Pregnancy Tracker: Week 29

Pregnancy Tracker: Week 29




29 weeks pregnant already!

Your baby is fully developed and just needs time to grow and for all the systems and senses to mature. There is a very good chance of survival should birth occur now, but medical support would be needed.

At roughly 40cm long head-to-heel and weighing in the region of 1.1kg, baby is now about the size of a honeydew melon. It is amazing to learn that your baby will double or even triple in size between now and birth!

Baby’s development at 29 weeks pregnant

Baby may be feeling a bit cramped now as fat layers are building up, adding to the size and weight. The skin is becoming thicker, smoothing out and losing its wrinkled, translucent appearance. The ‘white’ fat that is produced acts as a source of energy. The soft covering of lanugo that up to now has kept your baby warm is starting to disappear as it is no longer needed, although some babies may be born with tufts of it.  Vernix, the white oily substance that acts as a natural moisturiser, still performs the function of protecting the skin, and will be around for a few weeks yet.

You will find that your babe is very active now, as the muscles are developing and becoming stronger. An increase in punching and kicking, jabbing and poking can be noticed, and you may even be able to see the outline of a little hand or foot on your abdomen!

Now is the time to establish what your baby’s pattern of movement is and to monitor the number of kicks over a certain period of time.  There is no set pattern as each pregnancy is unique, but as a general rule, baby should move or kick about ten times in two hours.

Call your healthcare provider without delay if you notice any of the following:

  • Baby moves less than usual.
  • You cannot feel any movement at all.
  • Your baby’s pattern of movement has changed.

Bones are becoming stronger and denser.  The skeleton absorbs about 250mg of calcium every day, so make sure you consume enough cheese, yoghurt, enriched orange juice and milk to provide for your baby’s growing calcium needs.

A baby's brain is one of the first major organs to develop at just three weeks after fertilisation. It continues to grow throughout pregnancy and into the child's twenties. During the third trimester, the brain triples in weight as the cerebrum develops deep, intricate grooves, which provides extra surface area without taking up additional space in the skull. The cerebral cortex is the name given to this wrinkly outer layer. The baby's head expands to accommodate the developing brain.

The nervous system is also developing rapidly, and at about this stage, myelin, a protective insulating sheath, forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin allows for electrical impulses to be transmitted along nerve cells.

Your baby is practicing to breath as the respiratory system matures. Surfactant continues to be produced. This is a liquid substance that helps to keep the air sacs (alveoli) open, which will eventually enable babies to breathe independently at birth.

Your body at 29 weeks pregnant

By now your uterus has grown so much it is probably causing you extreme discomfort as your baby puts pressure on your organs.  As if that isn’t bad enough, hormone surges and changes are also responsible for plenty of health issues during pregnancy, some niggly and some more serious.

Common complaints at this stage of pregnancy include:

Heartburn, the symptoms of which are:

  • Burning feeling in chest.
  • Feeling bloated and overfull.

To help relieve this unpleasant condition, try eating smaller meals more frequently, sit in an upright position when eating, avoid alcohol and nicotine, and cut down on spicy and fried foods.  Finish eating at least three hours before retiring to bed.

Bleeding gums

Hormones can make you more susceptible to developing plaque, leaving you with swollen and/or bleeding gums.

Some advice on how to reduce this symptom:

  • Visit your dentist for a check-up and a clean.
  • Brush your teeth gently twice a day.
  • Avoid acidic and/or sugary foods and drinks.

Feeling hot during pregnancy?

With increased blood volume pumping around your body, you may be feeling warmer than usual.

Suggestions to help combat this:

  • Switch on a fan.
  • Wear loose, cotton clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.


These are common in pregnancy and can worsen in the third trimester.

It may help to:

  • Rest whenever possible.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat at regular intervals.
  • Try mindful relaxing techniques.

Mostly, headaches are normal, but if you experience severe pain or a headache that won’t go away, it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, so let your healthcare provider know immediately.


This can be caused by hormones which relax the muscles of the intestines, which in turn causes sluggish digestion resulting in constipation.  Unfortunately, this can also lead to haemorrhoids, which are painful swollen and enlarged blood vessels inside or outside the anus. Haemorrhoids could be the result of straining during constipation.

Take care to avoid the condition by:

  • Eating enough fibre, which can be found in fruit and veggies, pulses and wholewheat breads and cereals.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Staying active by taking regular, gentle exercise like swimming or walking.

Sometimes iron supplements can cause constipation.  If you think this may be the case, speak to your healthcare provider for an alternative solution to boosting your iron levels.


  • If you have not already started preparing and stocking the nursery, now is a good time to do so. Make sure you have all the necessary baby care items, small and large! Keep an eye on your baby register so you know what has already been selected as gifts and what you still require.
  • Have a bag packed and ready for hospital – you never know when the hour will come! Keep it in a handy place so you or your partner can simply pick it up on you way out the door when those first contractions hit. You won’t want to be thinking what to pack at that stage.
  • Prepare an adequate hand-over with work colleagues so that you do not feel under pressure to do so at the last moment.
  • Check that you are on track with when you can start maternity leave. It should be soon now, but many mums-to-be prefer to work as long as possible into the pregnancy so that they have more paid leave once baby is born. Some places of employment insist on a doctor’s letter confirming that it is safe to continue working.
  • Make sure you understand your maternity rights as well as the options available for paternity leave for your partner. You will need all the support you can get after the birth!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.