Newsletter - Week 30

Welcome To Week 30

30 Week Old Fetus

Your Baby: Filling Out

Your baby continues to grow taller and fill out as you near the end of your pregnancy. By now, he weighs approximately 3 pounds (1400 g) and measures about 17 inches (38 cm) in total length. Your baby is continuing to grow rapidly now. In preparation for the journey to the new world, the baby is taking deep breaths of amniotic fluid. Sometimes at this point the baby may get hiccups and you may feel that happen!

Your Body: What's Better - Breast Or Bottle?

Chances are you have a lot on your mind as you settle into the last trimester. And like most pregnant women, you're probably pondering what's best for your baby food wise: breast or bottle? Doctors and midwives agree that breastfeeding is the best choice for your baby, and also has significant benefits for your health too. If you’re skeptical, consider trying breastfeeding in the first few weeks after your baby is born. If you decide to switch to bottles, it’s an easy change. If you start out bottle-feeding and then want to try breastfeeding, you may find your milk has dried up, and it will be too late. Read on to understand why breastfeeding is such a great option.

Breastfeeding

Pluses

  • Breast milk has antibodies that help decrease infections and other conditions, reducing your baby’s risk of diseases ranging from ear infections to bacterial meningitis.
  • Breast milk is specifically tailored to meet your baby’s nutritional needs, changing as your baby grows.
  • Long term, breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of insulin-dependent diabetes, lymphoma, and Crohn’s disease.
  • Breast milk is extremely inexpensive.
  • It’s easier – there’s no need to prepare bottles or mix formula.
  • Mothers who breastfeed may loose weight more quickly.
  • Breastfeeding allows for emotional bonding between you and your baby.
  • Babies who are breastfed have higher I.Q.'s.
  • Breastfeeding may decrease YOUR chance of developing diabetes later in life.

Minuses

  • It’s not always easy in the beginning, and takes more effort to learn than bottle feeding. Partners and friends can’t pitch in to help with feedings.
  • If you plan to go back to work, you’ll need to make arrangements to pump milk for your baby throughout the day, or introduce her to formula.
  • You’ll need to continue to avoid excessive alcohol, and make sure the medications you take are compatible with breastfeeding.

Bottlefeeding

Pluses

  • It may be more convenient for your lifestyle, because anyone can feed your baby.
  • Your diet can include alcohol, and you can take medications that aren’t recommended for breastfeeding.

Minuses

  • Baby does not receive antibodies, and faces a higher risk of infection. Babies who are bottle fed are three times more likely to be hospitalized before their first birthday than babies who are breastfed.
  • Formula is expensive.
  • You need to set aside time to prepare bottles and mix formula.
  • You miss the maternal benefits, such as weight loss, afforded by breastfeeding.

If you plan to try breastfeeding, it’s best to start out nursing your baby and avoid supplements until you and your baby have figured out how to nurse. After the first few weeks, women who want to both breast and bottle feed often introduce a bottle, so that baby can learn how to feed both ways. If you need to return to work, or be separated from your baby, you can express your milk with a pump and store it for future use.

Talk it over with your doctor and your partner and come up with a plan that seems the most reasonable for you, your baby, and your partner.

On A Different Note: The Inner Sanctum

Get a glimpse inside your swelling belly and see how babies grow and change with this ultrasound identifier visual tool. These dynamic images will show you what a fetus looks like at 17, 19, and 30 weeks. Just roll the curser over the different body parts, and presto!

Weekly Tip

If getting comfortable in bed at night is getting more and more difficult, bring on the pillows and props. You can put a maternity pillow (really any pillow will do) between your legs, under your belly, and behind your back. To relieve pressure on your hips from lying on your side, tuck a piece of soft egg-crate foam on top of your mattress and under the sheet, and to ease fluid retention in your legs and ankles, place a folded blanket under your feet to keep them elevated while you sleep.

Revision

Last reviewed 12/1/2010 by Zev Williams MD, PhD, FACOG, Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, Weill-Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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