The countdown has almost begun. You are now three quarters of the way through your pregnancy and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the remaining 10 weeks will go by. What once seemed so far away is really getting closer with every day which passes.
That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard
By now you are probably feeling a bit of an emotional shift within yourself. You’re starting to notice other pregnant women, babies and young children and taking an interest in other women’s pregnancy experiences. Even if your own pregnancy was not planned or came as a surprise, by 30 weeks the dawning realisation that you too, will soon be a mother has descended upon you. Even if you don’t usually show your emotions, by 30 weeks pregnant you may be. Watching the news or listening to sad stories can prompt a surge of empathy and a fresh batch of tears. Somehow, the human experience seems so much more intense and personal when you’re pregnant. This does not mean you are a candidate for post-natal depression or at more risk than any other new mother. It is completely normal to feel more emotionally fragile at this stage. Nature has a way of softening mothers so that they can be more sensitively attuned to their babies and better able to nurture them.
Your physical changes this week
- You could want to wee more frequently from now on. Your baby is getting bigger and its close vicinity to your bladder i.e. on top; means that it won’t take much urine volume to make you feel uncomfortable. Try not to rush out of the toilet too quickly though. It’s important to completely empty your bladder each time you go, to avoid the risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
- Night time insomnia may plague you now, despite how tired you are when you go to bed. This is a common condition in the third trimester and there is little which can be done about it. Other than trying to keep a regular pre-bed routine, avoiding caffeine in the afternoons, aiming for a quiet wind down before bed and ensuring a supportive, comfortable bed most women find there is little else they can try. Some white noise, such as a whirling fan or playing some relaxation music can be helpful. Sedation is not recommended during pregnancy and taking sleeping tablets can be too risky. Instead, try a milk drink, experiment with lots of pillows in your bed, lie on your side and rest your upper leg on a long pillow.
- You may be troubled by varicose veins in your legs now. They are not helped by the pressure of your uterus on the major blood vessels in your pelvis. Unfortunately, they are likely to get worse before they get better. Watch your weight gain and elevate your legs and feet whenever you can. There is usually relief of varicose veins after birth, though some women can continue to experience them.
Your emotional changes this week
- If you are still working, you may be feeling as if you are dragging the chain a little. It’s getting hard to focus on other people’s agendas, even if they are paying you to be interested, somehow it may not seem enough. If you are working full time, you could consider dropping to part time until you go on maternity leave. Ask your manager about working from home or doing another, less taxing job for the remaining few weeks. A certificate from your doctor may be necessary if you’re considering going onto lighter duties.
- If you have older children to look after, you won’t be able to take a break. Try to have an afternoon rest if you can and synchronise a lie down when the children do. Negotiate with your partner about sharing the children’s care so you can have some time off. Fatigue can lead to emotional meltdowns for everybody in the household.
- Keep your partner up to date with what you’re feeling. You’ve been pregnant for a while now and his initial delight may have turned just a little ho hum. Aim to go to antenatal appointments together and talk with him about the sort of dad you see him being. His relationship with the baby is so important and like your own, has started from the moment you conceived.
- Having trouble staying focused? If you are studying you’ll find your mind wandering anywhere but on your books. Concentrating on the task at hand can take some mental strength when you’re in your 3rd trimester. If you’re procrastinating and finding every excuse to do something other than what you should be, try using an egg timer as a prompt. Make a deal with yourself that you’ll focus for an hour and then have a break. It really works!
Your baby’s changes this week
- Your baby is around 43 centimetres this week, from its crown to its rump and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. From now until the next few weeks your baby will literally pack on weight. Enjoy your food and take pleasure in it. You can eat anything in moderation and that includes the occasional treat. If you’re craving particular foods, give in to them. If you don’t you’ll find they are all you can think about.
- More fat is forming under your baby’s skin and it is starting to look rounder and less frail than it has been. The loose folds of skin over its limbs and body are being filled out from the inside until by birth, their skin will be smooth and even a little plump.
- Your baby’s brain has grown and their nervous system is almost mature. At birth, they will have millions of neurons just waiting for lots of loving interaction and stimulation from you, to help them form the synapses, which will link the neurons together. Don’t wait until your baby is born before you start communicating with him or her. Talking, singing, massaging your tummy and visualising what your baby will look like will all help you form an early emotional connection. Think about keeping a pregnancy journal for the last few weeks. Looking back on this in the years to come will give you and your child something special to share.
- Your baby may be lying any which way this week, head up, head down, to the side and even across your belly. The opportunity for it to do complete somersaults is quickly disappearing as it continues to grow and take up space in your uterus.
- Your baby’s fingernails are almost at the end of its fingertips this week. Some babies’ need their nails cut in the first few days after birth, otherwise they scratch their little faces.
Tips for Week 30
- Make a list of questions for when you go to your antenatal appointments. Having pregnancy brain can cause your brain to be as retentive as a sieve. Forgetting what seemed so important can cause you to feel frustrated and angry with yourself. Instead, jot down the queries you have as they crop up. Never feel embarrassed to ask your health care provider a question. You can be guaranteed it’s been asked a million times before.
- Now is the time to boost your knowledge and build your own, early philosophies on how you want to raise your baby.
- Start preparing the baby’s nursery by organising the cot, baby bath and clothing. It may still be a little early to do the big wash and fold but there’s so much delight to be had in sorting out those tiny sizes. Make sure your relatives with knitting skills know there’s a baby coming and it’s going to need some booties.