All About Baby

Your baby’s face looks much like it will when he’s born. He still needs to fill out more to get the characteristic chubby infant cheeks, but he’s on his way. He can move his head, open his eyes, and make breathing movements through his open nostrils (although no air comes in).

If your little one were born today, he’d have a good chance for survival at about 3 pounds and a little over 15 inches long (crown to heel).

All About You

Even though you are getting heavier, your need for exercise hasn’t quit. Swimming and walking are wonderful forms of exercise for pregnant women. Many community centers and dance studios host pre- and postnatal exercise classes. They’re fun, gentle, can help you feel energized, and offer a great way to meet other expectant mothers!

A few more weeks to go! Your baby weight is starting to impact your lifestyle. Bending over is tricky if not impossible. And tying your shoes? Forget about it. As your baby-to-be crowds your internal organs you may experience more heartburn, indigestion, and flatulence. Breathing may be more difficult as your lungs have less room to expand.

Tired of Being Pregnant?

By this point the novelty of your baby bump may have worn off—you’re getting downright tired of being pregnant. In a few weeks your aches and pains will be a distant memory as you stare into your newborn’s face, but for now there are a few simple things you can do to make your last few pregnancy weeks more comfortable.

Complaint: No sleep. Your baby bump makes it hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. Add to that the discomfort caused by your internal organs making room for your growing baby-to-be: Your lungs have to work harder to provide the extra oxygen your body needs, creating shortness of breath. Your stomach is pushed up, making heartburn and indigestion likely. And your bladder—well—you’re already used to going to the bathroom several times a day, and making similar trips at night can be frustrating.

Solution: Try positioning pillows around your body for support. Have your partner massage your sore body before bedtime. Take a hot shower or warm bath to help you relax. For fewer bathroom breaks, don’t drink water an hour or so before going to bed (but make sure to drink plenty of water during the day). If all else fails, talk to your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medications that might make sleeping easier.

Complaint: Swelling. Swelling can become a real problem late in pregnancy. Your body retains water to supply your increased blood production (which goes up by 50 percent during pregnancy). You may find your face, ankles, and fingers swell to the point your shoes don’t fit and your rings won’t go on (or come off!).

Solution: Drink lots of water. Pushing fluids can ease your swelling. Also, be smart about what you do during the day. Don’t stand on your feet or stay in any position too long or your blood will pool, making swelling even worse. Change positions frequently and put your feet up as much as possible to increase circulation. Talk to your doctor if swelling becomes severe.

Complaint: Potty breaks. Frequent urination is a common complaint during pregnancy. It can become a nuisance to find a restroom any time you go somewhere. As your baby-to-be continues to grow, the pressure on your bladder will too, meaning your potty breaks will keep increasing until your baby’s birth.

Solution: The only real solution is to have your baby. Don’t limit your visits to the bathroom—holding in urine for too long can lead to urinary or bladder infections.

Complaint: No clothes. Toward the end of your pregnancy those cute maternity clothes that once neatly covered your baby bump may barely fit. Plus, you’re probably wearing the same outfits over and over again, since non-maternity clothes are out.

Solution: Having something new to wear can brighten your mood. If you don’t want to sink more money into a wardrobe that will last only a few weeks, ask friends if they have any maternity clothes they’re willing to lend. Spice up your own maternity clothes by buying non-maternity, button-down shirts or sweaters to pair with your maternity wear. Choose colorful jewelry or handbags to add variety to your wardrobe (and you can wear those even when you’re no longer pregnant!).

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Q & A

Got questions about Week 30? Other ladies have wondered…

Q: I have discharge from my nipples. What is it?

“What many women think may be some type of breast infection during pregnancy is actually the leaking and/or crusting of early milk on the nipple. Colostrum, the initial super-charged, immunity-rich milk your baby will drink right after birth begins to form in your breasts early in your pregnancy….” Read More

Q: I’m 30 weeks pregnant and wondering why rolling over hurts?

“From what you’re describing—a positional pain—you may be experiencing round ligament soreness. You have some ligaments, which originate at the sides of the uterus, run through the inguinal rings and insert into the sidewalls of the vagina and inner thighs. As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, those ligaments…” Read More

Q: Do low-weight babies really have long-term health problems?

“Depending on the cause of the low birth weight, babies can experience wide and varied physical challenges, which may impact brain growth and development. Beyond the physical problems that these babies can experience, social and cognitive delays may be present. The exact reason for learning delays and social shyness may be linked to…” Read More

Your Partner

A New Baby: A Gift for the Whole Family

Families rarely talk about the impact a new baby has on an extended family. Especially when Baby will be the first child to enter the fold, the change can be quite dramatic. Your and your partner’s parents will suddenly have new roles: Grandparents. This new position in the family is often anticipated with unrivaled joy. Grandparents have the luxury of being free from the baggage most parents carry, and for this reason find themselves feeling more excited, relaxed, and comfortable with the changes to come.

This is a great opportunity for families because the new grandparents want to help and most new parents need some. When a grandchild comes into the world, the focus of the family shifts from parents to the new baby; schedules work around the baby, and everyone wants to know how they can help out. This is a great opportunity for you to build a better relationship with parents and in-laws. It is also a good time to learn how to ask for help.

Many grandparents-to-be will offer to help out, while others want to help, but don’t want to intrude on your new parenting time. Feel free to get the message out to the expecting grandparents that if they can baby sit one or two nights a month (or how ever many you want) so you and your partner can get some much needed time together, it would be a huge assistance. Remember you and your partner are the core of your growing family, the very foundation; and the healthier you two are doing together, as a team, the better your child will do, too.