What's happening this week
Week 29 and your baby will double in size between now and birth!
At a glance
- Your baby's skin is smoothing out and losing the downy hair
- Double check your maternity rights ahead of your maternity leave
- Make sure you have a 'back up' birth partner
Your baby's skin is now smoothing out, and the vernix (the waxy white substance which has been protecting it from the effects of the amniotic fluid) is beginning to disappear, as is the soft downy hair (lanugo) which has covered its body (although you might still see traces of both at birth). Your baby's eyes are starting to focus now, too – just imagine how their little world currently appears to them!
If you haven't already decided who is going to be your birth partner, or should you need a 'back up' partner if your baby's dad could be delayed getting to the hospital, now could be the time to give it some serious thought! Your birth partner will offer you moral and practical support during labour, and speak to medical staff on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
If your partner cannot be at the birth for whatever reason, or you have both decided he won't be (which is a totally personal preference – some men might not wish to be present, and some mums might not want them to be) you might ask your mum, sister, or a close friend to be there instead, but the decision is yours. Whoever you choose, make sure they are aware of your wishes, and have seen – and ideally have a copy of – your birth plan.
What to think about
You might be on the countdown to your maternity leave now, or perhaps you are planning to carry on in a 'business as normal' fashion at the office for as long as possible. Some mums-to-be like to work right up until the last minute so they can use as much as their maternity leave as possible after their baby is born.
Of course, what you do for a living will have a bearing on this, and how long you can stay at work for, but regardless of when you decide to finish up, do take those last few weeks easy – don't try and be superwoman! Have a look at our maternity rights pages for info on statutory maternity leave and paternity leave.