Pregnancy Calendar: 29 Weeks Pregnant
How big is baby? Baby weighs about 2.5 pounds (1.2 kg) this week. Total length is measuring about 15.25 inches (38 cm).
What’s new this week? If your baby was born now, it would be considered very premature, but he or she could potentially survive outside the womb.
What’s next? Raising a baby is not cheap. Do your research and make sure you—and your finances—are ready for baby’s arrival. Having a baby shower? Your baby registry can certainly help!
Baby is growing fast, and continues to get bigger and stronger every week inside your womb. While there is a chance baby could survive if delivered now, it is ideal to reach at least 38 weeks of gestation. Watch for signs of preterm labor, and make sure you informed regarding your delivery choices.
What’s happening with my baby?
Baby is continuing to grow, and each week of gestation gives baby the opportunity to increase in size. While baby could potentially survive if he or she were born at 2+ pounds, just a few more weeks in the uterus could allow him or her to pack on some extra weight, dramatically increasing the possibility of survival.
Average birth weight at full term is between 7 and 7.5 pounds (3.28 kg to 3.4 kg). It is not surprising that boys often weigh more than girls at birth, but it is interesting to learn that, in most cases, infant weight increases with each pregnancy.
Premature and Preterm Labor and Birth
While many people use the words premature and preterm interchangeably, there is a distinct difference: lung function. Premature refers to a baby born with immature lungs, who cannot function without intervention. Preterm refers to a baby born between 32 and 37 weeks gestation but who has mature lung function at birth.
Unfortunately, premature birth does lead to higher risks for health problems in baby. However, modern science has allowed medical professionals to increase survival rates. In fact, babies born as early as 25 weeks may be able to survive. Birth weight does play a large role in the quality of life: the lower the weight, the more risk there is for disabilities.
While it is often best for baby to stay in-utero until preterm, some babies may need to be delivered if there complications with the pregnancy. Several conditions may contribute to preterm labor, including those in mothers who:
- Are smokers
- Had a previous preterm birth
- Are carrying multiples
- Have an abnormal cervix or uterus
- Had abdominal surgery
- Experience infection or bleeding
- Are underweight
- Had insufficient prenatal care
- Are over the age of 35
- Have a baby with a chromosomal disorder
Signs of preterm labor are similar to those of full-term labor, you just experience them much earlier in pregnancy. Call your doctor if you are experiencing changes in the type, amount or color of vaginal discharge, cramps, abdominal pressure, ruptured membranes, contractions or bleeding.
Tip: Researchers believe iron deficiencies in mothers may be linked to increased risk of preterm labor. Taking a prenatal vitamin with iron every day may decrease that risk by nearly half.
Asthma During Pregnancy
It may sound surprising, but asthma is actually the most common potentially serious medical condition to complicate pregnancy. But let’s back up a step: if your asthma is controlled, it is not associated with significant risk to mom or her baby. However, if asthma is not controlled during pregnancy, it can cause serious complications for you (high blood pressure, toxemia and preterm labor) and for baby (stillbirth, premature birth, low birthweight and a low APGAR score at birth).
Most women and their medical care teams work together to identify a medical management structure to control asthma during pregnancy that is not harmful to a developing fetus.This, along with the avoidance of triggers, allows many women to have a safe, uneventful pregnancy even with asthma.
When women who have asthma become pregnant, the changes in the body can either improve asthma, make it worse or not affect the severity of it at all. If you have been diagnosed with asthma prior to pregnancy, let your medical care team know as soon as possible. This may be important information for later in pregnancy.
Considering a Home Birth
As humans become more educated on the birth and delivery process, many women are opting for at-home deliveries. Whether they prefer the familiar environment, the natural setting or the lower price tag, it is still essential to be über-prepared for an at-home birth. First, you will have to decide if an at-home birth is right for you. Here are a few guidelines to consider.
- If you are having a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, you can likely proceed with an at-home birth. If you have had complications, including pre-existing conditions, diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, it may be safest to deliver at a hospital.
- If you prefer a natural birth with no interventions, including pain management, episiotomy or Cesarean delivery, an at-home birth may be ideal. However, most healthcare systems will only perform these interventions if they are medically necessary and they should always ask your permission first.
- If you want to share this experience with friends and family in a familiar setting, delivering baby at home certainly has its advantages.
- If you have had a preterm delivery previously, your baby may be safest being delivered in a hospital setting that is equipped to deal with birth defects or underdeveloped systems.
- Know when a transfer to the hospital is best for your safety and the safety of the baby. If there is no progress with labor, the baby is in distress, the is cord prolapse or hemorrhaging, let your team know you want to go to the hospital.
Ultimately, it is the decision of you and your partner where you choose to give birth. If you do decide to have a home birth, put a team in place that you trust. Interview and choose an obstetrician, midwife and doula. Have a plan in place should you need to be transferred to the hospital. And finally, choose a pediatrician who can examine baby within 24 hours of delivery.
Starting Your Baby Registry
If it is customary for your family to throw pregnant women a baby shower, you may want to consider setting up a baby registry. Do some research before you get started. Some thoughts to consider are:
- Which stores (online or offline) carry the most amount of items we want or need?
- Are there reward programs worth considering?
- Where will those invited to my baby shower prefer to shop?
- Is there a range of prices on my baby registry?
- Have I read all the reviews and picked out items I believe are safe, functional and of high quality?
- Have I covered all my baby’s (or babies’) needs, including somewhere safe to sleep, diapering, transportation, clothing, bottles and eating, safety and play?
Tip: Registering for baby can be an overwhelming experience. Break it down into several sessions rather than trying to get it all done in one many-hour trip. If you can, take someone with you who has recently gone through the process and can share his or her wisdom regarding must-haves, nice-to-haves and didn’t-use-even-once items.