Week 34 of Your Pregnancy

October 31, 2009

What is Happening Inside Your Body?

8 Month Pregnant baby in the wombThe top of your uterus reaches about 5 ½ inches above your belly button. The volume of your uterus is 500-1000 times more than before you got pregnant.

You may feel like you are bursting at the seams. Your belly is well stretched out, and inside all your organs are squished, making room for your growing baby. Your stomach is still getting squeezed, and your colon is also. You may continue to be constipated and have heartburn.

Your bladder is being squeezed also. You are probably making more frequent trips to the bathroom than ever.

You may still be having swelling and fluid retention.

Your cervix may begin to dilate soon. When it does you may feel a sharp stabbing pain inside your vagina. This pain does not indicate labor and is not considered dangerous to you or your baby.

How Big is Your Baby?

Your baby is 16-19 inches long and weighs about 5 pounds.

What Does a Fetus Look Like at 34 weeks?  _  Video

See what a baby looks like at 34 weeks in the womb. (32 weeks since conception)
Click here to watch a video.

How is Your Baby Developing?

Week 34 baby in the wombYour baby’s brain is continuing to grow rapidly. It is still packing on fat. Vernix, the white coating on your baby’s skin is getting thicker.

Your baby is now sleeping most of the time. Most of the sleep time is in REM sleep, which is recognized as the dreaming state. Your baby spends as much of 80% of its sleep time in REM sleep, compared with 20% REM sleep in adults.

Your baby now sleeps 85-95% of the day. Still, your baby will continue to move and stir, sometimes as much as 50 times or more every hour.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

In order to help prevent tearing during childbirth, you may want to try perineal massage. This is massaging the area between your vaginal opening and your rectum. Massaging this area may help stretch your tissues, preparing them for childbirth. It may help to prevent tearing or the need of an episiotomy.

To perform perineal massage, make sure your hands are washed and very clean and that your nails are trimmed. Put some mild lubricant such as K-Y Jelly on your thumbs and insert them inside your vagina. Press down toward the anus, gently stretching the tissues. Do this process for 8-10 minutes every day.

You can have your partner help you if prefer. It may be a little uncomfortable, or cause some mild burning as you massage your perineum. This is considered normal. You should not be feeling any sharp pains.

Research of women using this technique is promising, but doing this technique is not a guarantee that you will not tear or need an episiotomy.


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