29 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 38.6 cms in length from head to heal (15.2 inches) and weighs about 1.153 kgs (2.54 lbs).
The nerves in your baby’s mouth and tongue are myelinising. This means that the nerve fibres are being insulated with a fatty substance called myelin. The myelinisation of nerve fibres allows the electrical impulse messages from the brain to the muscles to reach their destination more efficiently, promoting co-ordinated movement. Due to this process, your baby’s sucking and swallowing reflex is coming online. This reflex will be very helpful after birth if you plan to breastfeed. The baby’s desire to suck at the nipple, will provide a trigger to your body to produce milk, enabling your milk to ‘come in’ more rapidly. For now, your baby just has to settle with sucking their thumb and fingers.
30 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 39.9 cms in length from head to heal (15.71 inches) and weighs about 1.319 kgs (2.91 lbs).
The baby’s body is growing more rounded and the skin smooths out. The white, greasy vernix which has covered your baby’s skin for many weeks slowly begins to be absorbed. The fine lanugo hair which covers your baby's skin starts to disappear from the face.
Your baby's brain is increasing in size and complexity. As a result of your baby’s nervous system continuing to mature, the daily rhythms of their activity tend to become more clearly pronounced and regular. Your baby’s measurable heart rate also begin to have clearer ups and downs depending upon their activities and experiences. Periods of sleeping and waking are now quite different, and your baby may sleep for up to 95% of the time. However, being asleep does not necessarily mean lying still. Your baby may toss and turn during a large part of their sleep, which is called Active Sleep or REM sleep where their eyes will move rapidly and they might dream. Active sleep is one of the four distinct behavioural states which become recognisable and continue to be characteristic in the baby’s behaviour in the weeks beyond birth.
31 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 41.1 cms in length from head to heal (16.18 inches) and weighs about 1.502 kgs (3.31 lbs).
Around about now your baby will move into a head down position in readiness for birth, though that is still more than 2 months away. Babies tend to occupy the position which feels most comfortable and the shape of the lower part of your uterus is a good fit for the baby’s head. If your baby doesn’t rotate head down it is not a big concern. 95% of babies will be head down by 37 weeks.
During the final months of pregnancy, your body confers antibodies to the baby. They are taken up by the placenta from the mother’s bloodstream. Maternal antibodies are also accessed by the baby via the amniotic fluid. These antibodies provide your baby with passive immunity to everything that you have become immune to during the course of your life including diseases you may have experienced and fought off and diseases against which you have been immunised. This passive immunity will last for around six months and will be boosted by antibodies in breast milk if you decide to breastfeed your baby.
32 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about 42.4 cms in length from head to heal (16.69 inches) and weighs about 1.702 kgs (3.75 lbs).
Your baby's lungs continue to mature rapidly. They produce small amounts of surfactant, a fatty substance which coats all the delicate structures inside the lungs, ensuring that they are able to expand properly after the birth when the baby takes their first breaths. In order to be out of the ‘danger’ zone, your baby needs a few more weeks of surfactant release if they are going to be able to breathe independently at birth.
Your baby’s sucking reflex is almost fully co-ordinated now, but it is early days for them to be able to feed independently, because sucking is a tiring business. If your baby is born this early, they may require extra support with feeding via an intravenous drip or fine tube to their stomach. Nearly 80% of preterm babies are born between 32 and 37 week gestation.