At 26-30 weeks, you are getting to the end of the 2nd trimester which is close to the birth of your baby. Your weight increases as your womb, placenta and baby continue to grow. At this stage you may experience more of the back pain, cramps and headaches that have plagued you in the past weeks. Breathing exercises as well as physical activity usually help relieve the aches and pains and strengthen your muscles. There may also be some sleep loss at night if your baby is active and energetic as well. A high fibre diet and fluids is advisable to reduce constipation which you will often experience at this stage. Due to pressure on your ribs, you may experience some abdominal pain; support your back while sitting with a pillow, avoid sudden movements and be careful not to put pressure on your back when moving. From the start of the 26th week, your circulation system will go through a change. Although the pressure of your blood may not increase at this stage and the enlarging of blood vessels will stop, this may lead to some minor fluctuations in your blood pressure. Your blood pressure must not exceed 140/90. In addition, you may experience some swelling in your hands and feet. However, if the swelling is sudden and severe, then it could be pre-eclampsia and if so, consult your doctor immediately. Due to hormonal changes, your cholesterol level may increase while your appetite might diminish due to the pressure on your stomach. It is recommended that there is at least 2 hours between your last meal and sleep time. Irregular cramps in the womb may be experienced due to the pressure on it and you may have some itching on your abdomen at the stage. A pharmacist can prescribe suitable anti itch creams for relief.
The baby’s brain and lungs begin to develop at this stage. The contours of the brain become more defined as the growing brain fits into the skull. Your baby may change position in the womb and the head is usually positioned upward. She can execute somersaults and turn him/herself around. Do not worry if your baby’s head is up, he/she will flip down in the weeks prior to birth. If your baby is in the breech position, the baby may have to be delivered via cesarean section as a normal birth would put too much stress on both you and the baby. His/her eye lids are now open and can distinguish between dark and light. During the monthly ultrasound examinations, you may see your baby sucking on his/her thumb or hand.
At the end of the 30th week, the baby should be approximately 35 cm long and weigh 1-1.5 kg.