In this article
Week 29 marks a milestone in pregnancy since it is the beginning of the 3rd trimester. This also serves as the very last trimester of the journey.
The mother in week 29
As the soon – to – be mother’s belly is big enough that she cannot see her legs anymore when she stands up. In addition to that, her appetite increases to meet the unborn baby’s 3rd trimester growth spurt.
Week 29 symptoms
Varicose veins become visible
Varicose veins are a network of blue, purple and pink veins found largely in the legs. These veins become visible while a woman is pregnant due to the following reasons:
- Swollen blood vessels
- Veins are having a hard time working against gravity to push the blood flow back up towards the heart
- Increased blood volume
- Expanding uterus which pressures the pelvic veins
- Relaxed veins due to the presence of progesterone and relaxin
Although the visibility of varicose veins is known to be painless, in some rare cases, some women find varicose veins painful and uncomfortable.Pregnancy week by week
Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
Did you know that about 15% of soon – to – be mothers experience restless leg syndrome? RLS is the tingling sensation which radiates from the legs down the feet. Furthermore, here are the various theories which suggest the causes of the symptom:
- Iron deficiency
- Sensitivity to certain types of foods
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Expectant mothers are prone to having urinary tract infection (UTI) in the 3rd trimester.
Colon congestion (widely known as constipation) happens when the gastrointestinal muscles relaxed due to the presence of progesterone. As a result, the bowel movement slows down which leads to colon congestion.
Moreover, the expanding uterus takes up the space which is normally occupied by the bowels.
On the brighter side, colon congestion enables the nutrients more time to be absorbed in the bloodstream. This then allows more of the nutrients to reach the unborn baby.
Hemorrhoids (also called as piles) are varicose veins in the rectal wall. These occur when the growing baby adds some pressure on the digestive system. Aside from that, the pregnancy hormones (estrogen and progesterone) relax the gastrointestinal muscles.
Fast – growing hair and nails
Hair and nails tend to grow faster during pregnancy due to the following causes:
- Increased blood circulation
- Pumped up metabolism
Migraine or pregnancy headache stems from a lot of causes such as:
- Change in the nerve pathways
- Serotonin (a brain chemical which regulates pain in the nervous system) imbalance
- Over – fatigue
- Loud noises
- Glaring lights
Pregnancy – induced brain fog
Pregnancy – induced brain fog (commonly known as forgetfulness) happens because a mother’s brain cell volume decreases to develop the unborn baby’s brain.
Insomnia triggers at week 29 due to the strong and hard fetal movements that is keeping a soon – to – be mom awake.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are the irregular tightening of the uterine muscles which begin at week 6 and lasts until the weeks before child labor. Furthermore, here are the following sources of Braxton Hicks contractions:
- Full bladder (frequent trips to the bathroom)
- Sexual intercourse
Itchy breasts and belly
The skin tends to become itchy since it stretches out to its extreme (particularly on the breasts and belly part) to accommodate pregnancy.
Fetal development in week 29
By week 29, the baby – in – waiting’s demand for nourishment reaches its peak. By this stage, about 200mg of calcium is being absorbed in the baby’s skeleton every day. Aside from that, here are the fetal developments which take place this week:
- The baby – in – waiting stretches for about 15.2 – 16.7 inches, he is getting very close to his birth length (he would be between 15 – 17 inches if he could stand inside the womb). Plus, he tips the scales roughly at 2.5 – 3.8 pounds. At week 29, his physique is beginning to plump up.
- If a soon – to – be mom carries a girl, her clitoris appears prominently at week 29 since her labia majora is not big enough to cover it yet. The labia will cover the clitoris during the last few weeks after childbirth. If she expects a boy, his testicles already descended to his kidneys through the groin moving near the scrotum.
- Adrenal glands are beginning to produce androgen and estrogen. These hormones stimulate the body’s milk production.
- The unborn baby is getting a little cramped inside the womb since he is growing rapidly. Having said that, he constantly moves inside and the mother strongly feels his jabs and kicks which is painful for her part.
- His head gets bigger to make room for his developing brain. In line with this, his fully functioning senses give him the ability to react to sound and light.
- Skeletal system continues to harden and mature. As a result, stronger jabs and kicks can be felt. Even if he is still inside the uterus, did you know that it is important that his bones are being flexed? Flexible bones are necessary during child delivery. If he has flexible bones, his cranium plates which are not fused together can move easily towards the upper and center part of his forehead. These cranium plates are referred to as the newborn’s soft spot since his head can easily be pushed through the birth canal if his plates are flexible and movable. On the contrary, if his skull is hard and immovable, a mother is likely to undergo cesarean.
- White fat (mother’s fat) is deposited underneath the skin’s surface (epidermis). Because of that, his wrinkled and saggy skin is smoothing out. In line with this, he will be experiencing an energy surge as he chubs out. This fat is different from the primary fat (brown fat) accumulated in his early weeks. Brown fat is responsible for the regulation of his body temperature while white fat is his primary source of energy beginning at week 29.
- He is beginning to have hiccups which feel like subtle twitches to the mother’s part. Do not worry since these irregular taps are painless.
- The buds of his permanent teeth are beginning to sprout in his gum line.
Pregnancy tips for week 29
An expectant mother finally reaches week 29, the beginning of the 3rd trimester. In order for her to finish the very last trimester without any complications, she must consider doing the following things:
Things to do during the 29th week of pregnancy
Wear breast pads
Expectant mothers are required to wear breast pads since they tend to leak colostrum (baby’s primary food) at week 29.
Take a Group B Strep Test
Did you know that about 10 – 30% pregnant women are infected with group B Streptococcus (GBS). This bacterium can be passed down the child during the time of its birth. It is usually present in the reproductive and digestive tracts.
Expectant mothers are required to take a Group B Strep test between weeks 35 – 37 or if she experiences preterm labor. If not treated, group B streptococcus may cause some serious disorders and/or disabilities to the baby.
Babies who are delivered naturally are in higher risks of being infected with GBS compared to those who are born in c – section (cesarean).
As per the testing, here is how Group B Streptococcus is performed:
- The doctor will swab the vagina and rectum to gather samples
- The samples will be grown using a special substance
- Once the samples have grown, the doctor will be able to check if there is any presence of GBS (the results will appear after 2 days)
Take a warm bath
Taking a warm bath (or shower) for at least 10 -15 minutes eases the pain and discomfort of various pregnancy symptoms such as:
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Restless leg syndrome
Stay well – hydrated
Staying well – hydrated while pregnant brings a lot of benefits to the female body such as:
- Formation of amniotic fluid
- Production of extra blood
- Builds new tissues
- Carries nutrients easily towards the baby
- Aids in indigestion
- Flushes out body toxins
- Cleans byproduct substances
- Prevents constipation
- Prevents the formation of hemorrhoids
- Keeps skin soft and moisturize
- Reduces edema
- Lowers the chances of premature labor
- Prevents urinary tract infection (UTI)
Aside from drinking water, here are the best alternatives to stay well – hydrated:
- Sparkling water
- At least 5 servings (equivalent to 2 servings) of fruit and/or vegetables produce
Wear a support hose
A support hose hinders the downward pressure of the belly and gives the veins an upward push. A support hose is recommended to wear immediately before getting out of bed.
Sleep or lie on the left side
Sleeping or lying on the left side of the body (and never at the back) avoids putting pressure on the major blood vessels. As a result, the blood circulation flows smoothly.
Witch hazel extract
To soothe the stingy pain of hemorrhoids, slather on some witch hazel extract.
Donut – shaped pillow
Consider purchasing a donut – shaped pillow during pregnancy. Sitting and/or laying on a donut – shaped pillow eases the pressure of uncomfortable sitting.
A daily dose of vitamin c
Taking vitamin c daily aids in the production of collagen and elastin, these are connective tissues which repairs and maintain blood vessels.
What to avoid in Week 29
Engaging in vices is strictly prohibited for expectant moms since it is very dangerous for both the mom and the baby. Here are the following vices to be avoided:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Taking recreational drugs
- Taking sleeping pills
Substances with caffeine content
Substances which have caffeine content should be avoided while a woman expects a baby. Caffeine is a drug that triggers the passing of urine plus, it disrupts the sleeping cycle of both parties. Apart from coffee, here are the following substances with caffeine:
- Some tea
- Low calorie colas with aspartame or saccharine
- Energy drinks
- Soft drinks
Did you know that applying nail polish while pregnant could bring harm to the unborn baby? Nail polish which contains the 3 toxic chemicals below may cause the following problems:
- DBP (dibutyl phthalate) – hormone – production problems
- Toluene – reproductive complications, headaches, and itchy eyes
- Formaldehyde – breathing problems and cancer