29 weeks pregnant
29 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development
You're probably feeling kicks and movement inside your bump at 29 weeks pregnant, as your little one changes position from time to time.
You may already be able to identify more active periods – times of day when you usually feel more movement – and quieter spells when the kicks and somersaults are more subdued. When your little one is taking a nap, you may not feel any movement at all for anything up to 90 minutes.
You'll probably soon be familiar with these patterns of rest, sleep and activity. If you notice any major change in the routine, or if you feel an overall reduction in foetal movement at 29 weeks pregnant or later, it's important to call your midwife or doctor straight away so they can check that everything's OK with your little one.
As a part of this, your doctor or midwife may ask you to check foetal activity by counting kicks. If this is necessary, they will tell you the best way to do this.
All pregnancies are different, so there isn't a set number of movements you should be feeling in a given day – the most important thing is to be familiar with your little one's own routine so you pick up on any changes as soon as possible.
Kick counting charts or apps can help you get a better idea of foetal movement patterns at around 29 weeks pregnant, but don't use these or any other home equipment to ‘self-diagnose' any problems – always get advice from your doctor or midwife as soon as possible if you have any concerns.
How Big Is Your Baby at 29 Weeks?
Now that you're 29 weeks pregnant, your foetus is about the size of a butternut squash, measuring close to 38.6 centimetres head to heel, and weighing in at around 1.2 kilograms.
Mum's Body at 29 Weeks Pregnant
Right now, eating healthily is vital for your health and the growth of the little one inside your bump. Two of the most important nutrients are iron and calcium..
Iron helps your body make and replenish red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body. A lack of iron can make you tired and lead to anaemia.
Foods with a high iron content include meat, beans, nuts, whole grains, dried fruit and dark-green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale. Keep in mind that one well-known source of iron, liver, isn't safe to eat while you're pregnant.
Your doctor or midwife are probably keeping an eye on your iron levels, and will advise you to take an iron supplement if necessary.
Calcium is also critical for your body and your growing foetus. Besides strengthening your bones and teeth, it also helps to build and grow your little one's bones as well.
To get more calcium in your diet, eat plenty of dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt, green leafy veggies such as rocket and watercress, as well as fish that you eat whole with the bones, like sardines and pilchards.
Bread and other bakery products made with fortified flour are another good source of this essential mineral.
You may be wondering if you're within a healthy weight range at 29 weeks pregnant.
On average, mums-to-be put on between 10 and 12.5 kilograms overall during pregnancy, but it's important to remember that this is only an average figure – the actual amount of weight gain varies a lot from person to person. What constitutes a healthy weight gain depends on lots of things, including what you weighed before you got pregnant, your body mass index (BMI), and of course how many months or weeks pregnant you are.
You're likely to put on most of the extra kilos after you've passed the 20-week mark.
It's worth keeping in mind ‘Eating for two' is just a figure of speech. It's much more important to have a healthy, balanced diet.
If you're unsure whether your weight gain is on track at 29 weeks pregnant, ask your midwife or doctor for advice based on your individual situation.
29 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Shortness of breath. Seeing your newborn for the first time might just take your breath away, but until that moment comes, you may experience a different type of breathlessness. At around 29 weeks pregnant, your growing uterus isn't leaving much space for your other abdominal organs, so your stomach and diaphragm might have to press against your lungs. As a result, your lungs don't have as much room to expand causing some shortness of breath. That extra weight you're carrying around probably isn't helping much either. To catch your breath, try to move more slowly, take frequent rests and don't overexert yourself.
Varicose veins. If you're noticing sore and possibly itchy blue veins bulging on your legs, these are probably varicose veins. The risk of developing these is higher during pregnancy, as the increased amount of blood circulating around your body puts more strain on the veins. Added to this, pregnancy hormones relax the muscular walls of the blood vessels, making them more prone to swelling. Your growing uterus can put pressure on the veins in your pelvic area, causing varicose veins there too. They may look unpleasant or be uncomfortable, but varicose veins aren't harmful to you or your foetus. To relieve any discomfort, try not to stand for long periods of time, don't sit with your legs crossed and keep your feet elevated whenever possible.
Fatigue. If you feel like your energy reserves are running on empty at around 29 weeks pregnant, rest assured that tiredness and exhaustion are common symptoms of pregnancy, especially during this later stage. The extra weight you're now carrying could be partly to blame. You might also be finding it hard to get a good night's sleep as your bump starts getting in the way. Increasingly frequent trips to the loo at night probably aren't helping much either. Lack of sleep isn't bad for your foetus, but it can leave you feeling irritable or down. If you're finding it hard to drop off at night, take daytime naps whenever you can and avoid drinks with caffeine for a few hours before going to bed. If the size of your belly is making it hard to get into a comfortable sleeping position at 29 weeks pregnant, try supporting it with pillows and put another pillow or cushion between your knees. Experts advise sleeping on your side when pregnant, especially in the third trimester, as this is the safest position for your foetus.
Leg cramps. These are among the more common aches and pains of pregnancy, but medical experts aren't sure what causes them. If you're getting them, you may have noticed that the painful cramps in your calves or feet often strike at night, interrupting your sleep. Gentle leg and foot stretching exercises may help prevent leg cramps, especially if you do them just before going to bed. If a cramp does strike, try pulling your toes up hard towards your shins, or massaging the knotted muscle.
29 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
It's not unusual to feel anxious or vulnerable when you're pregnant, however thrilled you are about having a baby. If you're finding it hard to cope with worries or negative feelings, or if you're experiencing mood swings, talking to your family and friends is often a great way of cutting the problems down to size. If you'd prefer some more impartial advice, your midwife and doctor can also help you find the support groups or professionals that can help.
If you're feeling a little stressed out or frazzled at 29 weeks pregnant, you might like to try some of these stress-relief techniques. One way to relax is to practice prenatal yoga or meditation. Your midwife or doctor can give you more information about practicing yoga safely.
Have you decided who (if anyone) you want to be with you when you give birth? Your birth partner might be your partner, or may be a close friend or relative. Your birth partner can do lots to support you during labour and delivery. They can keep you company, give massages and encourage you. Your birth partner can also help you use those relaxation and breathing techniques that you might have learned at your antenatal classes. He or she can also help with communication between you and your midwife or doctor, making sure your wishes are understood and helping you to feel more in control of what's going on. It's a good idea to discuss your preferences and feelings about your labour and delivery with your birth partner well in advance.
If you haven't already signed up for antenatal classes and you'd like to, it's worth asking your midwife what's available. Antenatal classes cover all sorts of aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, as well as how to look after your newborn. There may also be special classes available in your area if you're a single mum-to-be or a teenager, or if English is not your first language. Antenatal classes are free if provided via the NHS. Demand is high though, so at 29 weeks pregnant you might not want to put this off any longer – the sooner you book, the better your chances of getting a place. If all the NHS classes are booked up in your area, you may be able to find alternative classes on a fee-paying basis – ask your midwife or doctor what's on offer locally. If none are available, or if you're unable to attend antenatal classes for another reason, your midwife may be able to loan you a DVD or book about antenatal care, or point you in the direction of online resources.
If you're pregnant with twins or triplets, some maternity units offer special courses for mums-to-be who are expecting multiples.
29 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor
Should you be doing kick counts? What's a good way to keep track of foetal movement at 29 weeks pregnant?
What symptoms should you always call your doctor about in the third trimester?
How many more routine antenatal appointments will you have between now and your due date?
Is it likely that you'll need an episiotomy (a small cut in the perineum, between the vagina and anus) if you have a vaginal delivery? What exactly does this involve, and why might it be offered?
How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS).
The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
29 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
Choose or start designing a birth announcement (digital or print)
Gently stretch your leg, flexing your foot and pulling your toes back toward you, to deal with any leg cramps
Load up on calcium-rich foods, as well as those that contain potassium
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