Welcome to week 30. You are 75% of the way there!
Your little cauliflower-sized baby is growing this week to the size of a bunch of broccoli. Your little one measures 16 inches (40.6 cm) long and weighs 3.4 pounds (1.6 kg).
Although you can only see your belly growing bigger, there is so much going on internally. Your baby’s brain is going through a lot of development. Up until now, the surface of their brain was smooth. As their brain continues to develop, it takes on grooves and indentations. All those wrinkles in our brains allow for increased brain tissue. Your baby is getting smarter each day.
As their brain and fat cells help to regulate their body temperature, they are shedding lanugo, which is the downy-like hair covering their bodies. Their bone marrow is also making red blood cells. All the little pieces are coming together to get your baby ready for life on the outside.
You only have about ten weeks left until you get to meet your baby. The last months of pregnancy often bring challenges as everything gets bigger, heavier, and more squished. Many first-trimester pregnancy symptoms you thought you were done with may be returning, like frequent urination, tender breasts, and heartburn. Hang in there and know this is all temporary. For more in-depth information on symptoms, you may experience this trimester listen to the third-trimester overview episode.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause swelling of the nasal mucosa and excess mucus production. Plus, an increase in blood volume may cause swelling in the tiny blood vessels in the lining of your nose and congestion in the surrounding tissue. A stuffy nose, sometimes classified as pregnancy rhinitis, can start anytime in your pregnancy. There is a strong correlation between symptoms and gestational week. A stuffy nose is most common in the third trimester.
Fatigue may return due to hormones, increased blood volume, lower blood pressure, increased metabolism, and lower blood sugar. Not to mention that your body is expending a lot of energy to support your growing baby. If you are tired, the best thing you can do is rest. That could mean taking a nap or going to bed much earlier.
While you may need extra sleep in the third trimester, sleep decreases. One study found that 57% of pregnant women had symptoms of insomnia. A meta-analysis found that the overall prevalence of insomnia in the third trimester of pregnancy was 42.4%. Insomnia is a vague term that describes many sleep challenges. This can include trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, and trouble going back to sleep. Plus, issues like leg cramps, restless leg syndrome, difficulty getting comfortable, and snoring can all negatively impact your sleep. Check out the episodes on evidence-based tips for better sleep and troubleshooting sleep issues for more information.
When you think about birth, pain is the first thing that comes to mind or the last thing you want to think about. There is the occasional anecdote about a pain-free birth, but most expecting mothers experience some level of labor pain and discomfort. It seems counterintuitive that something necessary for survival would be difficult and come at a high cost. In this episode, we reframe how you may think about labor pain so you are not terrified going into the experience, have a better idea of what to expect, and understand why birth can involve pain.
You have many pain management options available. Explore options like an epidural, nitrous oxide, and other options, including TENS, intravenous medications, and pudendal nerve blocks. If you plan to have an unmedicated birth, you may be interested to learn about hydrotherapy and the benefits of water during labor, hypnobirthing, and natural hospital birth.
If you are planning to take a birth class that is six weeks, you should start it this week or next to ensure you complete it before going into labor.
Tip for Dads and Partners
If you feel left out because mom gets a baby shower and you don’t, plan an afternoon with your friends to celebrate becoming a parent. Have a BBQ, play a round of golf, hit up a local brewery for some beers, or even plan a dadchelor party. You have a lot to celebrate too.
Want more evidence-based information to navigate your pregnancy and birth?
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