30 weeks pregnant
Even if you have a birth plan in mind, be prepared to be flexible
You may have firm thoughts about what you consider to be the ideal birth experience. However, keep an open mind because many factors can influence where and how your baby is born. There’s nothing unusual in a woman changing her mind, even after her labour has actually started. Your healthcare team will expect you to ask a lot of questions about childbirth, so take advantage of their experience and expertise.
1.The baby spends much of his time asleep. Like children and adults, babies have a sleep pattern that includes a “dreaming” stage, when rapid eye movements (REM) can be recorded.
2.Some 25 per cent of babies are lying bottom first at this stage. Most of them turn before the end of pregnancy.
3.At 31 weeks the average crown to heel length is 41.1cm (16.2in) and the average weight is 1.5kg (3.3lb).
4.The legs may be crossed or even curled up on top of the head at times but there is still space for them to be stretched out fully.
5.The blood in the umbilical cord contains stem cells, contains stem cells, which have the ability to develop into specific body cells such as those forming blood, or brain, or muscle tissues.
At 31 weeks, you’re getting closer to meet your little one. Be patient as it will be all worth it. By this week your baby should weigh approximately 1.6-1.8 kgs.
What are you about to experience?
You may be feeling breathless off late because your expanding uterus is putting pressure on your lungs, making it harder for you to breathe. Good news: your remaining journey is likely less than 10 weeks from its fabulous conclusion.
Your uterus is also pushing against your bladder; as a result, you may feel like you have to urinate frequently.
Your baby’s development
Your baby is growing longer and getting heavier day by day. He/she is looking more like a typical newborn infant, as more fat is settling under the skin.
Your baby can now turn his/her head from side to side, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. The good news: all this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy!
Changes in you
Many of the symptoms you’re likely to experience this week have probably been bothering you for a few weeks already.
- Frequent urination: Your uterus puts more pressure on your bladder in the third trimester, giving it less room to store urine. Pee whenever you feel the need. Do not hold onto pee for long. Holding pee exposes you to UTI.
- Insomnia: This is another common third-trimester woe, caused by any of the following: leg cramps, heartburn, frequent urination or anxiety. If stress and anxiety keeps you tossing and turning all night, talk it out with your partner during the day.
- Varicose Veins: Your growing uterus is also putting pressure on your blood vessels, which along with increased blood volume leads to varicose veins. Take a walk during the day to make sure you get blood circulation boost.
If leg cramps and back pain become unbearable, consider finding a massage therapist who specializes in prenatal massage.
Constipation can be a pain, literally. Eat a high fibre diet that includes fruits, vegetables, breakfast cereals, whole grain breads, and bran to prevent constipation. You can also try a pro-biotic yogurt to ease the digestion process.
Did you know that walking, swimming, and other moderate exercise for 20-30 minutes three-four times a week can change your mood and help stimulate the bowels? But do not start on a new exercise regimen at this stage if your body is not used to it. It can lead to injuries and complications. It’s the best time to spend some quality time with your partner and go for a long walk with a him or a friend.
Nutrition for you
A healthy diet during pregnancy is critical for the growth of the baby. That doesn’t mean you completely cut out your favourite foods. Moderation is the key.
- Frequent small meals: Eating frequent small meals not only pumps a steady stream of nutrients to your baby, it also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so you don't feel dizzy or low in stamina all of a sudden.
- Fruits and veggies: Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. You also get a healthy dose of fibre that can help prevent constipation. Space out the intake and ensure you a variety of fruits and vegetables in a day. Remember to wash them very well before eating.
- Colostrum leak: If you notice a yellowish or creamy substance leaking from your breasts, don’t worry. This substance is called colostrum or pre-milk. Colostrum is the first stage of breast milk that occurs during pregnancy and lasts for several days after the birth of your baby. It is thicker than the milk that is produced later in breastfeeding. Not all women leak colostrum, but it is considered normal either way. It’s best to invest in some breast pads as they will come handy once the baby is born too.
- Hemorrhoids (Piles): The third trimester is also a time when you may experience haemorrhoids (also known as piles), which are swollen (and usually painful) veins near the rectum. If you have to sit for long periods of time, try to get up and walk around frequently to take some pressure off your backside. Constipation can make hemorrhoid pain worse, so make sure you’re consuming enough fibre and water each day.
What do the experts suggest?
“You may start to feel Braxton-Hicks contractions this week, if you haven’t already begun experiencing them. These harmless contractions occur when the uterus tightens. They are simply practice contractions that get your body ready for delivery. These contractions usually last a minute or two, but if they last longer than that or are becoming more frequent, check with your doctor or go to a hospital. It may be a sign of early labour.”
Dr. Sangeeta Malhotra
CGHS Maternity and Gynea Hospital, Delhi
Let’s hear what moms have to say.
Though you may sometimes feel low because of the pregnancy symptoms, you are not all alone. Some more moms have shared their experience with us here.
“I suffered from a really bad backache during my last trimester and it worsened when I was nearing my delivery. Do not apply any ointment like Moov without discussing with your doctor. I regularly applied a hot water bottle for 10-15 minutes before sleeping which gave me relief,” shares Shivani Khanna.
“I was still going to work and work demanded me to be seated in front of my laptop for long hours. I was developing swelling in my feet because of this. So, I placed a small footstool under my desk, and ensured that I got up and walked around the office every one hour. Gradually people in the office also got used to seeing me doing rounds of their workstations. They were quite supportive,” says Shilpa Sharma, who recently delivered her baby.
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Summer: Prickly heat rash can be caused by both heat and sweat. It mostly occurs where two skin surfaces have rubbed against each other, such as beneath your breasts. Prevent the rash by drying the area between the skin folds immediately after a bath. Also wear lighter fabrics, such as cotton that will not cling to your body.
Monsoon: Craving for the gol-gappas and aloo chaat? Street foods are unhygienic especially during rains, so it is always better to stay away from them. You should avoid roadside food items as they are harmful for you and your baby’s health. To satisfy your cravings you can always make the healthy version of chaats at home.
Winter: Moisturise your skin straight after a bath. Keep off the winter blues by indulging in some reading, listening to music, or hanging out with friends. If you feel like having tea or coffee, choose healthier versions such as decaffeinated coffee (now easily available in most grocery stores), or green tea.