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Week 29

Are you feeling excited? Or nervous? Or maybe you're a bit of both? Being pregnant stirs up all kinds of emotions.

You could feel very sad, for example, that a loved one who's passed on will never get to meet your baby.

The important thing to do during pregnancy is to talk to friends, family, your midwife or doctor, and discuss anything that's worrying you.

What's happening in my body?

You might be feeling a bit breathless, as your baby pushes against your lungs. It puts a strain on your body carrying extra weight around too.

You may feel irritated when people tell you to enjoy your sleep while you can, as it's not very easy right now.

You could be getting leg cramps. Plus if the baby's pressing against your bladder, you may be going to the bathroom more often throughout the night.

Babies seem to have a habit of being really active just as you want to go to sleep. They have their own sleeping and waking patterns, and you'll be lucky if your schedules coincide!

Get to know your baby's patterns. If you notice that they change or stop, contact your midwife or hospital.

Rest when you can in the day. It's best to try and sleep on your side – try supporting your body when you lie down by putting a pillow under your bump and another one between your legs.

If you feel unable to cope because you're just too tired, talk to your midwife or doctor.

Can I tell if I'm having a boy or a girl?

You may have been told the sex of your baby at your anomaly scan, but sometimes it's tricky to get a proper look. Also it may not be your hospital's policy to reveal the sex before the birth.

It's not possible to tell your baby's sex from any of the following things.

The position of your bump

Some people think a neat high bump means you're carrying a boy, while a rounded low bump indicates a girl. In fact, the differences are more to do with:

  • your height
  • your muscles
  • how many babies you've already had
  • how much you eat in pregnancy

Your baby's heart rate

Some people say that if it's over 140 beats per minute, it's more likely to be a girl, but there's no science to back this up.

Gender prediction kits you can buy on the internet

These claim to measure testosterone in your urine, or traces of the baby's DNA in your blood.

However, they rely on you providing a usable sample and that's not easy. They're also very expensive.

Some doctors think that you're just as likely to get the right result by tossing a coin.

Spinning a wedding ring over your pregnant belly

It's supposed to spin in circles for a girl or like a pendulum for a boy. There's no scientific basis to this.

3rd trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 29 weeks)

You could be feeling awkward and uncoordinated. It takes a while to get used to having a bump. Your sense of balance could be all over the place, as your centre of gravity changes.

If you fall over, do not panic – you've got plenty of padding in there – but let your midwife or doctor know.

This week, your signs of pregnancy could include:

You may also experience symptoms from earlier weeks, such as:

Read Tommy's guide to common pregnancy symptoms.

What does my baby look like?

Your baby, or foetus, is around 38.6cm long from head to heel. That's approximately the size of a butternut squash.

Your baby is now perfectly formed – over the next few weeks, they have lots to do, like maturing their organs and gaining fat.

For the past few weeks, your baby has been covered by a greasy white layer of something called "vernix" that protects the skin and soft, downy hair for warmth. This starts to disappear now.

Your baby is getting ready to make an entrance in about 11 weeks' time.

Composite. One side shows a foetus attached to the placenta by the umbilical cord. The foetus is recognisable as a baby. Other side shows a person holding a butternut squash in 2 hands.
Your baby is about the size of a butternut squash.

Action stations

Start writing your birth plan if you would like to have one. Think about:

  • what sort of pain relief you want, if any
  • who you would like to be your birth partner and what kind of role you want them to have

This week you could also...

Talk to your work

You have maternity rights. You can ask for a risk assessment of your work place to ensure that you're working in a safe environment.

You should not be lifting heavy things and you may need extra breaks and somewhere to sit.

You can also attend antenatal appointments during paid work time.

Start doing pelvic floor exercises

It's a good time to tone up your pelvic floor muscles. Gentle exercises can help to prevent leakage when you laugh, sneeze or cough.

Get the muscles going by pretending that you're having a pee and then stopping midflow.

Visit Tommy's for more information on pelvic floor exercises.

Antenatal classes

Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.

Ask your partner if they would like to take part in the antenatal classes. Even if you've had children before, antenatal classes are still worth going to as you can meet other parents-to-be.

The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.

Smoking, drinking and caffeine in pregnancy

Do your best to stop smoking and give up alcohol, and go easy on the tea, coffee and anything else with caffeine.

Ask your midwife or GP for support.

Vitamins in pregnancy

To keep bones and muscles healthy, we need vitamin D.

From late March/early April to the end of September, most people make enough vitamin D from sunlight on their skin. However, between October and early March, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement because we cannot make enough from sunlight.

Some people should take a vitamin D supplement all year round, find out if this applies to you on the NHS website.

You just need 10 micrograms daily (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). Check if you're entitled to free vitamins.

Exercising in pregnancy

It's recommended that you do 150 minutes of exercise a week while pregnant.

You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise – perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section).

Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

Healthy eating

There's no need to eat for 2.

Now you're in the 3rd trimester, you may need an extra 200 calories a day, but that's not much. It's about the same as 2 slices of wholemeal toast with margarine.

You just need to eat a healthy balanced diet, with a variety of different foods every day, including plenty of fruit and veg. Have a look at our guide to healthy eating in pregnancy.

You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.

Emotional and mental wellbeing

How are you today?

If you're feeling anxious or low, talk to your doctor or midwife, who can point you in the right direction to get all the support that you need. You could also discuss your worries with your partner, friends and family.

You may be worried about your relationship, or money, or having somewhere permanent to live.

Don't keep it to yourself – it's important that you ask for help if you need it.


Getting pregnant again is probably the last thing on your mind right now. However, now is a good time to start planning what type of contraception you would like to use after your baby is born.

Getting pregnant again could happen sooner than you realise, and too short a gap between babies is known to cause problems.

Talk to your GP or midwife to help you decide.

Talk to your midwife about newborn screening

You will be offered newborn screening tests for your baby soon after they are born.

These screening tests are recommended by the NHS because they can make sure your baby is given appropriate treatment if needed.

Your decisions about whether or not you want these screening tests will be respected, and healthcare professionals will support you.

Ask your midwife or doctor for more information about newborn screening.

More in week-by-week

Week 30

You're three-quarters of the way there now!

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