At week 30 the baby is about 17 inches long and weighs over 3 pounds. 30 weeks is the ¾ mark. 30 weeks down and 10 to go. The baby is having vivid dreams at week 30, we don’t know what they are dreaming about but it is dreaming.
The baby is moving a lot at week 30. Movement tends to peak between 28 -32 weeks so you are right in the peak of the baby’s movement. It may feel like kicking, squirming, rolling, and many other types of movement. This is the time in pregnancy when people will complain that the baby is keeping them up at night with the movement. Some patients tell me they can play games with the baby by touching the belly and the baby kicks back. Occasionally I will have a patient worried that with all the movement something I wrong with the baby, it is in pain, or scared, or other concern. The baby is fine, there is no such thing as too much movement. If the bay is sick, or not getting the oxygen or nutrients it needs it will have less movement not more, movement is always a sign of fetal well being. The movements will start to slow down as you approach the due date, the baby will still move frequently but the quality of the movement will change.
At week 30 breathing movements are visible on ultrasound. The baby has been doing this for a while but it is pretty clear on ultrasound at week 30. The breathing movements are the chest cavity expanding and collapsing as the baby is moving amniotic fluid into and out of the lungs. In the uterus the oxygen and waste are exchanged through the placenta so the breathing does not fulfill the same purpose as it does after birth. These breathing movements help increase the muscles of the diaphragm and chest wall so the baby will be strong enough to breathe when it is born. The movement of amniotic fluid into and out of the lungs is important for lung development and growth.