This week is a great milestone because you now look and feel pregnant. The good days of pregnancy are still on because negative symptoms have not fully set in. However, be sure that pains and aches will keep intensifying with time.
By the 29th week, the baby has reached 15 inches in length and weighs about 2.5 pounds. Most of the organs have developed and are racing to maturity through cells multiplication and differentiation.
Brain: The brain continues maturing with the early development of neurons and connecting with various sections. The brain surface is also developing groves so that it gets a rugged shape similar to that of an adult. In the coming weeks, millions of neurons will be developed so that the brain can start its complex work of coordinating later growth, intelligence, and even memory.
Sleep-wake-cycle: Unlike in the previous weeks, sleep-wake-cycle is now well coordinated and you can easily follow it. However, most of the time will be spent sleeping and dreaming. Well, do not start thinking what the baby is dreaming about because there is no way of telling it.
Lanugo development: Even as fat keeps developing, the baby is still exposed to cold. To counter this, lanugo and vernix cover all parts except hands, face, and feet. Lanugo goes through a short cycle of generation and shedding off into the amniotic sac. Most of the lanugo will be shed off the last week to delivery because the baby will have developed an adequate protective layer of fat.
Baby’s bones: For the last couple of weeks, the bones have continued to harden and give the baby the human shape it has by the 29th week. As the skin continues packing more fat, the bones keep hardening through addition of calcium and phosphorous. The skull continues to harden but will still be soft until the last weeks to make it easy to pass via the birth canal. Other bones will still pack calcium but faster hardening will only take place the last days and after delivery.
By the 29th week, your body has kept pace with the growing baby and has reached 22.5-23 pounds. You can anticipate adding about 10 pounds more before delivery. However, this can change slightly for plus sized and petite bodied women.
As you embark on the final phase of pregnancy, getting the right nutrition is very critical. This is because most of the organs that are maturing require specific nutrients. For example, the hardening bones will require more calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. The immune system is also maturing and will require a lot of omega-3 fats, vitamins, and essential minerals.
Some of the best foods to consider starting from week 29 should have quality proteins, vitamins, and carbs such as legumes, fish, meat, cheese, eggs, and grains. Other foods to consider include peanut butter, black beans salad, and jelly sandwiches rich in proteins.
In every meal, you must ensure there is ample supply of calcium because the baby relies on it for ossification. In the third trimester, calcium will be critical in the formation of skull, bones, ribs, backbone and different ligaments. Well, you do not want any of these parts to be poorly developed! Therefore, take foods that are rich in calcium.
Because all the food you take will still go through the digestive system, including a lot of fibers will help to promote better digestion and absorption. Fibers will also help to reduce the problem of constipation in the third trimester. Always remember to take meals in small portions to ease digestion reduce constipation and heartburn problems.
It is estimated that about 25% of all pregnant mothers develop RLS during their third trimester. This is a unique condition that gives you an irresistible need to move the legs. Some women describe this as crawling or upper leg. At times, the sensation could be accompanied by cramping and light pain. To get some temporary relief, massage the legs firmly before waking up.
Though the symptoms are less noticeable especially during daytime, it can be more bothersome especially at night and evening. The severity of the problem differs from one mother to another and can come in the form of simple discomfort to very painful experiences. RLS could make pregnancy time very difficult and intensify fatigue and exhaustion. Though the cause of the problem is unknown, experts think that it as a result of lack of folic acid and hormonal changes.