34 Weeks Pregnant – What Is it Like?
Did you know that if your baby is born this week, she would have the almost the same chance of survival as a full term baby? At this stage of the pregnancy, your baby is preparing herself for the birth. She is practicing breathing with the amniotic fluid, and sucking her fingers in preparation for the early days of breast milk.
34 Weeks Pregnant – Your baby’s growth
Your baby weighs about 5.9 pounds (2700 grams) and measures around 18.5 inches (470 millimeters) in length. If different, fear not – these are only guidelines and every baby and pregnancy is unique.
If you could see inside the womb, you would find her to be chubby, a result of the freshly deposited baby fat and growing muscles. A 3-D ultrasound could allow you to observe your baby’s facial expressions.
During week 34, your baby’s skin becomes softer and pinker. The wrinkled appearance is now gone and the waxy, white coating (vernix) thickens this week. Her fingernails have reached her fingertips.
Except for the lungs, your baby’s organs are now fully developed. Your baby is still learning how to breathe by inhaling amniotic fluid, which can generate hiccups. The brain and nervous system of your baby are fully formed. You baby continues absorbing antibodies from you to strengthen her immune system.
34 Weeks Pregnant – What happens inside your body?
At some point over the next few weeks, her head will drop firmly into the pelvis, likely in the 37 or 38th week. When this happens, you will suddenly notice that you have more room to breathe. However, you will also feel extra pressure on top of your bladder, which may cause increased urination (as if your need to pee wasn’t already bad enough!). And you may feel some numbness or pins and needles in your pelvis — just another healthy pregnancy symptom.
At you progress in the pregnancy, you should notice that the little one’s movements start to die down slightly. This is completely normal – she has less room to wriggle about. However, she should still be making about 10 movements an hour. If this is significantly above how much she is moving, monitor and record her movements over an hour period, three mornings in a row and tell your obstetrician.
You’ve probably noticed that all your joints are pretty bendy – welcome to the time of Rubba-Mamma! More seriously, the increasing pregnancy hormones including progesterone and relaxin are loosening your pelvis in preparation for the up-coming birth. While that may be great for your downward dog, it can also cause hip pain and make you more susceptible to slips and falls. Be extra careful on stairs and on slippery surfaces – your center of gravity has shifted and your joints can easily slip.
34 Weeks Pregnant – How different will you look?
Did you know that if you’re fair-skinned, you have more chance of having stretch marks than someone with darker hair or darker skin? Either way, you can minimize your chance of stretch marks by gaining weight slowly and steadily and moisturizing anywhere that feels dry and itchy with an unscented cream. Lotions with vitamin E are also good to help avoid scaring.
You may notice that your eyesight isn’t as good as it once was. Blame those rising pregnancy hormones – they can leave you near or far sighted, although becoming near sighted is more common. And you may notice that your tear ducts aren’t producing as much fluid, leaving your eyes dry and itchy. Your changing blood pressure can also change the curvature of the lens. While all of these are common and part of a healthy pregnancy – it’s worth making note of how much your vision has changed and mentioning it to the obstetrician. Vision changes could also be a result of gestational diabetes of another pregnancy complication.
34 Weeks Pregnant for fathers – How can you care for both of your loved ones?
As you count off the weeks, it’s a good idea to plan a hospital tour. Make sure that you have an idea of how you are going to get there, where you will park, check-in, and where the delivery room is. It’s also good idea to prepare a hospital overnight kit with things like a comfortable change of clothes, slippers or flip-flops, baby’s first change of clothes, diapers, baby wipes, diaper-rash cream, reading material, music to help you relax and a camera.
If you are having a home birth, now is a good idea to stock up on everything you’ll need. Ask your mid-wife to give you a list.
34 Weeks Pregnant for mothers – Tips to help you go through trimester
- Staying Calm: If you are getting anxious about the birth, it’s perfectly normal. The production of catecholamine, a substance whose secretion is caused by stress and anxiety can actually inhibit the effects of oxytocin, which is a substance that encourages the normal progress of labor and has role in triggering the uterine muscles and stimulating the contractions. Giving birth may be the hardest thing that you ever do in your life. Preparation is key, and will make a huge difference to how you experience labor and manage the pain. Make sure that you take the time and create the mental space to visualize what is about to happen. Your birth plan will help you research and be comfortable with what’s going to happen, as will practicing your breathing exercises.
- Breathing exercises: The most important thing is to keep your breathing regular and even throughout the labor, with the same length of in breath and out. There should also be a slight pause at the bottom of each breath. If you start to panic, your breathing can become too shallow and quick, which will exhaust your body, and can change its oxygen and carbon dioxide content. Two breathing techniques are to count (say to three or four) with each in- and out-breath and make sure that you count to the same number each time. Some women also like make a sound on the out-breath, such as ooh, ahhh or whoo. Try practicing in your down time – it may sound a little ridiculous as you get used to it.
The watchword for the coming weeks is rest! You want Junior to stay in the oven for as long as possible, and over-exerting yourself won’t help. Make time for yourself at this stage, have a pre-natal massage if possible, and enjoy the calm before the storm!
What’s Happened So Far:
33 Weeks Pregnant
What’s Happening Next:
35 Weeks Pregnant