Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 30
How big is my baby?
Fetal size: crown-rump 27cm, crown-toe 39cm. Fetal weight: 1.4kg (3 pounds).
Your baby has increased in size and won't be able to somersault for much longer. Your medical practitioner will be able to ascertain your baby's position by performing an abdominal examination. Your baby keeps gaining weight and maturing, and you will feel him/her actively wriggling and kicking. These movements allow you to start to relate to your baby before it is born.
Your baby's brain has grown and the brain cells and nerves are now active. This means that your baby can now engage in more complex learning and movement. From now on, there will be less and less room for your baby to move, so he/she will probably move less. If uncomfortable, he/she will move about. While your baby has been moving around over the past few months, he/she has been building muscle tone and learning how to orientate him/herself in the uterus. Over the next 4 weeks, your baby will probably lie with his/her head facing upwards, but sometimes a baby will turn upside down and "engage" or get ready for birth earlier than usual (head facing downwards).
Your baby starts to gain weight and starts to round out as fat continues to appear beneath the skin. This fat smooths out the wrinkles in the skin. Your baby also begins to control his/her own body temperature. The hair that covered the skin now reduces, while the hair on the scalp lengthens. The head and body are now fully in proportion - just like a newborn.
What pregnancy symptoms will I be experiencing?
At the end of Week 30 you are carrying more and more weight, and will probably start to feel tired. Despite this, you will continue to grow and you may even be thinking that 10 weeks is a long way down the track!
You will need to pass urine more frequently, as your growing baby presses against your bladder. You will also notice that sleeping becomes more difficult, mainly due to discomfort associated with your growing size. Try sleeping on your side with one leg bent up and the other stretched out.
You may also start to experience backache. This is because your uterus has grown and your pelvic joints have become looser, altering your centre of gravity. Avoid lifting, sit up straight and avoid high-heeled shoes.
Your breasts will start to produce colostrum. Colostrum precedes breast milk, and is a sweet, watery, easily digetible liquid that your baby drinks for the first few days (before your milk comes through). You may want to try expressing a little colustrum using your hands.
One of the signs that you are in labour is your water breaking, or rupture of the membranes. Sometimes membranes may rupture or start to leak before you go into labour. You will know this is happening if you experience a gush of water, or slow leakage of water. If your membranes rupture, you will need to contact your health care professional immediately so that he/she can take the necessary precautions to avoid infection.
If you have difficulties during labour, an emergency Caesarean Section may be necessary. Some women may also choose to undergo an elective caesar. Caesarean section is done either under a general anaesthetic or with an epidural. It is regarded as a significant surgical procedure and does carry associated risks. A caesarean is usually performed in an emergency situation where the well being of the mother or baby is endangered. It can also be performed if the position of the baby is thought to be unsuitable for a vaginal delivery, and likely to place the mother and baby at risk. Following a caesarean section, you will probably need to stay in hospital longer and you will require pain relief for a short period.
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