Now taking up more and more space, your growing baby isn’t able to move as much anymore due to space limitations (after all, your belly can only expand so much!). The adorable eyes may be fully open – they’ve even got lashes now – but the retinas are still pretty much inactive. You may be surprised to know that it’s not completely dark inside your tummy. Faint light can be seen through the lining of your stomach, and in a few weeks’ time, your baby’s vision will be mature enough to sense these changes in brightness. At birth, your baby will still have imperfect vision, but will be able to see well enough to distinguish your face and notice objects placed within 20 inches from the eyes.
Kicks and heartbeats are a thrilling way to know that your child is very much present! Not as pleasant, however, is the feeling of your baby pressing on your lungs and making your feet and hands swell. Your favorite shoes or wedding ring may feel a bit snug right now. Blame it on water retention, which is essentially body fluids collecting in your hands and legs by the end of the day. Especially if you’ve been on your feet all day and haven’t had a chance to put your feet up! Not to worry, the swelling usually disappears again overnight. But if it remains or increases suddenly, be sure to consult your doctor to rule out the possibility of preeclampsia – a complication linked with high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Your baby needs blood to grow, which is why from the beginning of your pregnancy to now, an additional 1.5 liters of blood have been added to your circulation (4.7 liters is the normal pre-pregnancy average). Your red blood cells, however, don’t increase as much – only about 30%. This can lead to anemia, a condition where the cells in your body may not be getting enough oxygen. It may sound scary, but mild anemia is quite common in pregnant women. You can manage it by drinking plenty of water and eating foods rich in iron, which your body needs to produce more red blood cells. By the time your baby is born, your blood will return to normal once again. But as always, it’s best to consult with your doctor so your health can be monitored all throughout your pregnancy.
Worried about sore legs or developing varicose veins? They can be a side effect thanks to the natural increase in blood volume that occurs to support your growing fetus during pregnancy. Find relief by putting your feet up as much as possible. Wearing compression stockings could also help ease the pain. Finally, try to schedule a brisk walk every day, preferably outdoors where you can also breathe in fresh air. If the pain gets worse, talk to your doctor to see what else you can do.
Week 30 is just around the corner! Click here to read all about it.