30 weeks 


Highlights this week

Baby shower fun

If you haven't had your shower yet, check out more than a dozen ideas for baby shower games that will keep your friends and family entertained.

Belly getting in the way?

Missionary position may be harder to manage now. Luckily, there are lots of alternative pregnancy sex positions.

Eating the placenta

If you want to eat your placenta after birth, it's important to understand the benefits, risks, and how to safely preserve and prepare it.

Baby development at 30 weeks

Your baby's skin

Your baby's skin cells are making melanin, which gives skin its color. (The more melanin cells produce, the darker the skin.) But most melanin production doesn't happen until after birth. Your baby's permanent skin tone will be fully developed around 6 months old.

Your baby's hair

Your little one may now have more hair on their head and less everywhere else. Lanugo – the fine hair that started growing on your baby's body a few months ago – will mostly fall out before they're born.

Your baby's eyes

Your baby can open their eyes wide, and may be able to see dim shapes. By 31 weeks, the pupils are able to constrict and expand, allowing the eyes to let in more or less light.

baby turning head
Your baby at 30 weeks
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Your baby is about the size of a large cabbage

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head to toe
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Pregnancy symptoms during week 30

Belly button changes

Your belly button may be looking different now that you're 30 weeks pregnant. In your third trimester, your expanding uterus can put enough pressure on your abdomen to push your belly button out. And just like that, your "innie" turns into an "outie."

Your belly button may also feel sensitive to the touch or uncomfortable when clothes rub against it. Some women wear looser tops or even put an adhesive bandage over their belly button in late pregnancy to avoid the sensation.

In very rare cases, pregnant women can develop an incarcerated umbilical hernia, which is very painful. An incarcerated hernia happens if a piece of your intestines pushes out through an opening in the tissue, bulges into your bully button, and gets stuck. The intense pain comes from the piece of intestine getting squeezed into a small space.

If this happens, along with pain, you'll probably feel a hard lump next to your belly button. This can be a surgical emergency, so call your provider if you have severe belly button pain during pregnancy.

Brown discharge

During pregnancy, your body's increased estrogen production leads to more vaginal discharge. Brown discharge is that color because it's tinged with old blood, and it's usually nothing to be worried about.

You may see brown spotting or discharge after having sex or getting a pelvic exam. Your cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy, so these things can irritate it and lead to a little bleeding.

As labor gets closer, you may see discharge that looks like thickened mucus and is clear, pinkish, brownish, or tinged with blood. This is your mucus plug, and it's often accompanied by bloody discharge called "bloody show."

Sometimes vaginal discharge during pregnancy can signal a serious problem such as placenta previa, placental abruption, preterm labor, or an infection. Call your provider immediately if the discharge:

  • Is bright red and more than about two tablespoons
  • Comes out when you're less than 36 weeks pregnant
  • Is green or smells bad


In the third trimester, you may be saying hello again to pregnancy fatigue. You probably won't feel the same level of extreme exhaustion as during the first trimester, but you may notice that you tire more easily and need to take breaks to rest. This is to be expected – you're carrying extra weight (including a baby who's rapidly plumping up) and may not be sleeping well.

Fatigue can be a symptom of iron-deficiency anemia. (Your healthcare provider will test your blood for anemia, but let them know if you feel usually tired.) Depression can also cause fatigue or sleeplessness, so if you feel sad, hopeless, or unable to handle your daily responsibilities, or if you have thoughts of harming yourself, call your doctor or midwife immediately.

For relief, try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink enough water. Include gentle exercise like walking in your daily routine. Ask for help, rest when you can, and use these tips to get better sleep.


You can expect your ankles and feet to swell during pregnancy, especially as you near the end. (It's one reason why slip-on shoes are so helpful in the third trimester.) Swelling happens because your growing uterus puts pressure on your pelvic veins and your inferior vena cava (the large vein on the right side of the body that carries blood from your lower limbs back to the heart). The pressure slows the return of blood from your legs, causing it to pool and forcing fluid from your veins into the tissues of your feet and ankles.

Hormonal changes can add to swelling in pregnancy, plus your body naturally retains more fluids to support your pregnancy. In fact, by the end of pregnancy you can expect to be carrying an extra 2 to 3 pounds of water weight. (You'll pee and sweat it out in the week after you give birth.)

Swelling during pregnancy isn't usually a problem, though in some cases it could signal a more serious issue, such as preeclampsia or a blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Call your provider if you notice excessive and/or sudden swelling in your feet or ankles, more than moderate swelling of your hands or face, or significantly more swelling in one leg than the other.

Mood swings

The combination of uncomfortable symptoms, stress, and hormonal changes can result in the return of mood swings in the third trimester. If your mood swings are becoming more frequent or intense, or if they last longer than two weeks, you may be battling depression during pregnancy or pregnancy anxiety. Let your healthcare provider know so you can get help during pregnancy. Research has shown that untreated emotional health problems can affect your baby's physical well-being and increase your risk of preterm labor and postpartum depression. Both psychotherapy and medication can be very effective for treating these conditions.

Shortness of breath

Later in the third trimester, a simple trip up the stairs may wear you out. As your pregnancy progresses, you may start to feel winded after doing ordinary tasks.

Your body requires more oxygen during pregnancy, and your growing uterus is putting pressure on your diaphragm – leading to shortness of breath. (Shortness of breath during pregnancy can also be aggravated by a preexisting condition, such as asthma, anemia, or high blood pressure.)

You might get some breathing relief a few weeks before you're due, especially if it's your first pregnancy, because this is when your baby may drop into your pelvis as labor approaches.

While shortness of breath is common during pregnancy, seek medical attention right away if you have sudden or severe shortness of breath, worsening asthma, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, a feeling that you're going to faint, or chest pain or pain when you breathe.

Don't see your symptom?

Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.

30 weeks down, 20 bajillion things to do, 10 weeks left
baby in womb at 30 weeks
Your body at 30 weeks
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Pregnancy checklist at 30 weeks

Get a prenatal massage

Prenatal massage can be a wonderful way to relax and relieve those late-pregnancy aches. It can also help reduce swelling and even improve your mood. Choose a licensed massage therapist trained in prenatal massage. (If you need help finding a good massage therapist, ask your friends or local moms for a recommendation.) Get your doctor or midwife's okay before you make an appointment, and be sure to remind your massage therapist you're pregnant before you begin the session.

Research doulas

Start talking to doulas if you'd like to hire one to help during labor and delivery or after you bring your baby home. A birth doula is a trained assistant who provides emotional and physical support during a baby's birth. They may help you make decisions during labor – at a time when you may be fatigued and in pain – and serve as a liaison to your healthcare team. A postpartum doula helps after the birth, usually by visiting you at home to give breastfeeding guidance, prepare healthy meals, and more.

Why use a birth doula? Research has found that women who have continuous one-on-one support during labor tend to use pain medication less often, have slightly shorter labors, and are less likely to have a C-section or a forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery. Also, Black women have reported better labor and birthing experiences when they had a Black doula by their side.

To find a doula, start by asking family, friends, and your provider for recommendations. Doula costs vary widely depending on where you live, but typically range from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars, which can be a steep commitment. If you need financial help, reach out to local doula organizations or research state-supported initiatives that help cover the costs of hiring a doula. Some health insurance plans will cover part or all of the cost, and a few hospitals provide doulas to patients in labor.

Consider cord blood banking

Your baby's cord blood – the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after birth – is rich in life-saving stem cells. These stem cells are used to treat diseases including some forms of cancer, sickle cell anemia, immune disorders, and more. Some parents choose to privately bank (collect and store) their baby's cord blood for future use in case their baby or someone else in the family needs it for medical treatment.

You can also donate your baby's cord blood to a public cord blood bank. (These donations are available to anyone, anywhere in the world, who needs cord blood.) It's best to start researching and planning cord blood banking well before your baby arrives, as it takes time to find the right bank and complete the necessary steps.

Get vaccinated

Vaccines help keep you safe from diseases and lower your risk of a bad outcome. During pregnancy, it's important to have the flu vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine, and a Tdap vaccine. Pregnant women are at especially high risk for severe illness and hospitalization from the flu and COVID, which is why doctors and all major health organizations urge expecting moms to get these vaccines.

Vaccines also help keep your baby healthy, since antibodies from vaccines pass through the placenta to your little one. This is especially important when your baby is a newborn and hasn't had all their vaccines yet. For example, getting the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy helps protect your newborn from whooping cough, which can be fatal to babies. (Note: Up-to-date vaccines are recommended for anyone who'll be around your newborn, including grandparents, siblings, and caregivers.)

Not all vaccines are safe during pregnancy, so talk to your provider about which ones to have. Also talk to your provider about postpartum vaccinations – you may be in need of a vaccine that you can't get until after pregnancy.

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30 weeks pregnant bellies

Are you imagining it, or do your feet grow during pregnancy? While the bones in the feet aren't actually growing, your feet probably are expanding, thanks to weight gain, swelling, and the hormone relaxin causing ligaments in the feet to spread.

Your feet may end up a half size or even a full size larger, which means you may need to buy some comfortable pregnancy shoes for the last few months.

After delivery, your feet may return to their pre-pregnancy size, but it's not uncommon for them to remain larger. One study found that most women saw their foot length increase by anywhere between 2 and 10 millimeters. (One shoe size is about ten millimeters.)

30 weeks pregnant bellies

This week's video



BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

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Cleveland Clinic. 2020. Fetal Development: Stages of Growth. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

Mayo Clinic. 2021. Fetal development: The 3rd trimester. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

MedlinePlus (ADAM). 2019. Fetal development. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

Hadlock FP et al. 1991. In utero analysis of fetal growth: A sonographic weight standard. Radiology 181 (1). a new window [Accessed September 2022]

Hadlock FP et al. 1992. Fetal cross-rump length: Reevaluation of relation to menstrual age (5-18 weeks) with high-resolution real-time US. Radiology 182: 5-1-505. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

Vintzileos AM et al. 1984. The ultrasound femur length as a predictor of fetal length. Obstetrics & Gynecology 64(6): 779-82. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

Hadlock FP 1984. Estimating fetal age: Computer-assisted analysis of multiple fetal growth parameters. Radiology 152: 497-501. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

Tahirah Blanding
Tahirah Blanding is a Houston-based health and lifestyle writer whose work has been featured on Yahoo and MSN. When she's not writing, she's running after her toddler daughter or scouting her city for good food.
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