34 weeks pregnant: what can I expect?
As your appearance changes during your pregnancy you will notice people commenting on your appearance. If only everyone said ‘you look fabulous and wonderful’ then you have nothing to worry about. But some of the comments can be less then complimentary especially if the remark involves your dramatic weight gain. Don’t be discouraged by rude comments. Every woman’s pregnancy is different and the way her body looks is going to be different too. As long as your doctors say you are healthy and doing well you have nothing to worry about.
Physical changes in you at week 34
- At 34 weeks the top of your uterus will be around 14.5 centimeters from your belly button. It’s natural for pregnant women to compare their bellies with other pregnant mums. But remember every pregnancy is different and there’s no need to panic if your friend has a bigger pregnant belly at 34 weeks.
- As your belly gets bigger you will experience shortness of breath even with mild exertion. Your growing uterus will be putting pressure on your lungs by not allowing them to expand fully. Taking a short nap or sleeping on your left side in the night will help you deal with breathlessness and don’t forget to relax.
- As your pregnancy progresses you may experience more heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux this week. To deal with heartburn stay away from triggers like spicy food, caffeine, acidic foods and fatty foods. Avoid eating large meals that sit in your belly like a rock and make you feel heavy. You can have small frequent meals by snacking on toast, crackers, soups, fresh fruit and vegetable salads. You need to drink at least two to three liters of water everyday.
- At 34 weeks the space in your uterus is reducing. Your baby will deal with its restricted quarters by lying in the uterus with its head down and bottom up. This position is normally referred to as cephalic presentation. Don’t be discouraged if your baby is not lying in this position, at 34 weeks there’s still plenty of time for your baby to get into the normal birthing position.
- Varicose veins are most common around this time of your pregnancy. These enlarged veins often show up on the legs during pregnancy. As your uterus grows it puts pressure on the veins in your body. To minimize varicose veins take a five minute walk every hour and avoid sitting at one place for long hours. You can also wear support stockings available in the pharmacy to avoid the swelling of veins.
- Due to all the hormonal changes you will continue feeling hot and flushed in your pregnancy. Sometimes you might just want to take all your clothes off and go for a cool dip in the pool. These hot flashes usually will affect your neck, face and chest. To deal with hot flashes wear loose tank tops or go for a cool shower.
- During the initial stages of your pregnancy you had an increased libido and you were feeling attractive about your body. But, by the third trimester your sex drive would have vanished because of all the physical changes. Talk to your partner about how you feel if he wants to be physically intimate during your third trimester.
Emotional changes in you at week 34
- By week 34 you will be so excited about baby’s birth that you can hardly wait to see that new little baby. You will want to see whose features did your baby get, and at other times you will wonder, about the little time left for your delivery.
- It’s normal for you to worry about the health of the baby, but this will only increase your anxiety and stress levels. Sometimes watching movies where the characters are blind might bring on dreams where you see your baby suffering from the same disability. It’s a natural tendency in us to interpret dreams as a sign of something in the future. Speak to your doctor or your midwife about your baby’s health concerns.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to finish your work assignments, babies have a way of showing up when you least expect it. Plan to finish everything well in advance to avoid the mad rush in the end.
How’s my baby doing?
- If you are having a little boy at 34 week pregnant your baby’s testes will descend down from his tummy towards his scrotum. Less than three percent of babies will have undescended testicles when they are born. Don’t worry if your boy’s testicles haven’t descended at birth, by the time he turns one they will usually be in place.
- Your baby’s eyelids will be opening and closing more frequently now as it learns to focus its eyesight. If you shine strong light on your belly and the light gets through your abdominal walls, your baby may close its eyes and turn away.
- At week 34 the vernix caseosa the thick liquid which is usually found on a new born’s skin will still be protecting your baby’s skin. However by 34 weeks the soft downy hair called lanugo that was covering your baby’s chest face and hand will be disappearing from your baby’s skin.
- The specialist glands near your baby’s kidneys will be producing cortisol to send a message to the lungs to continue producing surfactant. Other than your baby’s lungs every other organ of your baby will be able to cope if your baby was born at 34 weeks.
Useful tips for week 34
- There’s not long to go now, use this time to go on a small trip with your partner. Once your baby arrives you may find it difficult to get alone time with him. Take your camera to capture the happy shots and add it to your pregnancy scrapbook. All these pictures are going to be a wonderful reminder of your pregnancy.
- Don’t rush when you are walking. Most pregnant women feel clumsy in the third trimester because of the increasing belly and the change in the center of balance. Grab handrails when you take the stairs and avoid wearing high heel shoes.
- If you haven’t finished your work assignments make plans with your boss on how to complete them. Taking off on maternity leave with unfinished work assignments may weigh heavily on your mind.