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By week thirty-four, your baby weighs in at about 4.75 pounds and measures roughly 18 inches long. Comparative in size to a cantaloupe, your baby is quickly putting on weight, while their body continues to round out with the addition multiple layers of smooth fat which serve to plump them up as well as assisting in baby regulate their body temperature once they are born.
As baby’s body continues to undergo its maturation process, at the same time, their lungs and central nervous system are experiencing strides in development as well.
As baby continues to grow bigger and stronger, your level of fatigue and overall malaise will increase in severity and frequency. The exhaustion and lethargy that you feel are very understandable and completely normal, as they result from the physical strains of a rapidly growing baby bump, a marked increase in weight, and a collective of aches and pains existing on the landscape of your body.
Exacerbating your level of exhaustion is the lack of sleep that you have undoubtedly been experiencing, as well as the overwhelming need to urinate on a constant basis.
However, things will get better! Hold tight, momma, because baby is on its way out and ready to be held by your loving arms.
To learn more about week thirty-four of pregnancy and all of its interesting developments, read on below!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
34 Weeks Pregnant
During week thirty-four, many pregnant women will notice bumps and welts on their stomach or thighs and buttocks that are red and itchy. The presence of these bumps and welts can be a potential indicator of a condition referred to as PUPPP, officially known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.
A very small number of women will develop PUPPP during their pregnancy. While the condition is entirely harmless for you and for your baby, it can create symptoms that are very uncomfortable and difficult to deal with.
If you are one of the one percent of women who develop PUPPP while pregnant, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be able to determine if there isn’t a more serious issue going on and may be able to refer you to a dermatologist who can prescribe you soothing creams or salves to alleviate the painful, red, and itchy welts you are experiencing.
Pregnant women who suspect they have PUPPP should always let their doctor know as soon as possible. While it is a harmless condition, it might not actually be PUPPP and may be another condition that could potentially signal a liver-related problem.
While a very small population of women develop PUPPP, a majority of women during this in their pregnancy will experience significantly blurred vision as a result of fluctuating hormones.
Blurriness in the eyes may even be exacerbated by dryness and irritation due to a marked decrease in the production of tears. Further compounding any eye issues is the common occurrence of increased fluid behind the eye lense which can temporarily change the shape of the eye but also the quality of vision that you typically have. With the buildup of fluid behind the lens, you may actually experience nearsighted or farsighted type symptoms.
You’ll be glad to know that the blurry vision, dryness, irritation, and temporary change in eye shape are all temporary phenomenon that will self-correct as your eyes begin thereturn to their normal state after you give birth.
As the big day looms ahead, many pregnant women begin to worry about whether or not they will have to undergo a C-section (aka cesarean). In the United States, roughly thirty-three percent of pregnant women give birth via C-section, with some procedures schedules well in advance and yet many others performed due to unforeseen complications within a pregnancy.
The reasons why a pregnant woman might need to have a planned ur unplanned cesarean are numerous. In terms of unplanned C-sections, many are performed as a result of a cervix that halts dilation, a baby that is no longer making its way down the birth canal, or a baby’s heart rate that is at a level of concern.
Women who are planning to have a cesarean work closely with their doctor to reach that decision. Often a doctor will recommend a cesarean if any of the concerns listed below are present:
|A woman who is carrying more than one baby (example: triplets)||The mother is positive for HIV|
|A baby that is expected to be exceptionally large at birth||The mother has a condition called placenta previa|
|A baby has an illness or abnormality that renders vaginal birth too much of a risk||A baby is in a breech position or transverse (sideways) position.|
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all the reasons why a C-section may be ordered or why one might it occur.
At-a-Glance Chart of Common Week 34 Pregnancy Symptoms
|The ongoing enlargement of your uterus will place it at about five inches above your navel at the thirty-four-week mark||Clumsiness becomes more frequent as your baby bump continues to grow and dictate the quality of your movement|
|Strong movements from baby due to high amniotic fluid levels. Many Of your baby’s movements may feel particularly sharp and pronounced to your during this time||Fingernail changes are common. If you have fingernails that are brittle, try eating bananas, nuts, whole grains, and avocados to get plenty of biotin|
|Heavy, aching breasts can cause backaches and stomach pains. Try to mitigate the aches and pains by wearing a maternity bra with plenty of built-in support
|Dehydration affects many pregnant women during this time. It’s very common to be so wrapped up in your symptoms that you forget to take in adequate fluids. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at last eight cups of water per day|
|Hip pain during this time will typically increase in severity. Make sure that you are not picking up heavy items and also take the time to sit down and rest frequently||A marked increase in theseverity of “practice” Braxton-Hicks contractions. Changing your position ought to make an episode of these contractions stop|
|An increased frequency of vaginal discharge is very common, and you may even feel like you are urinating. If you find yourself experiencing a sensation that feels like you are urinating, it may be an indication that your water has broken early.||Breathlessness: Due to your lung’s ability to fully expand, you may find it very difficult to breathe during this in your pregnancy. Try taking on a standing position and maintaining a straight composite to allow maximum airflow into your lungs|
|Exhaustion; feelings of malaise severely impacted sleep; sleep with vivid and/or unsettling dreams/nightmares||Mood swings; emotional peaks and valleys; Anxiety, nervousness, fear, agitation|
|Hemorrhoids, gas, constipation, incessant urge to urinate||Leg cramps
Your Baby’s Health and Status
34 Weeks Pregnant
With their fully developed brain, your little baby is more than likely dreaming away within the cuddly comfort of your womb. He or she is as snug as a bug, with their knees curled up to their chest in the familiar fetal position. Despite an immensely limited space capacity, thebaby is still able to change position and poke, prod, kick, and wriggle about.
When your baby becomes engaged by turning around so that its head is pressed into your cervix, you begin to experience what is referred to as “lightning.” Lightening involves the easing up of the breathlessness symptoms you have endured for so long.
With the availability of more space due to your baby’s shift, there is less pressure on your lungs, and you are able to breathe considerably more freely than in the past few months.
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
34 Weeks Pregnant
- If you’ve bought your car seat already, good for you! However, be aware that between eighty-five and ninety-five percent of new parents install car seats incorrectly. You can have yours installed by a professional technician, or if you live in the United States, you can have it done for free at your local fire station.
- If your eyes are feeling uncomfortably dry, sensitive, and uncomfortable, ask your doctor for a prescription of lubricating eye drops
- Depression during pregnancy is extremely common. Don’t ignore the signs – depression can carry over from pregnancy into early motherhood and affect your child. Talk to your doctor and see if counseling, therapy, or antidepressants might help
- Slow down your life and save up every bit of energy you have for the impending big day.
To-Do List and Reminders
34 Weeks Pregnant
- If your baby hasn’t turned yet, practice exercises to encourage baby to “turn” and become prepared for birth
- Practice breathing exercises to get you ready for labor
- Get familiarized with the signs of labor, early labor, and preeclampsia
- Review your birth plan with your doctor or other medical professional
- Make strides towards having your birth plan in place and ready to go
- Make sure you have taken an infant CPR class and childbirth class
- If you’re still having wrist pain, invest in a wrist brace
- Your baby gets nearly all their Omega-3 fatty acids during the trimester – start loading up now
- Have your health insurance in order and ready to go. Pack a copy of your health insurance card in your bag that you’ll be bringing with you to the hospital
- Have your bag packed for the hospital to be ready for your due date. Include a change of clothing, toothbrush, toothpaste, healthy snacks, slippers, a comfortable pillow, cozy blanket, nursing bra, and a camera. Don’t forget your insurance card and other important papers
- Have your well-stocked bag ready to go in the trunk of the car
Placenta praevia: A placenta that either partially or completely blocks the opening to the womb at the end of a woman’s pregnancy term
Macrosomia: A baby that is exceptionally larger than average at birth
Cool Things to Know About Week 34 in Pregnancy
- Hollywood has a standardized way of showing birthing scenes. Women in movies are typically shown as flat on their backs while they push and strain away. A majority of “real” pregnant women take the “active birth” approach and move freely about to find labor position that mitigate feelings of pain and function to encourage your baby to come out. A favorite active birthing position among many women is squatting.