At week 34 of pregnancy, you are almost ready to say hello to your little bundle of joy. But wait, not just yet! During the third trimester, your baby is still getting set up to come out. Their central nervous system is developing and their tiny fingernails and toenails have grown. Read on to know what more you can expect this week.
Pregnancy Week 34: Baby
Pregnancy Week 34 is here, and things are starting to move along. Most of their vital organs have been formed. Their bones and muscles are hardening, especially in their arms and legs. They love kicking and stretching to practice growing their limbs – once you find yourself with more than four contractions in an hour, you can even start feeling her move.
Your baby’s heart is now pumping blood to all of his or her organs, and your baby is growing more human-like daily.
Your little one is roughly the size of a cantaloupe, or about 31cm, and weighs around 2.28 kg. Your due date is inching closer and closer, and we’re sure you’re excited to meet your little one!
At week 34 of pregnancy, your baby is growing exponentially. Their head circumference has almost doubled since week 20, and they have gained about 2 pounds compared to the last measurement at week 32.
Your baby’s brain continues to develop rapidly. By now, it’s almost fully formed! All the parts critical to their ability to think and feel are in place—and they’re getting ready for use.
The bones in their skull are still soft so they may change shape slightly by next week. The bones in their skull are beginning to fuse, which means their head will stay round for good! The bones of their arms, legs, fingers, and toes also form. And their lungs are still developing.
Their eyes are almost completely developed at this point, but they still have a lot of work on the inner ear. Your baby’s heart is pumping blood through their body!
Image courtesy: Pixabay
You will be at ease to learn that babies born at 34 weeks usually survive with no health problems. In this week-by-week pregnancy guide, you’ll learn that:
- Your baby is developing excessive fat layers to keep him warm.
- Their central nervous system is developing at a faster rate now.
- Their tiny fingernails and toenails have grown.
- If you are having a baby boy, then his testicles descend from his abdomen to his scrotum this week.
- The first colour your baby sees is red, which is inside your uterus.
At this point in your pregnancy, your baby is starting to hear. There are many reasons to be excited about your baby’s hearing development.
First and foremost, your baby’s ability to hear will help them communicate with you. From now until birth, your baby will be able to listen to your voice loud and clear—so it’ll be easier for you two to bond!
Even better? You can start talking to them now. You might think they can’t understand what you say yet—but they definitely can! Babies have been known to react positively when their mothers talk directly at them during this time of development. So if you want a head start bonding with your bundle of joy, now would be a great time!
You might not be able to see them yet, but your baby’s teeth are forming!
At this point, the tooth buds have begun to form and are developing into the structure of a tooth. The crown will form first, followed by the root, also known as the periodontal ligament. That ligament attaches the tooth to the jawbone, so your baby’s teeth must develop properly!
If you’re feeling a little bit like you’re growing another person inside of you (which you are), that’s okay! It’s normal and understandable. And even though you might not be able to see your baby’s new set of choppers right now, we can tell you that they’ll be sticking around for a while—so get ready!
It’s time to get in touch with your baby!
As you approach your 34th week of pregnancy, it’s time to start feeling your baby move around. Your little one is growing rapidly, and you may start noticing new sensations as they kick inside you.
You might notice that your baby will move more or less often at different times of the day. This is because their activities change depending on whether they sleep or awake. They also tend to move more when hungry or cramped in their space.
It can be hard for some women to feel these movements, so if you haven’t felt anything yet, don’t worry! The best way to find out how often your baby moves is to keep track of how many times you think their move over two hours during the day and then write it down in a journal so that you can see how much activity there is each day.
Pregnancy Week 34: Your Body
You’re 34 weeks pregnant! You’re probably getting pretty excited about meeting your baby soon.
At this point in your pregnancy, you might be feeling…
Tired. Sleepy. So tired. You’ll need all the sleep you can get before your little bundle of joy arrives!
You may also be noticing…
Some Braxton Hicks contractions. These are practice contractions—they’ll get stronger as labour gets closer, but they won’t hurt too badly or last very long. Your midwife or doctor will tell you if they think these are more than practice and if you should go to the hospital immediately.
You may notice a little swelling in your ankles or feet at this point—and that’s perfectly normal! It’s caused by increased fluid retention due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. If there are no other symptoms, like shortness of breath or swelling in other parts of your body, it should go away within a few days.
- Fatigue will hit you! You will find yourself more tired than ever because of the strain you are experiencing.
- At week 34 of pregnancy, you’ll see an increased vaginal discharge–blame the hormones.
- Low blood pressure can make you feel dizzy.
- You may even have blurry visions. Of course, it’s only temporary at pregnancy week 34.
- There is no respite from the frequent visits to the bathroom.
- As your belly grows, your lungs won’t be able to expand as fully, and hence you may feel breathless quite fast.
- Leg cramps are common around now, when pregnancy weight, swelling, and fatigue are at their peak.
Maternal Weight Gain
Since in your third trimester of pregnancy, that means you’ve crossed the halfway mark, and you’re getting ready for your baby to come into the world.
This is also a good time to take stock of how much weight you’ve gained since conception. As we mentioned previously, it’s important to gain between 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy—including the weight of your baby (about 7 pounds) as well as extra fluid and blood needed throughout pregnancy.
But don’t worry if you haven’t gained all of this yet! Some women gain more or less than this amount, and it’s still normal. If you’re concerned about your weight gain, talk to your doctor—they will be able to give you some advice on how to make sure you’re eating right and staying healthy during this exciting time in your life.
The last trimester of pregnancy is a time to focus on your health and nutrition. It’s important to make sure your diet is still balanced. At this point, you’re probably getting tired of all the food options you have to choose from, and you might be craving foods that aren’t good for you.
Here’s how you can stay healthy during your third trimester:
- Eat more protein-rich foods like fish, chicken, and eggs.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined white bread, pasta, and cereals.
- Drink plenty of water daily to keep your body hydrated and flush out toxins from your kidneys and liver. This will also help prevent constipation!
Image Source: iStock
Pregnancy Care: Your Checklist For Week 34 of Pregnancy
- Relax as much as you can. You can indulge in activities that can keep you happy and busy. Learn about safe ways to pamper yourself here.
- Keep your exercise regime as light as possible.
- Drink a lot of water early in the day to avoid feeling thirsty at night. Avoid soda and other aerated drinks.
- Have you already installed the baby’s car seat? Babyproofed your home? Have you fixed the nursery? Get someone else to help you with those chores to avoid straining yourself.
- If you have older kids, who will be looking after them when you go to the hospital? Best to sort it out all ready to make you feel less worried.
- If you plan to consume your placenta, sign up for encapsulation this week.
Your next week: 35 weeks pregnant
Your previous week: 33 weeks pregnant
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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