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WEEK 29: Eyes wide open
29 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy tips and nutrition

29 weeks pregnant: eyes wide open

So far baby’s eyes have been shut tight. But now at 29 weeks they’ll open and close and those new eyelashes will make their first flutters. There’s not much to see in the womb though, it’s pretty dark in there so it’s still mainly shut-eye.
    4-minutes read

    At a glance

    Baby’s eyes can open and shut now. Although they tend to stay shut

    How to fight water retention? Water. Drink plenty of it


    Leafy greens, meat, beans - iron-rich foods that can help maintain your red blood cell count

    Feet up mum. It can help combat swelling and varicose veins

    Baby's development at 29 weeks pregnant

    The size of your baby at 29 weeks is roughly cauliflower-sized and taking up more room in your tummy by the day. Expect to feel lots of kicking, rolling and wriggling but they won’t be squashed for long, the big wide world isn’t far away.

    Baby’s eyes can open now, but as there’s not much scenery in there they’ll be snoozing for up to 20 hours a day. Their retinas haven’t fully formed yet but their vision will come on leaps and bounds over the next few weeks and they’ll be able to notice changes in light through the lining of your stomach. By the time you’re holding baby in your arms, their sight will be good enough to see mummy’s face about 30cm away. Love at first sight? Oh yes.

    Changes in you and your body at 29 weeks pregnant

    Ankles disappearing? Rings tight on your fingers? Swelling in pregnancy is another normal side effect of having a baby. It’s caused by the extra fluid and blood in your body, which is needed to help soften and expand your uterus for labour. Symptoms increase later in pregnancy and can be affected by the heat. You might feel a bit puffy in your hands, face, legs, ankles and feet – it may not be your best look but it usually happens more in the evening especially if you’ve been on your feet all day.

    Normally you’ll wake up in the morning feeling swell-free, but if swelling remains or increases, contact the hospital so the possibility of pre-eclampsia can be ruled out.

    Varicose veins in pregnancy are another normal symptom due to extra blood flow and hormones. Many mums-to-be experience this side effect but thankfully it usually fades away after birth.

    Here’s a few ways to help with both:

    • Drink lots of water

    • Put your feet up when you can

    • Try and stay cool

    • Exercise

    • Avoid strappy shoes and heels

    Nutrition at 29 weeks pregnant

    Your blood volume has increased by about 1.5 litres since the beginning of your pregnancy. This is to make sure enough blood flows to the placenta.

    However, while plasma volume increases by about 50%, red blood cells only increase by around 30%. It could mean you develop anaemia, which is quite normal during pregnancy and nothing to worry about. If you are at all concerned speak to your GP.

    Try to drink plenty of water to replenish your total blood volume and eat iron-rich foods to help promote the production of red blood cells.

    Here are some foods rich in iron:

    • dark-green leafy vegetables, like spinach and curly kale

    • iron-fortified cereals or bread

    • brown rice

    • pulses and beans

    • nuts and seeds

    • meat, fish and tofu

    • eggs

    • dried fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins

    Planning your maternity leave?

    For a working mum, figuring out when to begin maternity leave is one of the big decisions.

    Should you take a few weeks to relax at home and prepare for baby? Or should you work until you ‘pop’? It’s likely you’ll want to spend as much time as possible with your newborn before heading back to work. Naturally it’s a personal choice and every mum-to-be has a different set of circumstances to consider. Here are some questions to consider:

    • Is your job very physical?

    • Are you on your feet all day at work?

    • Are your symptoms bearable at the moment?

    • Are you able to work from home sometimes?

    • Do you have a long journey into the office?

    For more information, here’s a trusty place to head to.

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