Pregnancy Calendar Week 34

YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 34

Your baby is the size of a cantaloupe now as she weighs in at 5 pounds and her length is 17-20 inches. Baby’s developments this week include thickening up of her skin’s protective coating and still-tiny fingernails that have made their way up to the end of her fingers. As you continue on in the third trimester, you’ve probably got plenty of pain and discomfort down below. The good news? You’re getting so close! Just six short weeks until you’re ready to deliver.

Your Body

At 34 weeks pregnant, some very common—and very uncomfortable—pregnancy symptoms may be on the scene.

Pelvic Pain

To prepare for birth, your ever-growing baby is making her way down deeper into your pelvis these days, which can leave you with a lot of pain and discomfort in your pelvic area.Your little one’s head pressing down on your hips, bladder and pelvis—plus other factors like hormonal changes and constipation—can all contribute to the heaviness, extreme pressure and pain in and around the pelvic bones that you’re feeling.Unfortunately, pelvic pain is something that will likely be in full force until you’re in labor. But, once baby is here, nearly all of the pain should subside.In the meantime, try these tips to ease your discomfort:

  • Do some pelvic tilts. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and bend your pelvis up slightly. Hold for about 10 seconds and repeat.
  • Relax throughout the day with your hips elevated.
  • Take warm baths to help relieve pressure.
  • Get a prenatal massage.
  • Take walks several times a day.
  • If your bladder is a source of pain, make sure you urinate frequently (every 1-2 hours) to keep your bladder relatively empty.
  • If constipation is contributing to your pain, drink more fluids and eat a higher fiber diet.

Hemorrhoids

Itchy, uncomfortable, and painful, hemorrhoids are very common for expecting moms, particularly here in the third trimester.Hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins in the rectal area. These swollen blood vessels are typically small in size (ranging from pea to grape size) and may be found inside the rectum or bulging out through the anus.So, why are hemorrhoids common during pregnancy? First, your whole pelvic region (including tissues in your rectal area) becomes engorged with more blood and fluid than normal. Secondly, constipation is common, causing you to strain more during bowel movements. This combination of increased blood supply and straining leads to hemorrhoids.To get some relief, try these remedies:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Aim for 5-7 tall glasses of water and 3 glasses of milk each day.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet. Look for cereals with 6 grams of fiber or more per serving; eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans; and consider taking a fiber supplement.
  • Exercise regularly. Even if you’re only able to take a few 10-minute brisk walks each day, this can help.
  • Do your Kegels. Three sets of 30 each day is a good routine.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. Take breaks and move around to relieve pressure on your rectal veins.
  • Apply ice (wrapped in a soft towel) to the painful area several times a day to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Soak in a warm bath for 15-20 minutes a few times each day.
  • Instead of toilet tissue, try using soft, pre-moistened wipes that can help soothe irritated rectal tissue.
  • Talk to your doctor about using an over-the-counter product for hemorrhoid relief. Many options are available, but get this cleared with your healthcare provider first to make sure it’s safe.

Your Baby

In the 34th week of pregnancy, your baby continues growing and getting ready for the big day.

Your baby is covered in a thicker layer of vernix.

For the past few months, your baby’s skin has been making vernix caseosa, a white, waxy, cheese-like protective substance for her skin. This coating has been helping to prevent chapping and wrinkling, and it’s much thicker now. In preparation for delivery, this thickened vernix coating will help make it easier for your baby to slide through the birth canal and make her way into the new world that’ll be waiting for her.

Your baby’s fingernails are fully grown.

Your little one’s fingernails have now reached the tips of her fingers! They first appeared back in week 11 and, since development of a baby’s arms is ahead of the legs, her toenails won’t be fully formed until week 38. Your baby’s fingernails are very soft and fine, and they’ll remain that way when she’s born. Prepare now for baby’s nail trimming needs by picking up a baby nail care kit.

Diet and Exercise Tips You Should Follow

To keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 34:

Eat what you want your baby to like.

Now is a great time to help develop healthy eating habits for your child. As you know, your baby has been developing taste preferences based on what you’re eating. This is happening even more as you near the end of your pregnancy. From now until baby arrives, eat healthy foods like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, seafood and eggs. If you do, chances are good that your baby will grow up to like those good-for-you foods.

Exercise to music to bond with your baby.

Like exercising to music? With your baby’s hearing now developed, she does too! When you’re working out or cleaning the house, play some upbeat music (but not too loud). When you’re relaxing, play something more mellow that has a calming effect. Sing to your baby, too. It’s a wonderful way to bond with her during these last few weeks in the womb.

Things You Should Do

  • Avoid stressful activities and relationships to prevent early labor. You’ve got three more weeks until your baby is full-term (at the 37th week). Reduce stressful situations at home wherever possible and talk with your boss about extending a deadline if something is stressing you out at work.
  • Read up on care of your newborn. Take time now before baby arrives to learn everything you’ll need to know about how to care for her during those first few months.

Words You Should KnowAfterbirth Pains:

In the postpartum phase, these refer to cramping that’s triggered by contractions of the uterus as it shrinks and takes its normal place back in the pelvis.

Leboyer Birth: Childbirth technique that promotes reducing stress at birth. This can include dimming the lights during labor and delivery, putting the baby on the mother’s abdomen right after birth, massaging the baby, and giving the newborn a warm bath.

Obstructed Labor: When labor does not progress.

Rooting Reflex: A reflex at birth in which the baby opens her mouth and turns her head to a nurse when her cheek is stroked.

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