Guide to Being 30 Weeks Pregnant

A strong nesting instinct can kick in around the 30th week of pregnancy. Don't fight it; enjoy it! See more pregnancy pictures.
Hemera/Thinkstock

Well, you've made it to 30 weeks, another major mental milestone. You're three-quarters of the way there now! Even though you have 10 weeks left, just envision a quick countdown from 10, and boom, you'll be at your due date before you know it.

At 30 weeks, your nesting instincts might be starting to kick in, but you're using that energy to obsess over fun things like your registry and the baby's room. There's still plenty of time before you have to pack your hospital bag (although don't wait too long on this one). A good night's sleep might be a thing of the past because of your size at this point in the pregnancy, but again, a positive attitude is the key here. Think of it as prime time to catch up on quality late-night (and early morning) TV.

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So what's going on with your bundle of joy this week? Read on to find out.

What You Might Be Feeling

The top of your uterus is 4 inches above your navel at this point, and you're probably gaining about a pound a week as you enter the homestretch.

So many things start to feel like no-win situations in the third trimester. You're becoming more and more exhausted, but you might be too uncomfortable to sleep for long stretches. You're probably frequently hungry, but your compressed stomach and heartburn can make it difficult to do anything more than snack. Pregnancy hormones slow down your digestive system, which can lead to some not-so-pleasant side effects such as constipation. And your ever-growing uterus is putting pressure on everything around it, including your rectum, which can cause increased flatulence. One remedy for both of these annoying (and embarrassing) afflictions is to drink plenty of water, which, we know, will make you urinate more than you already have to.

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It's a vicious cycle, to be sure, but hydration is more important than anything, so just keep chugging water and reminding yourself that it's almost over! If possible, try to get most of your liquids in before 7 p.m. so you're not running to the bathroom all night.So what's your baby doing as you're chugging water all day and going to the bathroom all night?

What's Going On in Your Body

At this stage of your pregnancy, your baby's fingernails and toenails are fully formed!
At this stage of your pregnancy, your baby's fingernails and toenails are fully formed!
©iStockphoto.com/Carey Hope

This week, your baby weighs about 3 pounds and measures around 17 inches from head to toe. She'll gain half a pound or so every week for the next seven weeks.

Your baby can control her body temperature now, which means that she'll start losing her lanugo, the fine, downy hair that's been keeping her warm for the past few months. Her proportions are also becoming more like a newborn's; her head is no longer huge in comparison to the rest of her body, and her legs are lengthening quickly. Her eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails and toenails should be fully formed.

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As far as the baby's inner workings are concerned, her nerve fibers are now encased in myelin, which allows nerve impulses to zoom around her body much more quickly and efficiently. Her brain's surface, previously smooth, is becoming wavy and ridged (and more powerful). Her bone marrow is now doing all the blood production work.

Your baby still has quite a bit of room to grow in there, even though it might seem to you that the opposite is true. Hard to believe that she could gain 4 to 6 more pounds, isn't it?

What Your Partner Should Know

Hopefully you've included your partner in the baby registry process, and although a lot of the items might be used exclusively by you (hello, breast pump), there are plenty of things that your partner can have fun picking out. A baby carrier is one of them. Even if you're not planning to go the full-on baby-wearing route, a wrap carrier can be really useful, especially in the first few weeks of a baby's life. If your partner feels unsure about how to hold or comfort a screaming newborn, it's a no-brainer to snuggle the baby into a wrap carrier. They can be a little tricky to figure out, particularly the ones that are basically a big piece of cloth, but many people swear by them. At the very least, it's something to try!

Later, when your baby has a little more head control, you can move to a more structured carrier. Some people find that they need more back support as the baby gets heavier, so a carrier with a waist strap can come in handy. There's an incredible variety of brands out there now, so research is your friend when it comes to carriers. If you can, we suggest borrowing and testing at least one carrier to see what suits you and your baby.

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Some Things to Consider

Walking is a great low-impact exercise that you can do right up until you deliver.
Walking is a great low-impact exercise that you can do right up until you deliver.
©iStockphoto.com/Igor Stepovik

You're pretty much on cruise control at this point in the pregnancy, but here are a few things to keep in mind as you count down to 40 weeks:

  • Mild swelling, otherwise known as edema, is common in pregnancy, especially late in the game. Between 40 and 75 percent of pregnant women develop it, so it shouldn't be cause for concern. But, call your doctor if your swelling is extreme and lasts more than 24 hours, affects your hands or face, if you rapidly gain weight or develop high blood pressure. These could be signs of preeclampsia.
  • Back in the first trimester, you might have discovered it was a good idea to eat small meals throughout the day to combat nausea. Even if you were able to return to your old eating habits in the second trimester, you might now find that a sandwich and bag of chips for lunch is just too much to handle. Snacks and small meals could become your friend again in the final weeks.
  • Those wacky pregnancy hormones that are wreaking havoc on your digestive system are also working their strange magic on your joints, loosening and stretching your ligaments. So if you're still exercising regularly (and good job if you are!), you might want to scale back the intensity now that you're carrying more weight and possibly becoming more clumsy.

Don't Worry If…

Here's our handy-dandy list of the things you don't have to concern yourself with this week.

  • In utero hiccups: It might be a little alarming the first time you feel a tiny hiccup inside your body. But it's totally harmless. Some babies just hiccup in there, and they'll get over it in a few minutes. Some hiccup seemingly constantly, some do it occasionally and some never do. All normal.
  • Preterm labor: OK, technically this is something to worry about. Of course, you don't want to go into labor now, but as undesirable (and scary) as it would be to have a baby at 30 weeks, your baby would have an excellent chance of not only surviving but being perfectly healthy, albeit with a longer stay in the hospital.
  • On-time labor: Yes, it's scary. Yes, it's going to hurt. And yes, you can do it. You'll get through it, and you'll have a beautiful baby.
  • Your crib bumper doesn't quite match the rug in the nursery: Don't sweat it. Hey, at least you have a crib bumper and rug in there. Some of us never get that far.

For more information on pregnancy, take a look at the links on the next page.

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Sources

  • American Pregnancy Association. "30th week of Pregnancy." (June 7, 2011) http://www.americanpregnancy.org/weekbyweek/week30.htm
  • Baby Center. "Is it Safe?" (June 7, 2011) http://www.babycenter.com/is-it-safe
  • Baby Center. "Your Pregnancy: 30 Weeks." (June 7, 2011) http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-21-weeks_1110.bc
  • Baby Zone. "30 Weeks Pregnant: Tired of Being Pregnant?" (June 12, 2011) http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/week/article/30th-week-pregnancy-pg1
  • Discovery Fit & Health. "How to Calculate Your Pregnancy Due Date." (June 12, 2011) https://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/issues/10005-how-to-calculate-your-pregnancy-due-date.htm
  • iVillage. "30 Weeks Pregnant: Pregnancy Week-by-Week Guide." Sept. 11, 2007. (June 7, 2011) http://www.ivillage.com/30-weeks-pregnant-pregnancy-week-week-guide/6-a-144785
  • Kids Health. "Pregnancy Calendar: Week 30." (June 7, 2011) http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week30.html
  • Parenting. "3rd Trimester: Week 30." (June 7, 2011) http://www.parenting.com/pregnancy/timeline/third-trimester-week-30
  • WebMD. "Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 26-30." (June 7, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-26-30
  • What to Expect. "Week 30 of Pregnancy." (June 7, 2011) http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-30.aspx