Mother and Baby

30 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect

30 weeks pregnant

At thirty weeks pregnant, your baby’s more proportional than ever, your dreams are getting weird and there are many other bodily changes taking places for both mum and baby. Find out more about what else is happening to you and your baby at 30 weeks.

How big is my baby at 30 weeks?

This week, your baby’s the size of a cabbage, weighing in at three pounds and measuring nearly 16 inches long. She’ll keep gaining weight, at a rate of half a pound a week for the next seven weeks. 

What’s my baby doing at 30 weeks pregnant?

By now your baby’s body parts will start to look more proportional. The only exception is their head, which will still be quite large compared to the rest of their body. 

Their fingernails will be fully developed and will continue to grow in the womb, meaning that when they are born, they could be quite long and need cutting to prevent them from scratching herself.

Your baby is currently surrounded by a pint and a half of amniotic fluid, but as they get bigger and take up more room in your uterus, that volume will shrink. As they grow. the space in your womb gets more cramped, so you may feel fewer hard kicks than you used to a few weeks ago.

Their brain is changing too, not just growing, but changing in appearance, too. Once smooth, the vital organ is now maturing and developing those grooves and indentations you’d normally recognise in a brain. These changes will allow more brain tissue to develop. 

Thanks to your baby’s developing brain and new fat cells regulating their body temperature your baby’s lanugo (the soft hair covering their body) will start to disappear, too. 

There’s another change, too: your baby’s bone marrow has taken over from the tissue groups and spleen in producing red blood cells, another important step towards independence once they are born.

10 common symptoms to look out for at 30 weeks pregnant:

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1. Tiredness

That energy you may have enjoyed during your second trimester has sadly departed by now, and your growing baby and changing body may be leaving you exhausted. Rope in friends, family and your partner for assistance with chores that leave you fatigued - it’s good to start practising asking for help now, as you’ll need plenty more when the baby arrives!
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2. Trouble sleeping

Tiredness and trouble sleeping go hand in hand. You're bigger than you've ever been and sleeping can be really uncomfortable. Your hormones are off the scale and your nerves about the impending labour all contribute to trouble sleeping. Try properly winding down before bed, no phones or laptops and read a good book or drink a nighttime tea.
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3. Weird dreams

Another sleep related symptom! No need to freak out though, strange dreams are completely normal. Nobody’s totally sure what causes them but they could be related to your hormones. But these dreams are simply a way of working through any thoughts and anxieties about your baby’s approaching birth and motherhood. Talking about it could also help you work through any issues that you have, plus you may discover your partner is having strange dreams, too. Your baby’s sleep patterns also show signs of rapid eye movement, the dreaming stage of sleep, so they may be having weird dreams too.
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4. Shortness of breath

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5. General discomfort

Your lungs and chest continue to get more crowded as your baby grows and remains high up near your ribs. Soon your baby will drop down lower, closer to your pelvis - at around 33 or 34 weeks pregnant. You'll probably notice once it happens because breathing will get a whole lot easier!
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6. Discharge and itchiness

As we've seen before, there is an increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy. It is totally normal and nothing to worry about although we know it is unpleasant. If the discharge is excessive or changes, you have may have thrush, which is common in pregnancy and very treatable. This means you may also feel itchy down there too. Luckily, thrush can be treated with over-the-counter medicines – usually a cream or pessary. However, it’s important that you tell your pharmacist that you’re pregnant before asking for it. 
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7. Swelling

Yep, you're still puffed up and swollen. Especially your feet and legs. Keep your feet up when possible and make sure the swelling doesn't become severe because that can be a symptom of something more serious (like pre-eclampsia).
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8. Heartburn

And the winner of the most consistent and irritating pregnancy symptom is...HEARTBURN! It just won't go away. You need your pelvic muscles to relax so that you can give birth to your beautiful baby, but unfortunately, the same hormones that relax those muscles also relax the muscles that separate your stomach and oesophagus. This is why you experience heartburn, as the food and digestive juices from your tummy head upwards into your chest and throat. Avoid agitating foods like spicy, fried or fatty dishes, try to eat smaller meals, and don’t eat while lying down. This won’t last forever - there are only about ten weeks to go until you pop, and the symptoms will disappear once you give birth.
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9. Clumsiness

We hope you’ve put away the high heels and invested in a pair of sensible flats, as you may be feeling a little clumsy these days. Not only are you heavier, but your centre of gravity will also shift thanks to the concentration of weight in your belly. And if that wasn’t enough to throw you off balance, your ligaments are also more relaxed thanks to pregnancy hormones, meaning your joints are looser, and you might lose balance more than usual.
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10. Feeling blue

A tenth of pregnant women battle depression in pregnancy, and while it’s normal to worry about labour or becoming a parent, if you feel down a lot of the time, or feel agitated, anxious, nervous or irritable, talk to your doctor before those blue feelings become all-consuming.

What is my body doing at 30 weeks pregnant?

It’s not the kind of thing you want to be overheard talking about on the bus to work, but during pregnancy, the amount of discharge produced can increase. It should still look and smell the same as before. If it changes and becomes thick, smelly, profuse or changes colour, see your doctor to check if you have thrush or an infection. It’s important you get this checked out as some infections can increase the risk of premature labour.

Prevention methods? Wear breathable cotton underwear and avoid strong soaps or feminine washes as they disrupt the natural pH and growth of healthy bacteria in the vagina.

There might be some more unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, too, especially the ones you thought you’d left behind in early pregnancy, such as needing to pee constantly, tender breasts and heartburn.

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