This week of pregnancy is when both mother and baby will start to gain a good amount of weight. Women, due to the uterus pushing up on the organs, you may experience shortness of breath. The baby may be sitting on the diaphragm, which makes it difficult for the lungs to expand to their full capacity. Soon, the baby will settle into the pelvis and as the last weeks of pregnancy you will be able to breathe easier. If you are feeling out of breath, try lying down with your upper body elevated. This will ease the shortness of breath. If you already live with asthma or other respiratory conditions, talk to your doctor and see what he recommends.
At this week of pregnancy, early labor is possible but doctors try to prevent that from happening. The baby if born at this week of pregnancy, they may have health problems and other conditions that may stay with them the rest of their lives. You can prevent early labor by attending all of your doctors’ visits and stay off of your feet as much as possible. The key in the third trimester is to rest as much as possible. If your doctor recommends bed rest, do so. Don’t overwork yourself and listen to what the doctor tells you.
By pregnancy week 34 your baby is close to 5 pounds and may reach almost 20 inches in length! Your baby really does resemble a tiny person at this point. Your baby is still working on adding fat to his or her body. Most babies concentrate on this task from here on out.
Your doctor may try to estimate your baby’s weight in the upcoming weeks. This is not an exact science however, and many estimates are as much as one pound or more off in some cases! Keep this in mind if your doctor provides you an estimate of your baby’s weight.
Why such variance? There are many factors contributing to this. How much amniotic fluid you have for example, may influence your doctors estimate of your baby’s weight. While ultrasound provides most doctors a fairly accurate means of estimating the baby’s weight, it isn’t 100% correct all the time. Keep this in mind the next time you think you know how much your baby will weigh.
If your doctor does use an ultrasound however to estimate your baby’s weight they will consider many measurements including the diameter of your infants head, the circumference of the abdomen and head and measure the length of your baby’s femur.
How Your Life’s Changing
By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you’re under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now’s the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you’ve been sitting or lying down for a long time, don’t jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.
If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short). Up to one percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your practitioner so she can make sure it’s not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don’t have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.
What To Expect
At week thirty-four, you will sit down with your doctor and your partner and discuss what actually happens in childbirth. They encourage you to take classes but they are not mandatory. Did you know that childbirth actually starts when the cervix dilates to 10 centimeters? The contractions at this point will be about 5 minutes apart. It is important for you to ask your doctor how you can tell when a contraction hits.
Another stage of childbirth is the delivery of the baby. This is by far the longest of all of the sections of childbirth there is. The last stage is the delivery of the placenta. This could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. The doctor will perform an episiotomy, this is a safe method and you should definitely ask your doctor what this entails. There are some side effects such as infection, bruising and swelling. You will need time to heal from this. If this is not your first child, then you will be familiar with what happens.
You should have an idea of names for the baby at this week in pregnancy. You should also have an idea of how you are going to bring the baby home and if you are going to need any special help. You should start getting a plan together in case you go into labor. Make a list of phone numbers of people you will want to call and keep your doctors number on hand at all times.
As the due date draws near, make sure that you are at ease with the way the birth is going to happen. Many women tend to panic and when they get into the delivery room, they forget everything they have learned. Share your concerns with your doctor and your partner. They will be able to set your mind at ease. Millions of women have given birth and they have gotten through it just fine.