And just like that, you’re 34 weeks pregnant! You’re on your way to becoming a mother.
How Big Is My Baby?
At this stage of the pregnancy, your baby will be almost 18 inches long and weigh around 76 ounces. They’ll be as big as a cantaloupe or a small watermelon. Additionally, your baby will start “filling up” or becoming more round in shape.
My Baby’s Development
On the 34th week, your baby’s fat layers will start growing. These will help in regulating their body temperature once they’re born. Your baby’s central nervous system and lungs will be maturing at an excellent rate. By now, their development will be close to their full capacity.
Your baby’s skin will be as smooth as ever at this stage. Their fingernails will have grown to the tips of their tiny fingers. Their reproductive organs will also be in place by now.
What Is My Baby Doing?
You’ll notice that your baby is moving around in the womb less because their growing body is pressing up against your uterus. However, they’ll still be in motion despite the limited amount of space due to a lower level of amniotic fluid.
At this time, your baby will be settling in their birth position—head down with their legs folded in front of their chest. In this position, they’ll start descending lower into your pelvis.
A trip to your OB for an ultrasound will help the doctor determine your baby’s exact position. Your doctor might also have you construct a biophysical profile (BPP). The BPP is a combination of an ultrasound and a special non-stress test. It will measure the baby’s heart rate given a certain period. The results will help the doctor to know if the baby is reacting well to stress and is thriving.
My Changing Body—Week 34
You’re not hallucinating when you notice that your baby bump has moved downward. It is natural given that your baby is beginning to descend towards the pelvis. Lucky for you, this frees up some room for your lungs. The downside is that this pushes your bladder down; this means more frequent trips to the bathroom.
Red bumps or welts might also develop on your belly, thighs, or buttocks. They’ll be irritating and itchy. If some are growing on you, you may have a condition known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). While harmless, this condition can prove to be very uncomfortable. A trip to the doctor might help in finding a remedy for this.
All the while, pregnancy hormones are wreaking havoc on your digestive tract and your ligaments. But did you know they can also affect your eyesight? You might find your vision growing a bit blurry as you enter the later stages of your pregnancy. A decrease in tear production could also leave your eyes dry and prone to irritation.
Rest assured that these bothersome side effects are temporary. They should disappear after your delivery. If they remain, however, you should schedule a meeting with your doctor and have yourself checked.
During this week, expect some of the following symptoms:
- Braxton Hicks Contractions - You should be used to these by now. They’re likely to cause a few false alarms of labour. However, be wary. Contractions that last for more than an hour coupled with vaginal bleeding and/or lower back pain are signs or premature labour. If you encounter any of these, call your OB immediately.
- Blurry Vision - As stated above, if your eyesight seems a bit “off,” that’s normal. It is most likely a side effect of all the pregnancy hormones. However, if this is accompanied by swelling, headaches, and/or rapid weight gain, it could be a sign of preeclampsia. Consult your doctor if you feel any of these.
- Increased Vaginal Discharge - Yet another thing to blame on your pregnancy hormones (particularly estrogen)! They increase the blood flow in your pelvic area and stimulate the mucous membranes which lead to more vaginal discharge and an icky feeling in your pants.
- Fatigue and Backaches - Carrying a developing baby around is exhausting. In addition to this, your baby bump shifts your centre of gravity and puts more pressure on your lower back, which leads to backaches that go along with the rest of your tired, aching body.
How Is My Life Changing
Is it sinking in yet—the fact that you’re going to be a mother soon? At this point, you should start internalizing your motherhood. In a couple of weeks, it’s going to become a reality.
If you’re scared of the possibility of preterm labour, worry not. Babies that are born between 34 and 37 weeks with no recorded health problems do well usually. They may require some extra care in the nursery after birth, and there’s a possibility of them developing some short-term health problems. But they generally do well in the long run.
Week 34 Mommy Checklist
For this week, try to accomplish these tasks:
- Schedule your prenatal visit for the 36th week.
- Read up on cesarean sections and find out if you need or want to have one.
- Try a perineal massage.
Tips For The Partners
Here are some things you, the partner, can do for the soon-to-be mom:
- Help her out as much as you can. The late stages of pregnancy are sure to be difficult for her and her body.
- Talk to her about the method of birth she would prefer.
- Watch out for unusual symptoms that do not usually occur during pregnancy. These may be signs of other diseases or disorders.
A Sneak Peek to Your Week 35
Here’s what you can expect next week:
- Most of your baby’s physical development will be complete.
- Starting next week, your baby will begin putting on more weight faster.
- Your baby will be snug in your womb, not doing flips and somersaults anymore.