Lamaze classes are a great way to enter your final stretch. Not only will you be introduced formally to what is in store, you will also be presented with visual aids and demonstrations that may drive home the point about the reality of what is to come. With close to ten weeks to the big day, easing into the birthing process can ease the anxiety that you may have about it.

What’s happening with you

week 30 of pregnancyWhile gaining weight is healthy and normal during this process, how much and how soon deserves attention. Potentially fatal conditions such as preeclampsia and toxemia are characterized by excessive weight gain and hypertension. So when these symptoms are observed, consult your doctor right away. These can be easily treated and with the right care.

The symptoms to watch for are headaches in the back of the head, swelling and sudden or extreme weight gain. Regular check-ups at the doctor will ensure that your body is keeping within acceptable patterns. While preeclampsia is a serious condition, don’t lose sleep over it; keep good habits and for the most part, you will have nothing to worry about.

Hemorrhoids are another common inconvenience of late pregnancy. With all the weight gain and extra blood volume, swollen blood vessels may be an issue for some women. Soaking in warm water will help this condition, along with wearing loose clothing. The problem will resolve on its own after birth.

What’s happening with your baby

This week marks an important development for your baby. The smooth surface of the brain starts to develop ridges and crests to yield the folded brain profile that we are used to. The finger nail and toe nail beds are full covered by growing nails.The bone marrow is fully mature and is responsible wholly for red blood cell production. The downy lanugo is being shed everyday as the baby learns to regulate his own body temperature. The layers of fat that the baby has been putting on under the skin help with body temperature regulation.

You may be surprised to know that your baby has not gained a lot of weight this week. This week’s energy is used in brain development. The baby is approximately 3 pounds (1.35 kg) and just over 15 inches long, the size of a newborn puppy!

Your doctor is keeping track of fundal height; this should be assurance enough that everything is going according to plan. Keeping track of these changes yourself may be an interesting addition to your pregnancy diary which might be near its end!