You’re in your final trimester now, and your baby may be getting quite active. The baby is still small enough to move around, so get ready to feel their feet and hands pushing against your belly even more often. And get ready for some of the not-so-pleasant changes that characterize the third trimester.
On average, weight gain by week 29 is about 20 pounds. You may be a little under or over that mark, which is OK. If you have any questions about your weight gain or other aspects of your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or a nurse. It’s natural to compare your numbers with the averages and wonder if you’re still healthy.
As your breasts continue to get bigger, you might want to find a good sports bra or even a nursing bra. Try on a few to make sure you get a comfortable but supportive bra.
As you have probably noticed, your baby is starting to put on weight fast. Your baby is about 15 inches long and weighs around 3 pounds at this stage. This is about the size of a butternut squash.
The accelerated brain development that recently started is going strong this week. The same is true for the baby’s muscles and lungs. If you’re carrying a little boy, his testes are probably descending from the abdomen into the scrotum around this time.
Think you need two of everything if you’re bringing home twins? Think again. Some items are more important than others. Consider stocking up on the following things and saving your money on the extras:
- a double stroller
- two cribs
- two high chairs
- two car seats
- a large activity mat
- a baby monitor
- medical supplies, such as a thermometer, nail clippers, and bulb syringe
- a breast pump
- a large diaper bag
A great way to save money on most baby supplies is to check secondhand shops for gently used gear. You may also want to search online for a buy, sell, and trade group in your area. Used baby items are usually in great condition because they’re only used for a few months to a couple of years. Do not buy a used crib or car seat, as there is no guarantee that they are up to current safety standards. Check with your health insurance to see if they will reimburse you for the cost of a breast pump.
If you’re feeling especially tired and are getting a little winded with activity, don’t worry. Your body is working overtime to make a nice home for your baby, and you’re probably still as busy as ever at work and at home.
Apart from fatigue during week 29, some other symptoms that could occur include:
- shortness of breath
- constipation and gas
- passing hard stools
- abdominal pain
- frequent urination
Frequent urination and shortness of breath
It’s perfectly normal if you’re starting to make frequent trips to the bathroom. The uterus and your baby are putting pressure on your bladder. Nighttime bathroom trips may be the most annoying, since you’re already tired and it can be difficult to find a comfortable position, or to fall back asleep once you are back in bed.
Your growing uterus is also responsible for your mild difficulty breathing. It’s moving up and into the chest cavity, where it’s squeezing your lungs a little. Just take things slowly and rest when you can. Any significant shortness of breath should be reported to your doctor right away.
Constipation is another symptom that may be developing this week. And with that uncomfortable condition comes abdominal pain, gas, and the passing of hard stools. Drink plenty of water. Go when the urge first hits you, since delaying the process increases the problem.
It’s tempting to take a laxative to get some relief, but talk with your doctor before taking a laxative or any other medication during pregnancy. Your physician may recommend an over-the-counter product.
Natural remedies, such as a high-fiber diet (at least 20 to 25 grams a day) and drinking water throughout the day, may be enough to help. Regular exercise can also help relieve constipation, even when you’re not pregnant.
You may want to cut back on your iron supplements, but speak with your doctor first. Iron is important for a healthy pregnancy, and iron-deficiency anemia is common during pregnancy. Lean beef, fish, and turkey are good sources of iron, as are beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
Take stock of your diet and supplements. Are you getting enough of the important nutrients, such as calcium? You should be consuming about 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily. Ideally, you’re getting all the calcium you need from your diet. Dairy products are good calcium sources. Almonds, beans, leafy greens, broccoli, and spinach are also excellent sources.
Because of your baby’s rapid brain development and overall growth, it’s especially important to make sure you’re following a nutritious and balanced diet.
This is also a good time to start thinking about your birthing plan. The plan lets your doctor and the entire medical team know what you want at the time of delivery. This includes your wishes for managing labor pain and other considerations.
If you haven’t discussed these things with your partner and your healthcare provider, spend some time this week exploring your options. Ask your doctor about the items that should be on your birthing plan and what circumstances may arise that would cause everyone to deviate from the plan. Some hospitals even provide templates for creating a birthing plan.
As at any time during your pregnancy, bleeding or spotting should trigger a call to your doctor. The same is true for sudden or severe abdominal pain.
This is a time when preeclampsia is more likely to develop, though it can also develop earlier in pregnancy, or, in some cases, postpartum. Preeclampsia’s main complication is elevated blood pressure, but can involve other changes with liver and kidney function. Since preeclampsia may lead to dangerous complications, it’s important to follow through on all of your doctor appointments.
If you check your blood pressure at home, be sure to know what your healthy baseline pressure is, so if it increases suddenly you’ll recognize the change.
Preeclampsia, which can be a life-threatening illness for you and your baby, is sometimes accompanied by obvious symptoms:
- Progressive swelling in the legs can be a sign, though you’ve no doubt noticed that some swelling is normal during pregnancy. If you see puffiness in your face or the swelling in your leg looks and feels different, notify your doctor.
- Headaches that won’t go away may also signal pre-eclampsia, as may blurred vision or temporary loss of vision.
- Finally, this should be a time in your pregnancy when nausea and vomiting are things of the past. If you start to feel nauseated and you’re vomiting, it could be a symptom of preeclampsia.
Don’t hesitate to see your doctor immediately. Even if it’s not preeclampsia, you need the reassurance that comes from an evaluation for this potentially serious condition.