29 Weeks Pregnant

29 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Your little one is getting ready to meet you! She’s starting to gain weight more quickly. During the last two and a half months of your pregnancy, she’ll continue to put on more padding and will likely double her current weight. Although the major body and organ development work is nearly complete, her lungs may not be mature enough for life outside the womb just yet. You might notice your baby is kicking more often, and that those kicks are getting stronger as your baby changes her position from time to time. When you are 29 weeks pregnant, your healthcare provider may advise you to count her fetal movements once each day. This helps check she’s developing and moving normally. To help you count your baby’s kicks, download our fetal movement tracker. Wondering how many months along you are at 29 weeks pregnant? As pregnancy doesn't fit neatly into months, you could be close to being eight months along. For more on how your little one will develop in the coming months, check out our third trimester guide.

The Size of the Fetus at 29 Weeks Pregnant

At 29 weeks, the average fetus is about the size of a butternut squash. The illustration below offers you a look at how your baby may be positioned at 29 weeks.

29 weeks pregnant

Mom’s Body at 29 Weeks Pregnant

Right now, eating healthily is vital for the growth of your baby. Two important nutrients include iron and calcium. Iron helps your body maintain and replenish red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body and prevent anemia. Moms-to-be need at least 30 milligrams of iron each day, which can come from iron-rich foods like beef or pork liver, beans, and fortified whole-grain cereals and oatmeal. Your healthcare provider will likely keep an eye on your iron levels and prescribe an iron supplement, if necessary. Calcium is also critical for your body and your growing baby, as it not only strengthens your bones and teeth, but also helps to build and grow your baby’s little bones and choppers. You’ll need to be getting about 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day (1,300 a day if you're younger than 19). You can get this much calcium from just a few slices of whole grain bread, or from cheese, broccoli, or yogurt. Overall, during this last trimester, you need about 450 extra calories each day, and at 29 weeks pregnant, you can expect your weight gain to be about one pound each week from now until the end of your pregnancy, or approximately 12 pounds, assuming you were in the normal BMI range before your pregnancy and that you give birth at 40 weeks.

29 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At 29 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Varicose veins. If you’re noticing sore and possibly itchy blue veins bulging on your legs, these are probably varicose veins. They occur when your growing uterus puts pressure on the major veins that move blood from your lower body to your heart. You’re more likely to develop them if this isn’t your first pregnancy, or if varicose veins run in your family. Although they may look unpleasant, they’re usually not a medical problem. To relieve any discomfort, try not to sit or stand for long periods of time, and elevate your feet whenever possible to improve circulation. Wearing support hose can also help — just make sure the style you choose does not constrict at the thigh or the knee.

  • Fatigue. If you’re feeling wiped out lately, know that this is not uncommon at this stage of your pregnancy. Your body is continuously working to nourish and support your baby at 29 weeks pregnant, which takes quite a bit of energy. You might also be finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Take advantage of any opportunity to rest, even if it’s just 15 minutes of shut-eye here and there. At 29 weeks pregnant, you may want to try sleeping with a pillow under your belly for support. Keep exercising, if you can, because this will help keep your energy levels up. Get more tips on how to get a good night’s sleep while pregnant.

  • Leg cramps. This is a common complaint during pregnancy, and medical experts aren't sure what causes them. Painful cramps in your calves can sometimes strike at night, interrupting your sleep. To ward them off, or at least to ease the discomfort, try stretching your legs before you go to bed. If a cramp does strike, flex your foot upward and then point it back down a few times. A gentle calf massage can also help.

  • Shortness of breath. Seeing your new baby for this first time may take your breath away, but until that moment comes, you may experience a different type of breathing difficulty. At this stage of pregnancy, your growing uterus isn’t leaving much space for your other abdominal organs, so your stomach and diaphragm press up against your lungs. As a result, your lungs don’t have as much room to expand. Help your lungs get the breathing room they need by practicing good posture. To catch your breath, try to move more slowly and don’t overexert yourself. If you experience any chest pains at 29 weeks pregnant, this is a symptom you should not ignore. Call your healthcare provider for advice.

29 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • If you’re feeling a little stressed right about now, you may want to explore some relaxation techniques. Although some pregnancy-related stress is normal, you shouldn’t be feeling anxious every day. One way to help yourself relax is to practice prenatal yoga or meditation. Your healthcare provider can give you more information about practicing yoga safely during the last trimester. Learning how to relax your body and mind when you’re 29 weeks pregnant can help you lower your blood pressure; it can also reduce muscle tension and ease lower back pain, helping you feel more comfortable during the final stretch of your pregnancy. Other stress busters: Get a massage, write in a journal, or simply listen to your favorite music while resting.

  • There are several different methods of childbirth preparation that experts say can help you through labor and delivery, among them the Lamaze, Bradley, and Read methods. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to learn more about these methods, as they can help you manage pain and anxiety during labor through relaxation techniques and controlled breathing. Taking a childbirth preparation class is a great option, as these courses often teach relaxation techniques. Ask your healthcare provider for help finding one in your area. 

  • Do you know where you’re scheduled to give birth yet? If yes, your hospital or birthing center may allow you to take a tour of its facilities before your due date. This is also a great chance to plot the quickest route to the hospital, and to figure out logistics like parking and entrances. If you do take a tour, you can ask hospital staff about their policies, including who is allowed in the delivery room and whether photography or videography is allowed.

  • Have you decided who (if anyone) you want to be with you when you give birth? Your birth partner might be your partner, or may be a close friend or relative. Your birth partner can do lots to support you during labor and delivery. They can keep you company, give massages, and encourage you. Your birth partner can also help you use those relaxation and breathing techniques that you might have learned at your prenatal classes. He or she can also help with communication between you and your midwife or healthcare provider, making sure your wishes are understood and helping you to feel more in control of what’s going on. It’s a good idea to discuss your preferences and feelings about your labor and delivery with your birth partner well in advance.

  • Consider how you plan to handle child care after your baby is born, particularly if you and your partner will be returning to work. You're likely to have a variety of choices, from child care centers to in-home care, each with its own cost and availability factors, so it’s best to do some research and start making arrangements before your baby arrives. This will give you one less thing to worry about when you’re busy caring for your newborn. If you already have children, you may want to make arrangements for them to be looked after when you go into labor and in the first few days or weeks after your new baby comes home.

  • Your baby shower’s host may be asking you for details of your gift registry so that she can send out the invitations and point guests to your registry. If you’re still finalizing your registry, check out these newborn must-haves to make sure you’ve covered all the essentials.

29 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • When will your baby be fully developed and ready for the outside world?

  • Should you be doing kick counts? How should you do them?

  • Is it likely that you’ll need an episiotomy (a small cut in the perineum, between the vagina and anus) if you have a vaginal delivery? What exactly does this involve, and why might it be offered?

  • Is a written birth plan recommended for you?

  • What are some symptoms at 29 weeks pregnant, or beyond, that you should definitely call your healthcare provider about?

  • How often will you need to come in for a checkup between now and the birth?

  • Do you have any of the risk factors of preeclampsia, and what warning signs should you look out for?

  • Is a 3D or 4D ultrasound recommended for you, and when would be the best time to have one of these scans?

29 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Check with your workplace about any maternity leave paperwork that you will need to complete. You might also like to create a plan for how you will gradually hand over your tasks so things aren’t left to the last minute.

  • Read up on the typical third trimester prenatal care and ask your healthcare provider for personalized information on what checkups and tests you can expect in the coming weeks and months.

  • Schedule a tour of your birth hospital or birthing center.

  • Prepare your baby’s nursery with all the essentials.

  • Choose or start designing a birth announcement. You might want to have traditional cards printed that you can send to your family and friends, or you might want to design an announcement to share your happy news via email or on social media.

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