Your little one can control their body temperature and, for the first time, is sporting a head-size proportionate to the rest of their body. Their muscles and lungs are continuing to mature; and let's face it, they are running out of space!
Also this week, your baby's eyes are moving within their sockets, they're producing red blood cells in their bone marrow, and they're storing more fat beneath their skin. Your baby may even begin to settle into the proper birthing position (cephalic presentation, or head-first presentation) for delivery!
Okay, it's time to bring them up. Hemorrhoids. They aren't a pleasant topic; but as your uterus continues to grow, you too grow... more likely to develop them. What are hemorrhoids exactly? They are swollen veins in the lower part of the rectum and anus that may cause bleeding and discomfort. The good news is they should go away a few weeks after giving birth. In the meantime, include more fiber in your diet, drink plenty of water during the day, and avoid sitting for long periods of time. You might try soaking in a sitz bath or soaking a cold compress with witch hazel and applying it, to help with any discomfort. Witch hazel is usually be found at local drug stores and supermarkets. Before using any over-the-counter hemorrhoid medication, clear it with your midwife or doctor.
Another trick? Kegel exercises can help you keep hemorrhoids at bay! These pelvic floor exercises strengthen muscles supporting your urethra, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum, and performing them daily will increase the blood circulation to those areas (and help to prevent urine leaks before and after pregnancy). Performing Kegels regularly, before delivery, will make the second stage of labor – and healing after labor – easier.
Keep your stomach and leg muscles relaxed, and don't hold your breath. Tighten the muscles in your vagina as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine in the middle of peeing. Hold your muscles in this position - like you're sucking that urine all the way back up to your bladder - for about 10 seconds, and then release. Repeat this 10 times, for one set. Work yourself up to performing one set of Kegels, three to four times, per day.
In week 29, the negative aspects of pregnancy may be getting to you, mentally. Try your best to focus on the positive points of pregnancy. Look ahead to your due date, because this too shall pass, or switch mental gears entirely and fill out your baby registry. Or decorate the nursery!
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
By week 29, your hormones may be influencing your level of desire and response to lovemaking (aka, sex). And this may be a bit of a down, because during the first trimester, you were exhausted and dealing with morning sickness, neither of which were conducive for getting in the mood. Then you went through the second trimester, which allowed you to bring a little sexy back and maybe even gifted you with some increased sensitivity (due to the extra flow of blood to your vaginal area). And now, you are in the third trimester, and... is your body becoming a factor?
Achy breasts, back pain, and extra weight gain may make foreplay and sex more challenging then usual. How do you enjoy lovemaking when you can't even find a comfortable love-making position to begin with? Are you hurting the baby? If you can feel your baby, can your baby feel the two of you? Well... yes. Your baby can feel your movement. But your baby won't recognize sex as anything too different from dancing, or other exercise. Your baby is safe, floating around in amniotic fluid, blissfully unaware of your shenanigans. So, unless you have orders from your doctor or midwife to abstain from sex (due to pregnancy complications or a history of such), sex should be perfectly safe for everyone involved. If at any point you feel pain, however, or if you experience intense cramping or bleeding, call your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
Men may have reservations, or ambivalent feelings, about sex during pregnancy. They might worry it could hurt you, or the baby. Men may also feel stress or have anxiety about fatherhood, or about the baby causing something to change between the two of you. Sometimes, cuddling with your partner, or providing closeness in general, will help to dispel these worries and get him in the mood.
Sex can be more than just intercourse; so, if his (or your) worries persist, find other ways to stay close and celebrate each other. There is also a good chance your partner is fascinated and even aroused by your changing body... your larger breasts, rounded belly, and generous curves may be very appealing. Just keep all lines of communication wide open. With a bit of creativity and sensitivity, a healthy sex life can continue throughout your pregnancy, and beyond.
Don't forget to take a side profile picture and write in your pregnancy journal!
Pregnancy is exhausting, but when you hold that little baby, you'll realize it was all entirely worth it. Here is a list of symptoms you may experience during week 29.
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