30 weeks pregnant: getting to know your baby
Getting to know your baby is becoming easier. That’s because they’re able to respond much more to your touch and voice which means you two can start developing a really special bond.
At a glance
Pat or rub your tummy… you may receive a little reply
Keep Vitamin C on the menu to improve your iron absorption
Worried about using your phone? There’s no solid evidence to say it’s harmful
Now’s a good time to review your maternity leave plans with your employer
Baby's development at 30 weeks pregnant
The size of your baby at 30 weeks is similar to that of a medium pumpkin. From top to bottom they’re about 39.9cm long and weigh roughly three pounds. (Or, 1.4kg if you prefer.) For the next seven weeks they’ll be gaining half a pound or so per week. It’s not all gain though. By now they’re losing their lanugo, the soft hair covering their body that keeps them warm.
Baby’s body parts are becoming more proportional now, although the head will still be quite large compared with the rest of the body. Inside the head the surface of baby’s brain is beginning to show wrinkles, called convolutions, which enable the brain to hold even more clever brain cells.
Along with the brain, baby’s sight, hearing, and taste senses are becoming more sophisticated. This means baby will be more aware of light and movement outside the womb, and also be able to send tiny responses to your tummy pats and strokes. Try different stimuli, like your favourite music or your partner’s voice, to trigger movements or an increased heart rate so you know baby is paying attention.
With life becoming more cramped in your womb you’ll feel fewer hard kicks than you used to. But you might feel a different, jumpier kind of movement. This could be baby’s first hiccups, which usually happen when they’ve swallowed too much amniotic fluid while practising breathing. It’s all normal.
Changes in you and your body at 30 weeks pregnant
Unfortunately, any energy you may have enjoyed in the second trimester has probably gone by now and your growing baby will be making you more tired. Coping with fatigue means asking your partner, family and friends to lend a hand with any chores you need doing.
What’s more, some of the early pregnancy symptoms may return for another, unwelcome, visit. So, you may find yourself needing to wee all the time. This is because baby’s head is pressing on your bladder. Resist the temptation to drink less, you need to stay hydrated, but avoid caffeine and don’t drink just before you go to bed. Running to the toilet every five minutes can be annoying but it’s a totally normal part of pregnancy.
Tender breasts may also make a reappearance due to increased milk production. Again, this is normal but it can be irritating. Reduce the tenderness by making sure your breasts are well supported. A few tips include, making sure your bra fits properly; wearing a sports bra; wearing your bra in bed; wearing softer fabrics; using breast pads; or soothing sore breasts with cooled cabbage leaves.
Nutrition at 30 weeks pregnant
First things first, you need to rest as much as possible. The best diet in the world will be less effective if you’re worn out. Talking of food, give it plenty of thought, especially fruit and veg. They’re great sources of vitamin C which helps protect your cells and veins as well as improving iron absorption. Iron is vital to replenish red blood cells to help prevent anaemia.
Let’s talk about phones baby
In our tech-mad world we increasingly rely on our smart phones to stay in touch with friends and family, get work done and keep track of what’s going on around us. Now you’re pregnant your phone is ideal for making shopping lists, notes of appointments, directions to antenatal classes, or just photos of the latest prams and buggies. You can even listen to those meditation apps we recommend.
But does all this screen time have an impact on your growing baby? So far, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest your baby is at risk from mobile phone radio waves despite a few alarming headlines in the press. Of course, more studies need to be done but the current advice is that there’s no need to worry.
This is also a great time to review your maternity leave plans. According to Citizens Information, you can choose to start your leave at any time during or after week 29 of your pregnancy. However, your leave will start automatically if you're off work for any reason to do with your pregnancy from the 37th week. Remember to discuss your plans with your employer as terms can vary.