Pregnancy Week 29
The first two weeks of the third trimester are behind you. You are getting closer to the birth of your little one, and in the mean time here is what you can expect.
Your total pregnancy weight gain at this point should be between 19 and 25 pounds (8.6 to 11.3 kg). The top of your uterus can be felt somewhere between 3 ½ to 4 inches (8.9 to 10 cm) above your belly button.
Last week we began talking about a few of the discomforts that are associated with the later part of pregnancy. Constipation, for example, is common during pregnancy and can cause abdominal pain or discomfort, infrequent bowel movements, and the passage of hard stools.
Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent constipation from occurring or treat it if you are already experiencing it:
- Eat a high fiber diet including fruits, vegetables, breakfast cereals, whole grain breads, prunes, and bran.
- Drink a lot of water: Drink 10 to 12 cups of fluids each day.
- Exercise routinely: Walking, swimming, and other moderate exercise for 20-30 minutes three times a week can help stimulate the bowels.
- Try using over-the-counter remedies such as Colace or Metamucil.
- Reduce or eliminate iron supplements.
Laxative pills and mineral oils are NOT recommended for the treatment of constipation during pregnancy.
Your baby now measures over 14 ½ inches (37 cm) and weighs 2 ¾ pounds (1.25 kg).
Your baby is rapidly growing at this point. Obviously your baby is continuing to gain weight, and his/her head is also growing. This is due to rapid brain development that began in week 28. Muscles and lungs are also continuing to mature.
Because there is so much development occurring at this point, it is imperative that you get plenty of nutrients and rest. Make sure that you are getting adequate amounts of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and calcium. A list of recommendations can be found at Essential Nutrients and Vitamins for pregnancy.
If you still have questions regarding nutrition and appropriate amounts of vitamins to take, contact your health care provider.
Some women may receive what seem like strange requests from their health care providers. These requests could be as small as avoiding specific activities or as serious as being told to go on complete bed rest. If you don’t understand, ask your doctor for clarification regarding the importance of the recommendation. Be informed on what all of your options are.
A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to women who are expecting, in labor, or have recently given birth. The goal of a doula is to help the mother have a positive and safe birth experience, whether the mother wants an un-medicated birth or is having a planned cesarean birth.
During delivery, a doula is in constant close proximity to the mother. She can provide comfort through pain relief techniques such as breathing, relaxation, massage, and laboring positions. Doulas also encourage participation from the partner and offer reassurance.
The role of the doula is never to take the place of the father or partner in labor, but to compliment and enhance the couple’s experience.
Take the opportunity to learn about the benefits of having a doula assist your birth. Click Find A Doula to locate one in your area.
As your partner is making plans on how to handle her labor and who to have present during the delivery, now would be the time to discuss what role you want to have during the birth. As the partner, you can be the sole support person, or you may be interested in hiring a doula to help both of you during the laboring process.
Some things to think about are:
- Are you squeamish?
- Do you want to be the mom’s main support person?
- Are you committed to going to childbirth classes and learning all you need to know to provide appropriate support?
An expecting mom needs to know in advance what the plan is for labor and what she can expect of you. Discussing this now gives you time to plan, make arrangements, and ensure you and mom feel prepared for the birth.
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