You are now in the last week of the seventh month, with just 10 more weeks to go until you are full term. Reaching the 30th week is a major milestone in your baby’s development, as premature babies born after the 30th week has over 92% chances of survival without any long-term complication when provided with proper preemie intensive care .
These last few weeks are vital for the fetal brain development with brain cells maturing at a rapid pace. The characteristic wrinkles and indentations (convolutions) on the brain’s surface continue to get more prominent to provide space for a higher number of brain cells . The nervous system is almost done maturing, waiting for the synapses to connect the neurons with each other after birth .
Another important change occurring this week is the bone marrow taking over the job of red blood cell production . This development further equips your baby to survive on his own after birth .
All the five senses have become functional by this week , going through the final stages of development. Your baby’s vision is now mature enough that he can follow a light source with his eyes if you shine a torch on your belly . He can probably even see the world around him inside the womb; however, babies at 30 weeks of gestational age are likely to keep their eyes closed most of the time. Even after birth, it takes months for them to detect objects more than a few inches away from their face .
The white fat layer continues to form beneath the skin, giving your baby a plumber, chubbier appearance. The loose skin folds are gradually filling out with the skin turning smoother and suppler . His fingernails have almost reached the fingertips  while his eyelashes are fully mature as well .
Your baby’s kicks and punches are enough for you to know about his growing strength. His movements are not so light and fluttery anymore; in fact some of his kicks can actually hurt a bit. You are probably used to his sleep-wake cycles and movement patterns by now. Make sure to take some quiet time every day for kick counting to make sure everything is okay with your baby . It is normal for babies to be in a breech (feet down) or transverse (lying sideways) position during week 30 as there is still plenty of time for him to position himself properly for birth .
About as big as a cabbage, your baby is now around 15.71 inches (39.9 cm) long , weighing about 3 pounds (1.3 kg) .
The top of the uterus lies just over 4 inches above the top of your bellybutton this week . Most women gain around 1 pound per week throughout the third trimester .
In addition to the growing belly shifting your center of gravity, the increasing levels of relaxin hormone contribute to loosening of the joints and muscles, making you clumsier than usual . Your relaxing joints and ligaments may also cause you to go up a shoe size . Although your feet are more likely to go back to their pre-pregnancy size after delivery, this change might be permanent in some cases.
An ultrasound performed this week will show your baby moving a lot, grabbing the umbilical cord or his feet with his now developed hands .
Published on August 23rd 2014 by Pregmed Editorial Team.
Article was last reviewed on 23rd August 2014.