What’s going on in there: Fetal development at 30 weeks
There’s a reason why your belly is getting so cumbersome: By 30 weeks pregnant, that adorable little bean you saw on your first ultrasound is now the size of an eggplant and measures about 40 centimetres (15.7 inches) and nearly 1.4 kilograms (three pounds). Now that all of the major systems of the body are in place and functioning, Junior will pack on about 227 grams (1/2 pound) a week in preparation for birth (he needs a little chub to insulate that tiny body you’ve spent so much time growing!). The extra fat will also help regulate his body temperature once he has finally made an appearance.
Your baby is also developing cycles of sleep and wakefulness. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to tell where he is in his cycle at any point because every baby is different—even in utero—and it’s a bit of a mystery as to how light, noise and your daily routine and rhythms affect your little one. But one thing is for sure: He is sleeping about 90 percent of the time.
Now that you’re solidly in your third trimester, your body will start to get ready for birth.
It might seem like that due date circled on your calendar is still ages away, but it’s actually pretty soon in the big scheme of things—just 10 weeks to go (don’t freak out!). At this point, you may notice that your breasts are getting even fuller, potentially heavier and more tender in preparation for breastfeeding. They may look like a road map of darker veins, and the small glands on your areolas (fun fact: they’re called Montgomery’s tubercles) may become raised and more obvious.
Braxton Hicks contractions
If this hasn’t started happening to you already, we’ll warn you again: Don’t be surprised if you’re binge-watching Orange Is the New Black one night and your belly goes rock hard, prompting you to yell an expletive in response to the discomfort. Chances are, it’s just good ol’ Braxton Hicks contractions. These mild contractions (seriously, some women don’t feel them at all) are your body’s way of practising for the birth. Just pay attention to how often the contractions happen: They should be irregular, not progressive in terms of intensity and spaced relatively far apart. Try the strategies outlined here for relieving Braxton Hicks.
What’s on your mind this week
Keep the scalpel away from me
Have you recently Googled “What’s an episiotomy?” Many first-time moms who’ve heard too many childbirth war stories worry about needing this procedure, where the doctor makes a surgical cut in a birthing mother’s perineum to allow more room for the baby’s head to emerge. But fear not: Doctors try not to do them anymore because they are difficult to fully heal. It’s more likely that birth will cause you to tear a little naturally (and somewhat unevenly) instead of a hard-to-heal, clean surgical cut. You may require a few stitches to close the injury, but they’ll numb the area before doing the stitches, much like at the dentist’s office. By then, you’ll be holding a snuggly little bundle, feeling the post-birth euphoria hormones, and a few stitches will seem like a walk in the park. (Don’t try to actually go for a walk in the park for a couple of weeks, though!) To avoid tearing altogether, you can try perineal massage in the weeks leading up to the birth to make the area more pliable but not until after the 34-week mark. Plus, watch this video to learn exactly how your cervix works and to see how big it gets as you dilate.
Speaking of making the cut…
If you’re expecting a boy or waiting to find out the sex, your OB-GYN or midwife will ask you beforehand to give some thought to where you stand on circumcision. This preference often depends on culture, family traditions and religious background, but it’s also changing rapidly. Circumcision was quite popular for baby boys born in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the rates have been falling lately, especially since the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) issued a position statement back in 1996, advising that circumcision was not routinely recommended and that “the benefits and the harms were evenly balanced.” As of 2015, only about 32 percent of Canadian male newborns are circumcised (though it really varies by region). The procedure is also not covered automatically by your provincial health plan. It costs about $200 to $500, and you usually have to return to the hospital at a later date to have it done. Discuss it with your partner, and read up on the latest CPS guidelines on circumcision here.
If you choose not to circumcise but aren’t sure about how to care for your baby boy’s business, this story is for you.Late pregnancy aches and pains
Just for kicks
If you’re expecting a summer baby, consider choosing one of these seasonally appropriate baby names.
Pregnancy to-do list: Week 30
It’s time to get the baby gear assembled. You’re only nine weeks from full term (39 weeks is considered full term), and it may take a few Saturdays to get the nursery completely finished. Plus, you’re probably going to slow down a bit soon—even the most active moms-to-be will be affected by carrying around 20 or more extra pounds. You’re going to want to take it easy in the home stretch. Have you finished your registry in advance of your baby shower? Here’s a registry checklist, plus some eye-candy baby product inspiration for your next shopping trip. And we’ve rounded the 10 most dangerous baby products.
1. Baby swings
Swings don't meet the criteria for safe sleep, which state that baby should sleep on a firm, flat surface without any loose bedding near them, says Ben Hoffman, a paediatrician and the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. “Using a swing when the baby is awake and supervised is OK, but once a baby falls asleep in the swing, it becomes dangerous,” he explains. When a baby is sleeping in a swing, a big concern is that their head can flop forward and make it hard for them to breathe, says Hoffman. This obstruction of the airway is called positional asphyxiation. The same risk is present in a car seat and an inclined bouncer (which is why babies should not sleep in their bucket seats once they're removed from the vehicle, where the seat's position and safety straps outweigh the risk). With swings, other concerns are that your baby could become entangled in the straps, turn their head and suffocate against the soft padding or roll over in the swing, which can happen even if parents use the straps properly.