Pregnancy week by week:
What to expect Week 29-32

Pregnancy Week by Week: What to Expect Week 29-32

The third trimester is a period characterized by some drastic pregnancy body changes. Your belly is heavy, causing you to feel constantly fatigued. The symptoms seem to be in high gear, and the discomfort may feel unbearable.

This guide in our Pregnancy Week by Week series will cover weeks 29 to 32. Some of the symptoms you may experience at this stage include varicose veins, migraines, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Your mind may also start to feel a little foggy as the increased hormones throw your memory out of whack.

At the same time, you are also dealing with breasts that are one or two cup sizes larger than you usually are. With the extra size comes lots of extra weight, and you want to make sure you get a good maternity bra to help you support it.

On the plus side, your little one’s kicks are now more frequent and intense, making a good time to start doing kick counts once or twice a day. If you notice any changes in frequency, make sure you communicate with your doctor immediately.

Week 29

What to expect for baby

By week 29, your little one is practically fully formed and able to survive outside the womb. However, in the coming weeks, they will focus on growing a little more, making sure all their organs are mature, and getting all cute and chubby.

The vernix, which is a waxy white substance that covers the skin and hair providing warmth, will start to disappear. The baby is now getting ready to come into the world in about 11 weeks.

What to expect for mom to be

As your baby grows, the uterus might start to push against the lungs. This can cause breathlessness, not to mention carrying their weight around can be tiring.

All the insomnia you’ve been experiencing can also get irritating. It can feel like your little one only wants to get active when you are trying to get some sleep. They have their schedule, which, more often than not, will not coincide with yours. It is, therefore, essential to track the baby's patterns so that you can plan your time accordingly.

By now, you can probably tell whether you have an active baby or a gentle one by how they kick and jab at you.

Consider getting a tour of your hospital’s delivery unit to familiarize yourself with it. Also, start packing a bag with the things you’ll need at the hospital just in case your baby decides to come early.

Tip of the week

You may need to start wearing nursing pads or a padded nursing bra as your breasts may start leaking some colostrum in the weeks to come. Colostrum is produced in preparation for breastfeeding.

Speaking of which, be sure to buy all the breastfeeding or pumping essentials you need to make the transition easier once your little one gets here. 

Week 30

What to expect for baby

Your baby is now at 3 pounds in weight and has a crown-rump length of 16 inches. Their eyes are starting to see the surroundings inside the womb. However, they still spend most of the time with their eyes closed.

The baby's smooth brain now starts to get grooves and indentations as it creates room for an increase in brain tissue. Since the newly formed fat cells now regulate the baby's body temperature, the lanugo will start to disappear.

What to expect for mom to be

During the third trimester, you experience rapid pregnancy body changes. Back pains will be extremely common due to all the weight your little one is gaining, so prepare yourself for them.

If you notice your feet are changing, do not be alarmed. Most of the swelling will go down post-delivery. That said, pregnancy can permanently alter the arch of your foot., so if this happens, don’t be alarmed.

It is normal to experience mood swings once in a while, as you have some anxieties and are generally exhausted. It is also common to experience some minor depression at this stage of your pregnancy. You might want to have a discussion with your doctor and partner about your emotions.

Tip of the week

Due to the swelling of your feet and a shift in your center of gravity, opt for a more comfortable pair of shoes, preferably flats, to prevent falling.

By week 30, your belly will be impossible to ignore. Every time you head out, try to enjoy the attention you get. You’ll inevitably meet people who do not think before they speak, just be sure not to pay them any mind and you’ll be fine.

Week 31

What to expect for baby

You might start to notice some patterns of wakefulness and movements as your little one now sleeps for longer periods.

Their brain is rapidly developing as connections between billions of nerve cells are built. They can now process information coming from the five senses. They can track light, taste, and smell some of the food in the amniotic fluid. They now spend their days making faces, hiccuping, swallowing, and moving their hands and feet along the uterine wall.

What to expect for mom to be

Your uterus now sits four inches above your belly button at this point as it swells, pushing other organs. Your stomach may start to feel as if it is in your chest. The congestion crowds the diaphragm area along with the lungs, making it difficult to expand and take deep breaths. This can make it harder to breathe especially when you move around a little. You may also get frequent shortness of breath.

Don't worry, though. It’s going to get better towards the end of the pregnancy as your little one starts to drop into the pelvis in preparation for evacuation from the uterus.

Tip of the week

Your neck might start to feel sore as you carry a lot of tension due to your modified posture. Tilt your head from side to side without raising your shoulders, hold for 3 seconds and then exhale. This will help relieve most of the tension in your neck.

While your little one is becoming smarter every day, you might find yourself dealing with a serious case of pregnancy brain. Don’t worry though, you just have a lot on your mind so if you are a little forgetful, that’s OK.

Week 32

What to expect for baby

A 32-week baby weighs about 4 pounds and is ready to be born at any time. They prepare to come out of the uterus by getting into the head-first position. However, don’t worry if your baby hasn't turned yet; some babies wait a little longer before getting into this position.

By now, you will notice that your little one gets startled when they hear a loud noise or when you make quick motions. This is called the Moro reflex. They are born with this reflex but it goes away after a few months. This marks the final stages of development.

What to expect for mom to be

Since the baby is starting to get a little cramped inside the uterus, you might feel a slight change in movement. The bold kicks are now replaced with nudges and wiggles.

You might also experience intense heartburn as pregnancy hormones tend to slow down digestion, causing stomach acid to accumulate and move up into the esophagus. Your uterus also causes heartburn as it puts pressure on your stomach. Heartburn occurs in 72% of all pregnant women in the third trimester.

Tip of the week

To mitigate the discomfort of heartburn, eat frequent meals in small portions and do not eat right before bed. Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly also helps.

Final Thoughts

Over the course of these four weeks, your bump is going to get about as big as it’s going to be. You may find yourself feeling awkward and uncoordinated because it takes some time to get used to it. Your balance will also be off because all the extra weight and the change in body shape will shift your center of gravity.

If you fall, don’t worry, the baby has plenty of padding to protect them inside the uterus. However, you should contact your doctor as soon as it happens so that they can determine the severity of the fall.

You should be glad that you are now only eight weeks away from meeting your little bundle of joy! All the discomfort you have experienced so far will soon come to an end and it’ll all be worth it!

Angelia Smith - Feb. 28 2022


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