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30 weeks pregnant


Baby at 30 weeks pregnantYour baby at 30 weeks

  • Your baby will be able to move her eyeballs - although there isn't much to see in your womb -but if she sees a bright light she will have what's called a pupillary light reflex where the pupil (the dark bit in the centre of her eye) will get smaller. Even though your baby has the right nerve cells to distinguish colours, they won't work until she is born, so to her everything in the womb is monochrome. All five of her baby senses will be in working order.
  • Her fingernails reach the end of her finger tips but her toenails will take longer to grow.
  • She will be practising how to suck on her fingers and thumbs but she won't be good to go until week 35 to 36.
  • In her long bones, the spongy marrow in the middle is making her red blood cells.
  • She's gaining weight rapidly - about 500g between 28 and 32 weeks and then continues to pile on about 250g a week until she is 35 weeks old.
  • She will be developing her memory. Researchers from the Netherlands, reported in the journal Child Development, watched on ultrasound scan how babies responded to the same stimulus if it was repeated and calculated that at 30 weeks a baby had 10 minutes of short-term memory. They also found that 34-week-old foetuses can store information and use it four weeks later.

Your body at 30 weeks pregnant

Your circulation The rise in your blood volume hasn't quite peaked but you will feel the increased blood flow to your skin and mucous membranes and can't fail to notice the red soles of your feet and palms. It is your body's attempt to get rid of the excess heat but it makes your soles and palms itchy. All you can do it try to keep cool - shower often and wear loose cotton clothing.

Vaginal infections It's normal to have an increase in vaginal discharge in pregnancy but it should not smell, be green or hurt when you pass urine. Any of these symptoms should have you ringing your doctor.

It is common to get a cottage cheesy-type discharge, which for many women is a hello again to thrush - a yeast infection that's associated with being a bit run down (sometimes from taking antibiotics or anything that reduces the acid environment in the vagina). The yeast is present in the vagina anyway but pregnancy encourages it to grow. It is not sexually transmitted and won't harm your baby but you will want to scratch yourself to smithereens, so treat it by buying pessaries.

If you are not sure it is thrush you should see your doctor. As well as using pessaries, do not wear tights, keep your vaginal area clean and avoid smellies in the bath.

Restless legs If you develop restless legs you will feel an overwhelming need to move your legs, which may also feel as though they have "insects crawling under the skin". It's also called Ekborn's disease, after the doctor who first described it in 1945, and is diagnosed by four criteria: an urge to move your legs, usually accompanied by unpleasant sensations (and burning or aching), the urge comes on when you're resting, is relieved by moving and usually worse at night.

Some people jerk their legs while they're asleep, which can upset their partner. Since you can feel it lying in bed it can disrupt sleep and make you tired in the day. Up to a quarter of pregnant women get it (it's not clear why but it usually goes four weeks after giving birth).

If your symptoms are severe, ruin most evenings and disrupt your sleep, you should see your doctor. Some people who have restless legs say they drive them mad but for others it is only an annoyance. It can be linked to iron-deficiency anaemia, which is not uncommon in pregnancy, so it worth seeing your doctor. It's also worth seeing your doctor to see if any treatment can relieve your symptoms.

Moving your legs can help and distract yourself by watching TV or getting up and doing something (anything). Regular daytime exercise may help. Also avoid coffee and alcohol in the evening and gradually wind down before turning the light off. These simple measures can help less severe restless legs. There are drugs that can help, but these won't be offered in pregnancy.

Your skin By the end of your pregnancy your skin will have stretched enormously over your stomach and is likely to get dry and itchy. You can use E45 or cheap moisturisers to stop the itchiness - do not use posh creams.



Pregnancy Encyclopedia book coverIllustrations taken from The Pregnancy Encyclopedia, £25, published by DK.

Disclaimer: The information in the pregnancy calendar is for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or antenatal team. Not all babies develop at the same time and in the same way, so this week-by-week guide may not always match your own experience. If you have any worries, consult your antenatal team or GP.

Last updated: 4 months ago