Pregnancy Week 29
Your little baby probably doesn’t feel so small any more – in fact, they are the same sort of size as a butternut squash at 38.6cm from head to heel.
For a large part of your pregnancy, your baby has been busy developing from a tiny cluster of cells to a fully formed human being. This work is now almost complete, and your baby’s role is simply to get bigger, stronger and heavier, ready to be born. Their major organs are still maturing too, especially their lungs which will need more time for your little one to be able to breathe without any help.
Over the last few weeks, your baby’s skin has been covered by a white, greasy substance called vernix, which protects their skin and prevents it from drying out from spending all that time in your amniotic fluid. They will also have a layer of downy hair which has been keeping them warm.
From around 29 weeks onwards, your baby will gradually start to lose this hair and their coating of vernix will get thinner and thinner as they approach their due date. If your baby arrives early, this waxy cheese-like layer on their skin may seem quite obvious, but if they are late, there may be very little left.
If your baby is born with vernix on their skin, don’t rush to wipe it off as it is thought it might have antimicrobial properties which will help protect your little one from infections. It is certainly very good at keeping their skin hydrated and preventing it from drying out.
How can I expect to feel at 29 weeks pregnant?
With your bump getting bigger and bigger, it is normal to feel a little clumsier and more unbalanced than usual. Your lungs won’t have quite as much space as they are used to so you may find you feel quite breathless from time to time.
As your baby has less space to move around, you may find some of the things they do – like jamming a foot under your ribs – are not exactly comfortable. Try to rest when you can, although it isn’t always easy to get a good night’s sleep when your little one is wriggling about, especially as they usually become more active when you stop.
If your baby is pressing on your bladder, you may find you need to go to the toilet more than usual, which can be especially annoying when you are trying to sleep at night. You might also be kept awake by leg cramps so drink plenty of water and stretch your muscles before you head to bed.
You may feel like you are on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster right now. This is very normal and you may be experiencing a whole load of different feelings about the journey which lays ahead of you.
As well as excitement about meeting your baby, you may feel worried about how you will cope. You may even feel sad if a loved one is no longer around to meet your new arrival.
All your feelings are valid and you will feel better if you talk about them with a friend or loved one. You should also talk to your midwife about anything you are nervous or anxious about so you can get the right advice and support.