are so strong, so unquestionably that of a vivid and powerful life you created. It really is a wonderful feeling.

These powerful kicks also make kick counting easier. You want to check a few times a day that your baby still moves at least ten times in one hour. A reduction of movement below the ten mark can indicate a problem. You don’t have to check every single hour, but I’d say once to twice a day just make note of the good kicks and once you get to ten it’s fine to stop counting. If your kick count does drop below ten, call your doctor. If the reduced movement continues he or she will likely want to see you and possibly do an ultrasound to check on your little bundle of love. In some instances labor may be induced.

As a last note, now is the time to prepare for your labor as it really could happen at any time. Finish that labor plan up, pack your hospital bag, get that nursery or baby area prepared and last minute items purchased, have plans made for everything and anything you need too. (Think of child care or who is going to call your mom and dad when you go into labor, it’s the little things we forget.) If you haven’t already, you may also want to begin doing Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can make your labor far easier and your bladder control far better. Kegel exercises are very simple to do and can be done anywhere at anything without anyone knowing.

You may also want to know:

How to do Kegel exercises:

  • Relax
  • Find the muscles you use to hold your urine and practice contracting and relaxing them.
  • Once you’ve found the proper muscles and have the hang of controlling them voluntarily contract them and hold for ten to fifteen seconds for about twenty five reps a few times a day.

That’s a Kegel, nothing more to it, you’re done. Crazy something so simple can help out your labor right? Kegels will also help return your pelvic floor and vagina canal to normal after your birth.

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