30th – 30th week of pregnancy

30 week of pregnancy

In the last week of the seventh month, you are just ten weeks away from full term pregnancy.

The thirtieth week is an important milestone in the development of the fetus, since children who are born (prematurely) after the thirtieth week have a more than 93.6% chance of surviving without major complications if they are supported by correct intensive care.

If you haven’t already done so, in anticipation of becoming a mother you could – as  we already wrote the previous week  – attend a pre-natal class.

Start preparing for the baby’s arrival both «spiritually» but also on an operational level:  cradle ,  stroller ,  changing table ,  bouncer , and other  accessories for the newborn  are things that, sooner or later, you will have to think about.

Above all, it depends on your character to decide whether to wait any longer to make the necessary purchases at the last moment, or whether to catch yourself in time.

The development of the child at the 30th week of pregnancy

brain development

With neurons maturing rapidly, these last few weeks of pregnancy are also vital to the developing brain of the fetus.

The sulci and indentations (convolutions) on the surface of the brain continue to get deeper, to make room for an increasing number of these neurons.

The production of blood cells

Another important change that occurs this week is given by the bone marrow which has the task of producing red blood cells.

This development further “equips” the baby, so that it can survive on its own after birth.

The development of the sensory organs

In this week all five of his senses are functioning and are in the last stages of their development.

The fetus’ vision is now mature enough for it to follow the light source with its eyes should you need to shine a flashlight at your belly.

She is probably even able to see the world around her in the womb; however, by this 30th week, your baby will probably have his eyes closed most of the time.

Even  after he’s born ,  it will take months  for him to distinguish objects that are further than a few inches from his face.

The outward appearance

Underneath his skin, the layer of white fat continues to form, which now gives your baby a slightly plumper appearance.

The loose folds of skin are now gradually filling in, so that your skin is smoother and more elastic.

Her nails have almost reached her fingertips, and her eyelashes are fully matured.

Fetal movements

The kicks and punches of the fetus are strong enough to make you feel that its strength is growing: its movements are not as light and shaky as before; and some kicks from him might even hurt you a bit.

You’re probably getting used to his sleep-wake rhythms and his ways of moving.

Don’t forget to spend some time in silence every day so you can count his kicks, and thus make sure he’s okay.

It is normal for babies to be in the breech (feet down) or transverse (lying sideways) position during the 30th week, as they still have enough time to position themselves correctly for birth.

The size of the fetus

The baby is almost as big as a cabbage, with a length of around 40 centimeters, and weighing just over a kilogram.

The body changes in the woman in the 30th week

The top of the uterus this week rests only 10cm above your belly button.

During this trimester of pregnancy, most women gain about a pound a week.

Your growing belly is also shifting your center of gravity.

Increased levels of the hormone relaxin (a hormone the body produces during pregnancy) help loosen up your joints and muscles, making you more awkward than usual.

This relaxation of the joints, and the relaxed ligaments could also increase the size of your foot by a number.

Your feet will likely return to their normal size after giving birth. In some cases, however, this change can become permanent.

The ultrasound at the thirtieth week

An ultrasound done this week shows that the baby is moving a lot, and that with his now fully developed hands he grips the umbilical cord or his feet.

The symptoms of the 30th week

In this week pregnant women are normally subject to,

  • indigestion, heartburn and constipation;
  • bloating and bloating;
  • shortness of breath;
  • rib pain (due to the growing uterus putting pressure on the rib cage);
  • itchy skin around the abdomen that is in stretch;
  • skin changes, such as dark marks or rashes on different areas of the body;
  • mood swings and depression
  • tiredness;
  • partial loss of appetite, due to changing hormone levels and growing uterus;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • frequent urination;
  • pain in the round ligament of the uterus;
  • pelvic pain;
  • joint and back pain;
  • coccyx pain;
  • Braxton Hicks contractions;
  • swelling or edema of the ankles and feet, due to water retention and increased blood volume;
  • varicose veins and hemorrhoids;
  • sore breasts, from which colostrum comes out, a thick yellowish fluid (which prepares for breastfeeding);
  • stretch marks;
  • fatigue.

When to call the doctor

Contact your doctor or midwife in the following cases:

  • you do not feel the fetus move during its «active phase» for more than 3-4 hours (and this even if it is completely normal for the baby to move less in the last weeks of pregnancy since now that it is growing rapidly it has a lot less space in the uterus);
  • extreme fatigue and lightheadedness with constant headache , upper abdominal pain, sudden swelling of the face, hands and feet, vision changes, nausea, vomiting and sudden and unexplained weight gain (these circumstances could indicate high blood pressure , or preeclampsia;
  • extreme thirst, dry mouth, an urgent need to urinate, tiredness, and suddenly blurry vision (which could indicate gestational diabetes
  • contractions that become more frequent as the hours pass with, vaginal bleeding, increased pressure in the pelvic area, lower back pain, menstrual-like cramps, flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness), orange or reddish discharge (loss of mucus plug) and heavy but small discharge of clear fluid (which could indicate premature birth);
  • pain or burning when urinating accompanied by secretions that are gelatinous and yellowish/clear, or thick and white, odorless or foul smelling, dark or cloudy urine, abdominal and back pain, nausea (which could indicate candidiasis or an infection of the urinary tract).

Some useful tips for a healthy pregnancy and baby

Some useful tips for you who are pregnant and for your future baby:

  • continue to follow a varied diet with foods rich in calcium, such as milk, yogurt and low-fat cheese, as calcium is essential for the final stages of fetal bone development;
  • include plenty of iron-rich foods (leafy greens, beans, etc.) in your diet, and take iron supplements (if prescribed by your doctor) so your baby can store iron and grow properly until sixth or ninth month of age;
  • keep your “birth bag” handy, especially if you are carrying twins, as after the 26th week, multiple pregnancies have a higher risk of premature birth; avoid scratching your abdomen and resist itching as much as possible: massage yourself instead with a light moisturizing lotion;
  • avoid using the computer right before going to sleep, avoid drinks containing caffeine, listen to relaxing music that will help you fight third  trimester insomnia  and sleep better;
  • do prenatal yoga , or follow a regular “routine” of light physical exercise (10 minute walks, three times a day), as this helps to increase your energy levels and strengthen muscles and ligaments;
  • avoid traveling and flying as much as possible in recent months, unless absolutely necessary (so as to avoid the risks of a premature birth when you are away from your doctor).

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

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