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30 Weeks Pregnant


Image: Fetal Development At 30 Weeks

Your little one now measures about 39cm and weighs over 1kg. Baby’s head is getting longer to accommodate her developing brain. His face is not quite filled-out enough yet to get those adorable chubby baby cheeks.

Did you know that approximately 200g of calcium is fed into baby’s skeleton each day? Wow. Your little one’s nutritional needs are intensifying. Your appetite is increasing a lot to keep up with your baby’s big growth spurt, so try to avoid eating too much junk food even though it might be tempting. You need a lot of vitamin C, folic acid, protein, iron and obviously calcium.

Now is a good time to introduce some exercise that will help to stretch and limber up your body in preparation for the big day. Many women find pregnancy yoga enormously helpful. It can help ease leg cramps and aid you in learning to breathe deeply. Many instructors can also show you stretches that might aid you in getting to a comfortable position in labour. Pregnancy exercise classes can also be a great way to meet other mums-to-be.

You might want to think about giving yourself a treat right now. When the baby comes you’re unlikely to have time for things like facials and meals out so why not prod your partner to take you to a good restaurant or even treat you to a weekend in the countryside? You may find it takes the pressure off if you’re both a bit tired and stressed out.
My hands and feet are swollen. Is this normal?
Yes, don’t worry. Often your hands, feet and ankles will swell a bit in pregnancy because extra fluid is gathering under the skin (oedema). Also, your body’s fat distribution changes because of the extra oestrogen and cortisol (another steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands). Furthermore, your expanding womb puts pressure on your veins which can slow the return of blood from your legs, making it pool and forcing fluid from your veins into your feet and ankle tissues.

Swelling particularly affects women in their third trimester. It is often worse at the end of the day and in warm weather.

What can I do to help with swelling?

  • Drink water! Funnily enough, extra fluid helps with your fluid retention! Remember your body (especially your kidneys) and your little one need the hydration, so get guzzling.
  • Put your feet up whenever you can. For example if you work in an office, why not put a stool under your desk?
  • Stretch your legs regularly when seated. Extend your leg, heel first and then flex your foot gently. This stretches your calf muscles. Also wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles. Also avoid crossing your legs or ankles when sitting down.
  • Take frequent breaks from standing or sitting. Short walks can be helpful for keeping your blood circulating.
  • Get regular exercise. Walking, swimming or riding an exercise bike can be helpful. Many women also find water aerobics beneficial. Water immersion may help reduce swelling temporarily, especially if the water level is close to your shoulders.
  • Eat nutritious foods and keep away from junk food. (Well, that’s one more reason!)
  • Make room for the swelling with comfy, stretchy shoes.
  • Don’t wear stocking or socks with tight bands around the calves or ankles. Instead, why not give waist-high maternity stockings a go? Put them on in bed before you get up before your blood has a chance to pool around your ankles.
  • If it’s not uncomfortable for your skin, ask your partner or a friend to give your feet and ankles a massage, using upward strokes towards your knees. It can help to move the fluid away from your feet. Well, any excuse, hey?
  • Lie on your side in bed. This can help to ease the heightened pressure on your veins. Because the vena cava (one of the veins most affected) is on the right side, you’re best off lying on your left side.

The good news is that the swelling will fade after the birth. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid – so don’t be surprised if you pee and sweat a lot in the first few days post-delivery. But it means that in the future when you’re not busy nursing and changing nappies you can get those pretty shoes back on!

Are there ever instances of pregnancy swelling I should worry about?
Yes you should be mindful because the wrong sort of swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia – for example sometimes swelling in the face or more than slight swelling in your hands. If you experience sudden or excessive swelling in your ankles or feet this can also be a warning sign. The golden rule is if in doubt, check with your doctor or midwife.

Possible Scan at Week 30
A 3D Ultrasound is a special scan that shows the baby in three dimensions. This forms part of a 4D Scan. The 4D Scan has the additional dimension of time so that you see a moving image.

Many parents choose to have a scan in 3/4D because they’re curious to see their baby’s face and find that it really enhances the bond with their little one. Parents often find it reassuring, not to mention exciting – especially the prospect of showing their child a moving image of themselves in the womb in later years.

Possible Scan at Week 30
The purpose of a Well-being Scan is to check that the baby is growing well and that the pregnancy is developing normally. You may want to have this scan if your baby has been moving less, if you have had unusual tummy pains, light bleeding or if you have had some kind of accident (for example on the road or in a fall).

A Wellbeing Scan is particularly important if you have had pregnancy complications or problems in a previous pregnancy. This scan is usually only offered by the NHS if there is a complication with the pregnancy.

Possible Scan at Week 30
A Sexing Scan (also sometimes called a Gender Identification Scan) can be performed to find out the sex of your baby at this stage.

The baby will also be measured and your medical professional will assess his or her wellbeing. Sexing scans are highly reliable but can be more difficult if a woman is very overweight, or if the baby is in an unfavourable position.

Gender Scan or Sexing Scan

Gender Scan (Boy) Picture (Click image to enlarge)

Generally, if a healthcare professional is unsure about the sex of your baby they won’t guess. But thankfully it’s very unusual to be unable to determine the sex of the baby.