When the 34th week of pregnancy arrives, most expectant mothers think about when the baby will finally come into the world, and how it will be like to return to a familiar way of life. Such nostalgia from the past is justified, because by the end of the third trimester a lot of trials fall to the lot of pregnant women. Even if in the first weeks after conception the mother-to-be struggled with bouts of nausea or vomiting, but at least she could move freely. The 34th week of pregnancy is a time when the woman becomes heavier every day, and clumsiness and limitations in many actions appear. It becomes difficult to put on shoes, climb stairs, and take long walks.
Moreover, the 34th week of pregnancy presents such “gifts” as difficulty falling asleep. Often the sleep patterns of mother and child do not match, and the active movements of the baby disrupt a woman’s desire to lie down or sleep. The fetus is already so large that any of its smallest actions is keenly felt.
As well as, in the last weeks of pregnancy, there are a lot of thoughts and worries in the mind of the mother about the upcoming delivery and meeting with the baby. At times it feels like there is no time for sleep with all the rushing thoughts and sensations.
In addition to the above, pregnant women in this period are faced with problems such as:
- Shortness of breath;
- Swelling of the extremities;
- Pressure changes – which in turn cause sleepiness and weakness
This disappointing set of health problems, fortunately, does not occur simultaneously in one woman. Everything is strictly individual and depends on the predisposition to them. There are enviable cases when a mother-to-be had an easy and uncomplicated pregnancy all the way to the end. But those tend to be rare exceptions.
Belly at 34 Weeks of Pregnancy
The baby at 34 weeks of pregnancy occupies the entire uterine cavity and continues to stretch its walls. With each day in the womb, the baby is getting tighter and tighter. If in the early period of pregnancy, they were actively moving, and could afford to somersault and freely move their limbs, now it is all limited to turning the body in search of the most comfortable position.
Shyness and lack of space naturally affects the frequency and intensity of the baby’s movements. Now they don’t move as often as they did before, and if they do end up being uncomfortable, the mother will feel it at once. Sometimes it can even be painful for the pregnant woman, especially if the strong push is in the sub costal area.
Fetal Development in the Thirty-Fourth Week of Pregnancy
It has been exactly 34 weeks since the first day of the last menstrual period and 32 weeks since the sperm fertilized the egg by ovulation and the embryo (blastocyst) appeared in the woman’s body. This cycle ended with implantation in the uterine wall, rapid cell division, and the formation of an embryo. By the beginning of the 9th month of pregnancy, its external and internal parameters have reached an almost perfect level. Even if it has to be born now, it will be able to survive.
- The lungs are fully developed: if premature delivery occurs, the baby will be able to breathe on its own.
- The skin becomes smoother and lighter. The fluff, known as lanugo, and most of the virgin lubrication disappears from the skin.
- The fetus’s adrenal glands produce the hormone responsible for lactation, which is supplied to the mother. In addition, the baby is already preparing itself for breastfeeding: it sucks its finger and swallows amniotic fluid.
- The baby’s kidneys work at full capacity, providing the urinary system. About a half liter of clear urine enters the amniotic fluid each day.
- Increases the amount of subcutaneous fat, which makes the baby’s body and cheeks become dense, the fetus visibly rounded. The hair on his head thickens.
- The musculoskeletal system continues to strengthen, taking calcium from the mother’s body. The woman herself can feel by the movements and strength of her baby’s thrusts how strong and sturdy they have become.
- By 34 weeks, the baby is trying to take the position in which it will be born into the world – the head downward. The bones of the skull are soft; they facilitate its passage through the birth canal and are designed to protect it from squeezing and injury. Even if the baby is positioned upside down, that’s okay. He still has time and opportunity to get into the right position.
During this period, the baby sleeps longer. For most of the day he naps or sleeps soundly, and the rest of the time he kneads his limbs as much as he has space, hiccups, and plays with the umbilical cord.
Your baby's size
- 44 cm (1'44 ft.)
- 2250 g (4.96 lbs)
Pain in a variety of places during the approaching end of pregnancy is due to the physiological processes that take place during this period in the womb. All functions of the body work to prepare for future births, all subordinated to one goal – to ensure the passage of the baby through the birth canal and facilitate the condition of both the mother and the fetus.
- Pain in the lower back and abdomen is caused by a significant increase in the size of the uterus and an increased load on the back.
- Pain in the pubic area and in the sacrum is caused by the softening of ligaments and joints towards the end of pregnancy.
- And pain may also be felt in the upper and lower extremities. This is due to swelling, which increases with each week. The feet and hands are especially affected.
It should be kept in mind that all of the above is the norm, but exactly until the pain starts to intensify. If it cannot be tolerated, do not hesitate and call the doctor. The fact is that at 34 weeks there is a high risk of preterm birth. And if this is indeed the case, then the pregnant woman should come to the maternity hospital as soon as possible and get the necessary obstetric care.
Discharge at 34 Obstetric Week
At 34 weeks of pregnancy, you may notice that there is a larger volume of discharge. It may also contain small fragments of clear mucus. Doctors in such cases reassure, saying that the abundance of discharge is caused by soft tissue softening of the birth canal, preparing to receive the baby.
As with all pregnancy, normal discharge is clear and odorless.
Anything else – yellow, green, dark brown, curd, watery, bloody – should alert you and be a reason to see a doctor.
There may be many reasons: infection and inflammation, premature detachment of the placenta. Blood impurities can signal the separation of the baby’s place of residence, which means that there is a real threat of preterm labor. Watery discharge indicates that perhaps water has begun to break up – labor will begin soon and the pregnant woman needs urgent hospitalization.
Of course, nature has a definite term for the birth of a child. However, due to various circumstances, life can dispose of its own, and the birth will happen prematurely. Here are some of the main signs of preterm birth:
- Increased uterine tone and regular recurrent contractions;
- Pain in the lower abdomen and pubic area;
- A sharp decrease in the baby’s motor activity;
- Expulsion of mucus plug;
- Abdominal prolapse;
- Involuntary emptying of the bowels.
Often the onset of preterm labor is confused with training contractions, which in the last months of pregnancy prepare the body of the mother. It is important to know in time that the labor process has started and it is time to call an ambulance. You should not panic about it.
A baby born at 34 weeks in a maternity hospital is quite viable.
The medical staff will provide special care for a few more weeks until the thermoregulatory function is gone. After that, the baby will be able to live independently and meet its mother.
Gynecologists agree that when the thirty-fourth week of pregnancy arrives, intimacy between mother and father of the child should be postponed until the period of postpartum recovery. Doctors explain their point of view simply: a woman’s birth canal is preparing to let the fetus pass through. At this stage there is a great risk of infection during intercourse, which could harm the baby.
We should add that the recommendations of doctors are not mandatory. If partners are confident in each other and there is a mutual desire, then no one should exclude intimate life completely. A woman needs to assess her health and, on this basis, to decide on the appropriateness of intimacy.
Required Tests and Examinations
By the 34th week of pregnancy, the woman is well aware of the parameters of her child’s development, whether there are any abnormalities. In the first and second trimester she underwent two screenings, which included ultrasound and triple test (alpha-fetoprotein protein, estriol free, hCG hormone). Nevertheless, it is still necessary to regularly visit a gynecologist, who will conduct the necessary tests:
- Measurement of weight, blood pressure, abdominal volume, and uterine floor height;
- Listening to the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope;
- Taking blood and urine tests to determine how the woman is feeling (blood and urine tests, microflora smear).
If the doctor considers it necessary, they may prescribe a study of fetal vital signs. As a result, parameters such as motor activity, breathing rate of the baby, degree of fetal tone, and amniotic fluid volume are evaluated. Most studies are performed using an ultrasound machine.
Under medical indications, a cardiotocography – a procedure to detect the intensity of heartbeat and uterine contractions – is performed at this term. In addition, some pregnant women are advised to have a Doppler study. This study helps to understand whether the blood circulation in the placenta, uterine vessels and blood vessels of the baby is normal.
Ultrasound of the Fetus at 34 Weeks of Pregnancy
At 34 weeks of pregnancy ultrasound appoint on medical condition, ie, if the pregnant woman something concerns, and the doctor finds it necessary to confirm or rule out a pathology with an ultrasound. Photo abdomen at 34 weeks of pregnancy allows you to closely examine indicators of its development. In addition, the ultrasound method allows you to assess the comfort of the environment. The ultrasound specialist will indicate in the conclusion the degree of maturity of the placenta, the baby’s place that provides oxygen and essential nutrients to the baby.
An important point is to determine the quantity and quality of amniotic fluid. If there is little water or, on the contrary, a lot of water, the doctor will report it and give recommendations on how to solve the problem. Also with the help of ultrasound you can find out whether there is an umbilical cord entanglement and what sex the fetus is. Usually the fetus at 34 weeks of pregnancy is positioned with the head down, preparing for birth.
It is important for expecting parents to know who they are having. It often happens that early and even mid-pregnancy ultrasound screening does not give an opportunity to know the sex of the baby. The most common reason is the uncomfortable positioning of the fetus, which does not allow the doctor to see the genitals. Ultrasound at 34 weeks is another opportunity to find out who lives in your tummy.
Recommendations for Expectant Mothers
Dear expectant mothers of Mamas are Cool! Please listen to these recommendations:
- Be active! : yoga classes, swimming and walks in the park will do you good. A good physical shape will only help you during the birth.
- If you do not have an opportunity and do not feel like exercising, do Kegel exercises regularly. They will prepare you for an easy and safe birth as well.
- Pay attention to yourself: take care of your skin, protecting it from stretch marks, give foot baths and massages to reduce swelling, sleep at least 8-9 hours every day – including naps.
- It is better not to travel at this stage. First, the labor process can begin at any time, and second, travel and especially flights can have a negative impact on the health of the fetus.
- Spend more time with your friends and family, not forgetting the father of the baby. Their company will help you get in an optimistic mood, which will have a positive effect on you and the baby.
During this period, you can already consider the options of the birthplace: choose a hospital and doctor, read the terms of the contract, if you decide to use paid services.
Talk to your child. Like you, they also have a hard time, and are waiting just as impatiently to meet you.
Nutrition for the Expectant Mother
Healthy eating does not lose its relevance. In the last weeks of pregnancy, eating healthy food becomes of utmost importance. Weight gain since the beginning of pregnancy can be about 11 kilograms. You should not allow an excessive increase in the weight of the mother and child. It is easy to guess that too large a fetus can cause birth complications.
The main task of a woman is to keep her weight within the norm and not to fatten her baby. To do this, you need to continue to follow a diet that includes foods rich in vitamins and minerals, and excludes junk food and drinks (especially caffeine and alcohol). Eat dairy products to provide your baby with calcium, eat apricots and prunes to eliminate bowel emptying problems, and include porridge in the menu to eliminate heartburn.