pregnancy week 29 development

Your baby is now the size of a butternut squash. From their heel to the top of their head (crown-heel length) they are about 40cm long. As they are slowly but surely plumping up, they weigh approximately 1.1 – 1.4kg. Exciting, to finally see your baby’s weight in kilograms!

You’re in the second week of your third trimester, and your baby is starting to push against its confined quarters. It’s almost reached its birth length, and now just needs to add to its baby weight.

pregnancy week 29 baby weight and size compared to vegetable

Your baby at 29 weeks in the womb

At 29 weeks, your baby will start to smile! It’ll have its first smile this week, and will likely be beaming as it sleeps. It is also able to open its eyes and might turn towards light outside the womb. It’s a sweet thing to imagine. 

Fat

Your baby is starting to add to its fat storage and slowly put on weight. At week 29 of pregnancy, its skin will smooth out with the addition of fat deposits and it will get less and less wrinkly. 

Previously, your baby was accumulating the brown fat it needed to regulate its body temperature. Now, white fat is depositing under its skin surface; this type serves as an energy source. When your baby is out in the world, this will be a crucial part of its little body.

Movement

Since your baby is simultaneously growing stronger and heavier, you will be feeling their pokes and jabs with a little more force. Their living space is decreasing, so you’ll be feeling their elbows and knees more than their kicking legs.

At this stage, when your baby moves, it’s likely because it is reacting to stimuli it receives. Whether that’s the sound of you or your partner’s voice, a barking dog, your movement, or some spicy food you ate for dinner.

Premature birth

A 29-week fetus has a high viability rate if born prematurely. From 29 to 30 weeks, the baby has a 90% chance of survival, as its organs are well developed at this point.

Your body at 29 weeks pregnant

baby bump week 29
Image by Germs on Unsplash

At week 29, you might feel a growing physical discomfort as your baby gets heavier and larger. But it’s for a good cause, as your baby is getting ready for life outside of the womb. If you’re wondering what to expect at 29 weeks, here are some things you can look out for.

  • Varicose veins. Around 20% of expecting mothers develop varicose veins at some point. Your blood volume increases during pregnancy, and hormones, particularly progesterone, make your veins relax. This may result in varicose veins. 

In order to prevent or minimize them, try not to stand or sit for long periods of time, and get some daily movement and exercise. They will likely recede a few months after birth.

  • Constipation. The same pregnancy hormones that are relaxing your veins relax your muscles, including those in your bowels. This can cause you to become constipated. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat fibre-rich foods so your body can rid itself of waste.
  • Hemorrhoids. It’s possible that the increase in your blood flow can cause the veins in your rectum to bulge and pop out. To alleviate discomfort, use gentle wet wipes instead of toilet paper and drink lots of water.
  • Indigestion and heartburn. With your baby pushing on your organs, you might find yourself experiencing indigestion and/or heartburn. This will most likely affect you during the night, so avoid eating close to bedtime. 

Lying down allows your stomach acid to make its way up more easily since gravity isn’t helping to keep it down. And the weight of your little one will push the food and bile up.

Taking care of yourself when pregnant at 29 weeks

healthy breakfast
Image by Rene Lehmkuhl on Unsplash

As you take great care of your growing baby bump, you should always keep your own body in mind. After all, pregnancy is an endurance sport, and you need to ensure that you are as happy and comfortable as possible for the marathon. The healthier you are, the happier your baby will be.

  • Get enough movement. During the third trimester, restless legs syndrome (RLS) is very common. This, coupled with heartburn, possible leg cramps, insomnia, and the need to pee every few hours, can become rather frustrating. 

It is therefore very important for you to get enough movement and light pregnancy exercise during this time. It may not be able to prevent these symptoms altogether, but it will alleviate them.

  • Think about cord blood banking. Since you are in your third trimester and the birth of your baby is very much in sight, you should take some time to consider cord blood banking. If you’re not sure what this is – the blood in your baby’s umbilical cord contains stem cells that can be used to treat diseases like cancer.

This painless and safe procedure is done just after you give birth, and it takes only 5 minutes. Some donate it for those who need it, while others keep it in private storage in case it’s needed within their family at some point. It’s certainly something to be considered.

  • Get enough calcium. Your body and your baby need plenty of calcium throughout your pregnancy, but it may be even more important at this stage of your baby’s growth. Their bones are growing and becoming denser, so around 250mg of the calcium you consume goes directly to your baby.

If you don’t get enough calcium, your baby will get the calcium they need from your own bones. This can increase your risk of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, and possibly even premature birth. So be sure to keep your calcium intake up!

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