3rd Trimester: 29 to 33 Weeks of Pregnancy
When you enter your 29th week, you are in the middle of your 7th month of pregnancy. Your baby will be born sometime in the next 10 weeks. Eek! It's happening. There is so much to do to prepare for your new arrival. But let's take a moment to see what is happening inside you for the next 4 weeks.
Your growing "bag of rice" is now 15 inches from top to toe. Rice is chockfull of calcium. This is handy because you need a lot of it. Your baby's bones are hardening and soak up a lot of calcium in the process. There is only one place to get it if you aren't consuming enough calcium daily... from you. That's right. To your baby, you are a walking bank of calcium. I got 6 cavities while I was pregnant from the calcium drained from my bones and teeth. There is a well-known proverb in Scandinavia, Germany, Russia, and Japan “a tooth per child” that suggests an association between childbearing and loss of teeth. You can protect your teeth by consuming more than the 250 milligrams of calcium that are deposited in your baby's skeleton each day.
Even though your baby won't be tasting rice for at least 8 more months, their taste buds can now transmit signals to their brain that will triple in weight by the time they are born.
While your baby is now the size of a medium-sized Spaghetti Squash, unlike a Spaghetti Squash, your baby is covered in "peach fuzz", called lanugo. However, this fine covering of hair on your baby’s body, that your baby began to grow when they were 3 months old, is starting to decrease.
Your baby's Sucking Reflex will kick in this week. This primitive reflex will help your baby get food into their belly long before they know how to suck and swallow on purpose. You may notice your baby sucking their thumb when you take a peek at them during your next ultrasound scan.
This cabbage sure can turn heads, but so can your baby at 31 weeks. Your baby can now move their arms and legs, as well as their head. This is really cool unless you are trying to sleep. If your baby were to stretch out (and let's be thankful that they can't), they would measure 16.5 inches.
In addition, your baby's pupils are able to dilate by now. You can do an experiment by holding a flashlight against your the side of your belly above your hip bone to see if you can feel your baby turn their head towards the light.
Congratulations! You have made it to the 8th month of your pregnancy. You nailed it! You know who else as nailed it, your baby. Like every fashionable baby, their fingernails and toenails have grown in. But hold the nail polish until they are born.
By 32 weeks, you are gaining 1 lb. per week and maybe more if you are eating a gallon of ice cream that weighs as much as your baby. But don't fret, calcium isn't the only thing that your baby is hogging. Half of the weight you gain goes straight to your baby's waist line. Finally, something that you can be happy to share with your baby. This packing-on-the-pounds will help them double their weight by the time they are born. It is important for your baby to build up fat stores under their skin as an insurance policy because most babies lose weight after they are born. Their calorie intake decreases outside the womb as their Sucking and Rooting Reflexes kick in to help get food in their belly.
Speaking of primitive reflexes, your baby's Moro Reflex should replace the Fear Paralysis Reflex this week. The Moro Reflex is also known as the Startle Reflex. It helps your baby regulate their breathing and reach out for protection when they are startled. You will want to monitor it when your baby is one month old. It should disappear by the time your baby is 2 months old. If not, you should visit your pediatrician for an assessment.
If you haven't started thinking about outfitting your nursery, now is the time to begin to wrap your brain around it. Click here for our printable Baby Essential Checklist
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