Week 29 of Your Pregnancy

A look at your body, your baby, and more

Welcome to week 29 of your pregnancy. Feel free to let out a sigh of relief: If your baby comes early, he or she now has a greater than 90 percent chance of living a long and healthy life with the help of quality NICU care.

week 29 pregnancy highlights
Illustration by Verywell 

Your Trimester: Third trimester

Weeks to Go: 11

Verywell Checklist

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Continue drinking about eight to 12 glasses of water a day.
  • Continue doing your Kegel exercises daily.
  • Review your calcium intake and make changes if needed.
  • Discuss your partner’s role in labor and birth.

Symptoms This Week

At 29 weeks, you’re entering the most physically—and often the most emotionally—challenging period of pregnancy. The literal heft of your baby weighs on your body.

By now, you’ve likely put on roughly 19 to 25 pounds, and the emotional load of your impending birth and parenthood very likely weighs on your brain. In addition, aches, ouches, and impeded sleep may be on the rise.

A pregnant mother needs to increase her blood volume by 50 percent in order to adequately oxygenate and provide nutrition to her developing baby, and this is especially true right now. You’re rapidly using up iron, an essential part of hemoglobin in red blood cells, in order to make blood for your baby and yourself.

If you’re feeling unusually dizzy and tired, those might be signs of related iron deficiency or anemia. Mention such symptoms to your doctor.

Finally, baby’s kicks are a regular part of your day, with you feeling movement at least 10 times in two hours.

Your Baby's Development

Your baby-to-be is now over 14½ inches long and weighs 2¾ pounds, and he or she is rapidly growing. In fact, during the last two and a half months of your pregnancy, your baby will gain about half of his or her birth weight.

Also getting bigger: baby’s muscles, lungs, and his or her head, which needs to expand to accommodate baby’s swiftly developing brain.

In other news: Baby is starting to regulate his or her own body temperature.

Self-Care Tips

Eating a healthy and balanced diet throughout pregnancy is important, and it remains so even in the home stretch. In fact, right now, roughly 250 milligrams of your dietary calcium is being deposited directly into your baby’s developing bones—and this continues throughout the rest of your pregnancy. Plus, calcium is also needed to help baby’s teeth, heart, nerves, and muscles develop.

The thing is, when you don’t have enough calcium in your diet (1,000 milligrams a day), your baby will get the calcium he or she needs by taking it from your bones. Inadequate calcium can increase your risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure) and your baby’s risk of low birth weight.

Aim for at least three servings of calcium-rich food a day, such as:

  • Plain low-fat yogurt (4 oz, 310 mg)
  • Fortified almond or soy milk (8 oz, 300 mg)
  • Skim, low-fat, or whole milk (8 oz, 300 mg)
  • Sardines, canned with bones (3 oz, 325 mg)
  • Tofu (4 oz, 205 mg)
  • Broccoli rabe (8 oz, 200 mg)
  • Edamame (8 oz, 175 mg)
  • Bok choy (8 oz, 160 mg)
  • Dried figs (2, 65 mg)

A Tip From Verywell

Make sure your diet includes at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium today. Without enough calcium, your risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and your baby's risk of low birth weight can increase.

At Your Doctor’s Office

Women are usually tested for anemia at least twice during their pregnancy. The initial test might have been as early as your first prenatal visit, whereas the next is often around now. However, this really isn’t the best time to be tested.

Between week 24 and week 32, your body experiences a large uptick in blood volume. That surge increases your chances of being misdiagnosed with anemia. Talk to your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of delaying the test to around week 34 to week 36.

Upcoming Doctor’s Visits

It’s hard to believe that you’ll already be back at your physician or midwife’s office next week. Know that along with the standard practice of measuring blood pressure, weight, and the like, some healthcare providers may add cervical or vaginal exams to the mix.

The internal exam is often routinely performed after 36 weeks of pregnancy to assess the dilation (opening) and effacement (softening) of your cervix and help diagnose preterm labor, but it is not obligatory at this stage.

“In my experience, doing a cervical exam at each visit only causes frustration and is unnecessary,” says OB-GYN Allison Hill, M.D., author of Your Pregnancy, Your Way and co-author of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. Have a discussion with your healthcare provider and voice what you are comfortable with.

Advice for Partners

Chances are your partner has been busy researching and mulling over exactly how she’d like to handle her labor and delivery. At the same time, you should be discussing your role in the process:

  • Will you act as your partner’s main source of support?
  • Do you think a doula might be a helpful addition to the support team?
  • Are you squeamish and unsure if you can handle witnessing the delivery? Discuss this with your partner and her doctor. The hospital or birthing center may be able to suggest options that make you more comfortable.
  • What are the ins and outs of the birth plan? What's most important to her?
  • How will you act as your partner’s advocate?
  • How might she like to beat boredom if she finds herself in labor for a long period?
  • What are the ground rules for “we’re in labor” and “the baby is here” texting, calling, photo-taking, and social media-posting?
  • Should you help welcome or (politely) turn away visitors at the hospital or in the days right after the baby comes home?

A Tip From Verywell

Take some time to talk to your partner about how she'd like to handle her labor and delivery and your role in the process.

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Article Sources

  1. Breymann C, Honegger C, Hösli I, Surbek D. Diagnosis and treatment of iron-deficiency anaemia in pregnancy and postpartum. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2017;296(6):1229-1234. doi:10.1007/s00404-017-4526-2

  2. Imdad A, Jabeen A, Bhutta ZA. Role of calcium supplementation during pregnancy in reducing risk of developing gestational hypertensive disorders: a meta-analysis of studies from developing countriesBMC Public Health. 2011;11 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):S18. Published 2011 Apr 13. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-S3-S18

  3. Soma-Pillay P, Nelson-Piercy C, Tolppanen H, Mebazaa A. Physiological changes in pregnancy. Cardiovasc J Afr. 2016;27(2):89–94. doi:10.5830/CVJA-2016-021

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