Week Thirty: Baby puts on pounds
You are 30 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 28 weeks)
- Baby measurements are 16 inches and weighs about 3 pounds.
- Length is 40cm and your baby’s weight is 1.4 kilograms.
- The head is almost 3.5 inches (8cm) in diameter.
- The feet are nearly 2.5 inches (6cm) long.
- The wrinkled skin is becoming smoother now.
- The baby controls its own body temperature.
For several months, the umbilical cord has been the baby’s lifeline to the mother. Nourishment is transferred from the mothers blood, through the placenta, and into the umbilical cord to the fetus. Their bone marrow is now responsible for red cell production. These red blood cells will continue to service your child’s body by transporting oxygen and removing the wastes. Your baby begins storing iron, calcium and phosphorus.
The fetus now weighs about 3 pounds (1.4kg). He or she will gain about half a pound a week until week 38. Baby is getting fatter and beginning to control its own body temperature. Baby continues to put on fat stores and the major weight gains will occur in the coming weeks. Eyebrows and eyelashes are fully developed, and hair on the head is getting thicker. Head and body are now proportioned like a newborn.
Hands are now fully formed and fingernails are growing. Can be seen on ultrasound scans grasping their other hand or feet, this is helping with nerve development. Eyelids are opening and closing, and will often make rapid eye movements – a sign they could be dreaming.
You may be starting to experience some swelling of your ankles and legs. If you have not experienced any swelling yet, it is highly probable that you will, as approximately 40 to 75 percent of women experience mild swelling related to pregnancy.
Your uterus is now about 4 inches (10cm) above your bellybutton. It may feel like you are running out of room as your uterus grows up under your ribs. However, your fetus, placenta and uterus will continue to get larger, you still have 10 weeks to go. The average weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds (11.5 to 16kg). About half of this weight is concentrated in the growth of the uterus, the placenta, the baby and in the volume of amniotic fluid. At this point, you should be gaining about a pound (500 grams) a week.
It’s a busy week for your baby. Her bone marrow takes over production of red blood cells, meaning she’ll be better able to cope on her own when she’s born. She can also recognize your voice as distinct from other people’s. Research has shown that the fetal heart rate slows down when the mother speaks, suggesting that your baby not only hears and recognizes your voice, but is also calmed by it.
Your baby’s growth in length will slow down, but she’ll continue to gain weight and as that happens the volume of amniotic fluid that surrounds her, which is currently about 25 ounces, will gradually decrease. Also, the fine, downy hair (lanugo) that has covered her body is beginning to disappear as her fat stores increase and help to regulate her body temperature.
Her first bowel movement, known as meconium, is being formed in the intestines. It’s made up of various waste products including lanugo, mucous, amniotic fluid and old skin cells. She’ll pass it in the first 24 hours or so after birth, and it will be dark green and sticky!
Your baby’s about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it’s not very keen; even after she’s born, she’ll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she’ll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)
Baby’s now the size of a squash!
As baby’s skin smoothes out, her brain just keeps getting more wrinkled. All those grooves and indentations increase surface area, meaning more room for that oh-so-essential brain tissue. She’s also adding some brawn — her grip is now strong enough to grasp a finger.