It is crunch time for you and baby…
Congratulations at 34 weeks pregnant you are doing well so far and there are just about six weeks to go before delivery date. It is crunch time for you and baby and despite the discomforts you are feeling, the world is looking brighter every time you think of your soon to arrive newborn. There’s no giving up at this point, only stay focused.
Baby’s growth this week
At 34 weeks pregnant, you would be happy to know that your baby has reached the stage that if she should be born at pre-term, she has a 99% chance of survival. Yes, she may need a short stay at the hospital to ensure she is doing fine, but she would develop just as other babies who have gone to full term. Her lungs have matured to the stage where she can actually breathe on her own. She is weighing in at 5 – 5 ½ pounds and will still pack on more weight as she gets to her birth. She has also grown and measures between 17 and 20 inches at this time. Her brain is maturing and she can hear sounds this week. It is suggested that you can now talk to your baby and she responds well to high pitch sounds.
Her body has smoothed out some more thanks to the fat that she has put on. This is helping to regulate her body temperature. Her nails have grown and gotten harder, so prepare to clip them soon after birth. If your baby happened to be a boy his testicles are now descended into the scrotum. Just about 3% – 4% of boys have a delay in the movement of their testicles, but this will happen by the time they reach one year.
At 34 weeks pregnant also, the waxy coating that covers her body has thickened to moisturize the skin for greater protection when passing through the birth canal. This will be washed off soon after birth by the midwife. It is important to note that you will feel your baby moving less and some say they are slowing down. This is however not so, she just don’t have enough room to frolic at this time because of how large she has grown. In fact your baby is also learning to sleep more.
Mom at 34 weeks pregnant
From here on, this is the time when you should slow down and get some well needed rest in preparation for your baby. Your tummy is way larger than can be expected, and still continues to grow. There are only a few women who do not carry a large tummy during pregnancy. Fatigue may continue to be a plague and this is quite understandable given the frequent pee trips you have to make to the bathroom. You may not get adequate amount of sleep also as you toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
Possible eye problems
At 34 weeks pregnant you also you may experience some kind of change in your vision. It is common that pregnant women start seeing doubles – blurry vision occurring as a result of the action of pregnancy hormones on the eyes. Some women also develop dry and irritated eyes resulting from a reduction of tears in the tear ducts. You could also experience a build-up of fluid behind the eye lenses, causing their shape to change. This will definitely affect how light gets in your eyes and can make you nearsighted or farsighted. Don’t worry if these conditions overtake you as they are usually temporary, going away after your baby is born. You ought to be mindful however that certain changes to your vision can be a result of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure and therefore you must discuss them with your doctor.
Keep an eye out for PUPPP
An itchy tummy can add to your discomfort. It will be even worse if you are in the 1% of pregnant women who get red bumps or welts along with this. This condition is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short) and you may also notice it on your thighs and buttocks. This is a rather harmless condition and of course will go away after pregnancy. However, in all things be careful and so consult your doctor especially if it spreads over the whole body. This could be a more serious condition indicating a liver problem. Be mindful also that you are still prone to preeclampsia and should indicate to your doctor if you are having unusual swelling of the face, hands and feet.
Common pregnancy symptoms will still linger with you throughout the trimester. You may still be losing sleep from anxiety, not able to position properly and having to urinate so often. Hemorrhoids and constipation often go hand in hand and can make you miserable. Your ankles and feet swell the more because your body continues to retain fluid. Bloating and gas could add to your stress or the other way around. It is said you tend to swallow more air when stressed. Therefore, take a few minutes one or two times per day to inhale and exhale deeply. This can relieve some of the anxiety you are feeling.
At 34 weeks pregnant, increased vaginal discharge could be the order of the day. Don’t worry however as it is only pregnancy hormones, especially estrogen, that are stimulating the production of mucus down below. Cotton underwear will be best to keep you dry and free from unpleasant odor. Don’t be surprised if you are experiencing excessive hair growth. This is part of the effects of pregnancy hormones. You may find hair popping up in places that never had them including your chin, cheeks and back. You can control hair growth by waxing as this is pretty safe.
What you could Do this Week
You will certainly be visiting your doctor this week so ensure that you discuss any unusual happenings with him. He will be able to allay your fears about any of your conditions, or he will take a closer look at those that are presenting greater challenges. If you have bought a car seat have you fitted it yet? Many car seats are not fitted correctly and so you may benefit by asking a professional to show you how it is done.