fetus at 30 weeks pregnant

Your baby at 30 weeks will now be the size of a cabbage. They are about 41cm from the top of their head to their heel (crown-heel length) and weigh approximately 1.4kg. 

30 weeks pregnant is how many months? 7 months! You only have 2 more to go, give or take a week or two. 

30 weeks pregnant baby weight and size compared to vegetable

Your baby at 30 weeks

Your belly is increasing in size, with your baby getting bigger and bigger each day. Babies at 30 weeks start focusing more on weight gain than in previous months. This means their wrinkly skin starts to lessen as they plump up nicely for survival in the outside world. 

If you’re wondering what to expect at 30 weeks pregnant, here are the key developments that your 30-week fetus will be going through. 

Brain development

Other than your little one’s cute baby fat coming in, another thing growing rapidly at this stage of pregnancy is your baby’s brain. Up to this point, their brain surface was somewhat smooth. From 30 weeks on, it starts to take on even more characteristic grooves and indentations. 

These changes allow their tiny brains to hold more tissue and cells. This is essential for their adaptation to life outside of your womb.  

Hiccups

Your baby has probably been getting hiccups for a while at this stage – they are most common in the third trimester. These rhythmic movements are contractions of the respiratory muscles and are an important part of growth as they stimulate brain development. 

Lanugo is disappearing

At this stage, your baby’s brain and new fat cells are helping to regulate their body temperature. This means that the fine layer of hair on their body (lanugo) is no longer needed. While most of it will disappear before birth, some babies are born with a bit of this ‘fur’ on their back, ears, and shoulders.  

Your body at 30 weeks pregnant

30 weeks pregnant belly
Image by Ryan Franco from Unsplash

Your body is going through many noticeable changes to accommodate your rapidly growing fetus in your third trimester. You may start to get some of the symptoms you experienced in early pregnancy again. Whether this is the case, or you’re one of the lucky unaffected ones, it is normal. 

  • Heartburn. Feeling like you have a hot flame thrower in your chest is one of the most common and uncomfortable pregnancy ailments. Your food and digestive juices push up into your throat and chest, assisted by your ever-growing uterus. This makes for the perfect fiery combo. 

Want to know how to combat this? Avoid spicy, fatty, and acidic foods, and consume smaller meals at a time. You should also avoid laying down directly after eating.

  • Braxton Hicks. If you feel an uncomfortable tightness in your abdomen, you may be experiencing what is called Braxton Hicks or practice contractions. These are a sign that your body is practicing for labor and gearing up for the big day.

They can become stronger as your due date draws near and often occur later in the day, especially if you’re tired or dehydrated. Unlike actual labor contractions, Braxton Hicks are irregular and infrequent and should decrease when you change positions.

  • Stretch marks and itchy skin. As your belly grows and expands, your skin is becoming increasingly stretched. This results in dryness and itchiness. Gently apply oil or moisturizer to help with this and stay well-hydrated. 

It’s also helpful to eat vitamin-C rich foods to keep toned skin and focus on nutrition so as to avoid sudden bursts of weight gain.

  • Edema. If you’re noticing that it’s getting harder to tie your shoelaces or simply fit into your shoes at all, it’s likely that you have the very common pregnancy symptom of edema. This is the medical term for the swelling of your feet, hands, and ankles due to the increased blood flow and excessive water retention during pregnancy. 

This can be uncomfortable but is totally normal. If you have experienced speedy weight gain, you may also see more swelling in your ankles. It may be time to hit the shops for some comfier shoes. 

You can also relieve swelling by kicking your feet up, staying hydrated, avoiding tight clothing, and doing some pregnancy-friendly exercises

Taking care of yourself when 30 weeks pregnant

healthy almonds
Image by Ignacio F from Unsplash

As you draw closer and closer to your due date, you may start to feel anxious. It’s important to pay attention to your health -mentally and physically, for both you and your baby’s benefit. Here are some of the top tips and advice for taking care of yourself in week 30 of pregnancy.

  • Pay attention to your calcium intake. Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is important for your baby’s growth in general. However, a specific nutrient to look out for is calcium. This essential mineral helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. 

You need 1,000mg of calcium daily. It’s commonly found in foods like dairy, almonds, and dark leafy greens, or in the form of supplements.

  • Prioritize your Kegels. Doing Kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor, which supports your uterus, bladder, and bowels. It also eases postpartum difficulties like hemorrhoids and urinary issues. 

Attempting these are not complicated. Simply tense the muscles around your vagina as if you were stopping urine flow, and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this in 3 sets of 20 a few times a day. These will serve you well in labor, birth, and postpartum life.

  • Use pillows to stay upright. Your growing baby will undoubtedly begin to push on your diaphragm to the point of leaving you breathless. You may find yourself feeling winded even after doing no physical exertion. 

The best way to combat this is to sleep in a semi-seated position. You can also use pillows to prop yourself up during the night. This will alleviate the shortness of breath and the possible heartburn you may be experiencing.

Click here for pregnancy at 29 weeks

Click here for pregnancy at 31 weeks

View our articles, competitions and promotions on BabyYumYum for all things parenting. SA's #1 Parenting Portal.