34 Weeks Pregnant
This week you are closing in on the eighth month and there’s only one more week before you step into the most crucial 9th month of pregnancy. If the baby was to be born at this stage, there are 98% chances of its independent survival with some respiratory assistance. By this time, things like trying to conceive, pregnancy test and how to get pregnant are a faint memory of the past and you are mentally all set for embarking on the journey of motherhood. Your little one has grown from an embryo to the size of a jack-fruit weighing just above 2 kg and almost 14 inches tall.
How Your Baby is Growing This Week?
Layers of fat are depositing each day and giving your little one a cute chubby look. The fat also acts as a protective layer and helps in temperature regulation. The skin is no longer transparent. There is some fine hair on the skin which will gradually shed off.
The central nervous system of the baby is maturing and the lungs are now completely formed. If the baby was born at this time, the lungs can function independently. Some babies may however need minimal respiratory support but it has been seen that between 34 to 37 weeks, babies are slightly premature and may need neonatal care but ultimately they do well just as full term babies.
The uterine wall has thinned down in all these months and light can penetrate enough for the baby to realize the difference between day and night. Gradually the sleep cycle will set in after birth. At present, the baby has begun to close his eyes when sleeping and open them when awake.
Most babies will settle in the head down position with legs folded in front of the chest which is called cephalic presentation by the time you are 35 weeks pregnant. This is the commonest presentation and ideal for initiation of labor. Other presentations are breech (bottoms down) and transverse (horizontal). You may feel the baby hiccup which is completely normal.
Changes in Your Body at 34 Weeks Pregnant
This week your pregnant belly has more of baby than fluid. When you thought you are too big to be comfortable and the uterus is already 5 inches above the navel, it is still growing and will continue to do so till the last week. The uterus is highly elastic and has stretched throughout pregnancy. By the end, it becomes paper thin. The weight gain is still one pound per week at this stage.
You may notice some changes in your vision, with dryness of eyes. These are mainly due to hormonal changes taking place in the body. However if you feel visual disturbances lasting too long, they may be a sign of preeclampsia.
In these last few weeks, most pregnant women are troubled by swollen hands and feet which are mainly due to water retention. Keeping a close watch on the blood pressure becomes very important now.
Week 34 Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
Every week pregnancy symptoms change a little while the major changes in the body remain the same. From the time you were 6 months pregnant till now, the major change you notice is the weight gain and the onset and offset of the various pregnancy symptoms based on the trimesters and your hormonal balance.
- Dryness of eyes with reduced tear formation
- Blurred vision
- Pelvic pains
- Unsteadiness of gait
- Numbness in the fingers and wrist
- Shortness of breath
- False labor pains
- Acidity and heartburn
- Mood changes
- Urinary incontinence
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Oedema of hands and feet
- Leg cramps
- Round ligament pain
- Loss of appetite due to acidity
- Strange Dreams
- Dry and itchy skin of abdomen, thighs and breasts
- Varicose veins
- Stretch marks
- Breast enlargement
- Yellowish discharge from the nipple
- Increased pigmentation of skin
Leaking drops of urine while sneezing or coughing happens due to the pressure of the growing uterus on the bladder and relaxed pelvic muscles. Kegel’s exercises are very effective in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and are also known to prevent urine leak.
Diagnostic Tests and Ultrasound Results in Week 34 of Pregnancy
The ultrasound at this stage mainly aims at looking for any signs of fetal distress, which is any such factor that could be disturbing the growth of the baby within the uterus. The reasons could be loops of umbilical cord around the neck or decreasing amniotic fluid.
The placental blood flow is checked.
In case of a twin pregnancy, the above factors are checked separately for both the babies and their growth is monitored to ensure that both are growing at the same rate.
At your pre-natal visits, your blood pressure will be checked and if you have swollen feet with a raised pressure, you may be prescribed medications for the same. Blood sugar and urine examination are routinely done especially if you have a history of high sugars or are a diabetic.
Pregnancy Health Tips
- As you get ready for having a baby, it’s a good time to find out about birthing options, epidural anesthesia, chances of a C section etc and also prepare your birth plan.
- The heartburn and acidity can be taken care of by having smaller, frequent meals which are not very spicy or oily.
- Have lots of fluids and fiber to tackle the constipation. Coconut water is very nutritious and has high amounts of potassium.
- You may be feeling extra tired these days, take some rest and do not over exert.
- In case you experience leaking of urine, use panty liners or pads to avoid getting your clothes wet. Also keep the area dry and clean at all times.
- Do some mild stretching exercises for the muscles cramps and backaches.
- Try and have less water in the evening and around bedtime to reduce the frequency of bathroom trips at night.
- Getting up from a lying posture should always be done with proper support. Avoid sudden jerky movements as they can cause round ligament pains and leave you feeling dizzy.