At 29 weeks, you are in the final stages of your pregnancy. The finish line in sight, and it’s time to take care of unfinished business. The nursery is set up, your hospital bag is packed, and the CD of relaxing music has been created for labor, which–you hope–won’t last too long. And the decision on whether to breastfeed should now come to your attention. While the last trimester may be physically uncomfortable, it won’t be long until you are holding the new love of your life.
The little bundle of joy growing inside you is now about 15 to 17 inches long and weigh 2.5 to 3 lbs. And the big brain you are hoping for is developing at a rapid pace, with his head growing to accommodate it. In addition, with less space in which to maneuver, the baby will be jabbing and poking you with frequency. These kicks may startle you with their power. You may even be able to recognize a foot or an elbow poking out of your abdomen, which is cool and kind of creepy.
What the Baby Needs
As his muscles, lungs and skeleton continue to form, he needs a growing supply of calcium, vitamin C, protein, folic acid and iron. Starting at 29 weeks, your baby will need more nutrition than ever, according to the Women’s Healthcare Topics website. Eat several small meals a day to deliver these vital nutrients, the website says, because your digestion has slowed from increased progesterone levels.
You might not want to hear this, but the weight will really start piling on now. You may have put on 26 lbs. or more already. And not that you would notice, but your belly button is now 3 to 4 inches lower than your uterus. You may experience uncomfortable swelling in your legs and feet. And, oh yeah, those lovely varicose veins may rear their ugly heads right about now.
Heartburn, Hemorrhoids and Constipation … Oh My!
As you know, pregnancy is not all rainbows and flowers. At 29 weeks, heartburn and constipation may rule the roost. The combination of your progesterone levels relaxing your gastrointestinal tract and your growing girth can slow digestion and cause heartburn, constipation and gas, according to the Baby Center website. And if that’s not enough of a pain in the butt, be ready for hemorrhoids, which are caused by your ever-expanding uterus.
Wait … There’s More
At 29 weeks, you may experience headaches, your nails may become brittle, your stretched belly may be itchy, and you may have trouble sleeping. In addition, you may be getting mommy brain already. The amount your brain cells can hold decreases in the last trimester of pregnancy, states the What to Expect website, so you may be more forgetful.
By now, you should pay close attention to how often your baby is moving and track her patterns. If you feel a real slowdown in her regular movement, contact your doctor right away. The What to Expect website recommends counting movements twice a day, preferably while lying down. Aim for counting 10 movements in an hour.
How to Cope
With all that’s going on with your body, take steps to ease your symptoms. Stay hydrated, which can help with headaches, constipation and swollen feet and legs. Eat lots of fiber and several small meals to reduce constipation, heartburn and gas. Exercise helps with all aspects of pregnancy and health. Sit in a sitz bath or use cold compresses for hemorrhoids. As always, get plenty of rest. And while you’re at it, take time to pamper yourself.
- pregnant #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com