30 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your third trimester

    Updated 18 August 2023 |
    Published 24 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Charlsie Celestine, Obstetrician and gynecologist, New Jersey, US
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    From swollen feet to an increased urge to pee, here’s the lowdown on being 30 weeks pregnant.

    At 30 weeks pregnant, you’re about three-quarters of the way there (since a baby is considered full term at between 39 weeks and 40 weeks and 6 days). This can be both exciting and daunting. You may feel like there’s a lot of planning ahead before your baby arrives. 

    Depending on your symptoms, pregnancy might have felt like a bit of a journey up until this point, and at 30 weeks pregnant, both your baby and your body are still changing. While no two pregnancies are the same, knowing what you could expect may make you feel more in control as you approach your third-trimester appointments and explore the type of birth you may want to have. 

    Your baby at 30 weeks pregnant 

    Baby can focus

    The 30-weeks-pregnant mark is packed with developmental milestones for your baby. By now, all of their major body systems are formed and quickly mature throughout your third trimester. Your baby is rapidly putting on weight to prepare for life outside of the uterus.

    Another important part of a baby’s development at week 30? Their eyes can focus. This might feel pretty advanced, but their eyes still have a little way to go before their sight is fully developed (this doesn’t happen until around three months after they’re born).

    Baby might be sucking their thumb

    You might be under the impression that thumb sucking is a comforting habit we develop once we’re born, but your baby may start doing this while they’re still in your uterus. Some people spot their babies practicing their sucking reflex when they attend their ultrasound scan, and babies might do this to soothe themselves. 

    How big is a baby at 30 weeks?

    Length (crown to heel): 40.5 cm or 16 in 

    Weight: 1.6 kg or 3.4 lb

    Size: Equivalent to a cabbage

    All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range. 

    Your body at 30 weeks pregnant

    You’ll likely have experienced a plethora of symptoms during pregnancy. Some may last for a few weeks (many people experience nausea during their first trimester, although for some it carries on beyond that), and others will crop up at different points in pregnancy for different reasons. Keep reading to learn more about how your body is changing at 30 weeks pregnant. 

    You may need to pee more

    As your baby grows, they’ll take up more space in your uterus. This means you’ll see your body change as your bump grows, but there will also be a knock-on effect to the organs that surround your uterus. For example, your bladder is located just under your uterus, and as your baby grows, they may put increased pressure on it. The result? Needing to pee a lot more than before you were pregnant. You might even experience some bladder leaks, known as stress urinary incontinence. This is a normal and fairly common experience for pregnant people, but it can be incredibly annoying. No one wants to monitor how much they laugh or panic every time they sneeze. Doing pelvic floor exercises while you’re on the go may help. 

    Your feet may swell

    Getting used to your new pregnant body can take a while. As your bump expands, your belly button may have gone from an innie to an outie. And did you know that your feet and ankles might swell? This might feel like a surprising development, but fear not — it’s fairly common and easily explained. 

    When you’re pregnant, your body retains more water than it would have before. This extra water tends to pool in your lower body thanks to gravity, especially around your feet and ankles. This can be uncomfortable and frustrating (your favorite strappy sandals may be a no-go for a little bit). To help you combat the swelling, you can

    • Continue to drink lots of water. This might feel counterintuitive, but it may help you to get rid of the excess water. 
    • Wear comfortable shoes and socks.
    • Try to avoid standing for long periods of time and rest your feet if you are experiencing swelling. 

    Swelling that develops gradually isn’t typically something you should be too worried about. But if you notice that your face, hands, or feet suddenly become swollen or you have headaches or problems with your vision, then this could be a sign of a pregnancy complication called preeclampsia, and you should reach out to your doctor immediately. 

    Your questions answered

    Is your baby fully developed at 30 weeks?

    “Although many of the organs are fully developed, they may not be ready to work independently yet,” explains Dr. Marta Perez, obstetrician, gynecologist, and assistant professor, Washington University School of Medicine, Missouri, US. “The fetus still needs time to grow and mature during pregnancy or would need support in the hospital if born at 30 weeks.” 

    Toward the end of your pregnancy, your baby gains weight rapidly, which is crucial for preparing them for the outside world. 

    Is 30 weeks considered 8 months pregnant?

    “The ‘months’ or ‘weeks’ of pregnancy aren’t set in stone, though as an OB-GYN, I would say eight months' pregnancy would be after 32 weeks or so,” says Dr. Perez. At 30 weeks, you’re seven months pregnant — around 10 weeks until you’ll be considered full term.

    What should you not do at 30 weeks pregnant?

    By 30 weeks, you’ll likely have realized that people love to offer pregnancy advice, whether it’s invited or not. However, you’ll probably have gathered some great tips from your health care provider, and the best thing to do at this point in your pregnancy is to continue following them. “The pregnancy health recommendations don’t really change at 30 weeks, but you certainly may gradually feel some of the discomforts of pregnancy increase as you head into the third trimester,” says Dr. Perez. “If any symptoms are concerning, contact your health care provider.”

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    30 weeks pregnant checklist 

    Treat yourself to a comfy pair of shoes

    If you’ve noticed that you’ve started to retain water around your ankles, then it might be time to hang up your heels for a little while. It’s crucial that as you move through your third trimester, you try to remain as comfortable as possible. That may mean treating yourself to a new pair of shoes so you don’t have any unnecessary straps or buckles digging into your skin. 

    Get omega-3

    You might already know some of the benefits of getting plenty of omega-3 in your diet. They can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. The fact that omega-3 fatty acids have serious benefits for brain development means they can be great for both you and your baby during pregnancy and after birth if you choose to breastfeed. 

    These fatty acids can be found in many forms of fish, flaxseeds, broccoli, kidney beans, spinach, and walnuts. It’s recommended that you eat two or three servings of fish per week during pregnancy and while you’re breastfeeding, but it’s important to take note of the type of fish you’re reaching for. Some have higher levels of mercury (a metal that has been linked to birth defects). If you’re unsure about the mercury levels in your fish, then you can check the label and speak to your health care provider. 

    Book a pregnancy massage 

    Entering your third trimester can be really exciting, but it’s also the time to start thinking about any maternity leave you might take, birthing classes you might want to do, and names for your baby. It’s a lot. So, alongside planning for the not-so-distant future, take some time to kick back and rest your feet. 

    A prenatal massage can be a good way to relax, and it may relieve some of that third-trimester water retention and reduce swelling. If you book a couple’s massage, it can also be a wonderful way to connect with your partner or have some time with a friend before the baby arrives. Before you book a massage, though, look for a licensed massage therapist trained in prenatal massages and make sure to get it approved by your health care provider beforehand. 

    Be aware of Braxton Hicks

    You may not have felt them yet, but by the time you’re 30 weeks pregnant, your doctor may have already described Braxton Hicks contractions (sometimes referred to as false labor contractions). With your due date high on your mind, the idea of false labor might sound alarming, but don’t worry. There are some ways you can spot real labor contractions based on the way they feel. Braxton Hicks contractions feel like tightness at the front of your bump and are irregular in timing. Real labor contractions can be felt in the middle of your back and wrapped around your abdomen, and they initially last between 60 and 90 seconds. They’re more regular, get closer together, and become stronger over time. 

    New pains and twinges are never fun, but Braxton Hicks contractions are fairly common. They might go away by themselves. If you’ve spent a lot of time on your feet, then lying down may alleviate them. If you’ve been lying or sitting down, then going for a walk and drinking water may also help them go away.

    When to consult a doctor at 30 weeks pregnant 

    As you progress through your third trimester, you may see your doctor more frequently. You don’t need to wait until your appointment if you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy. However, at 30 weeks pregnant, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience: 

    This isn’t an exhaustive list and just an example of some of the changes you should look out for. Some of these can be a sign of health complications, so it’s essential that you speak to your doctor about the best next step for you. And if you’re ever worried about any other symptoms you experience during pregnancy, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider. 

    30 weeks pregnant: The takeaway

    By 30 weeks pregnant, you may be getting more used to your third-trimester prenatal appointments and counting down the weeks until your baby’s due date. This is a great time to start thinking about yourself, booking a prenatal massage, and connecting with loved ones ahead of your baby’s arrival. 

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    History of updates

    Current version (18 August 2023)

    Medically reviewed by Dr. Charlsie Celestine, Obstetrician and gynecologist, New Jersey, US

    Published (24 February 2019)

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