As the thirty-fourth week comes and goes, you are probably feeling much discomfort. Continue regular visits with your healthcare provider as he or she prepares you for the stages of labor. Remember that each pregnancy is different, and some women do not make it to full term (40 weeks). This is why your doctor is preparing you now. Your healthcare provider will do a vaginal culture for Group B Strep bacteria in the next few weeks. Group B Strep is a bacteria that colonizes the vagina and bowel in some women, and if untreated can cause infection in your newborn. If you are positive, your doctor will give you intravenous antibiotics during labor to decrease the amount of bacteria and likelihood of infection.
Symptoms and Body Changes at 34 Weeks
The biggest thing you’ll notice in this thirty-fourth week is the reduction of pressure on your chest and lungs. This is due to your baby moving down into the pelvis area. Your uterus should be close to 5 ½ inches above your belly button. Your belly button is probably extremely sensitive too, and you may notice that if it wasn’t an “outie” before, it is now. Some women have heartburn due to relaxation of the muscles in the lower esophagus. Swelling in your hands, wrists, face, legs, ankles, and feet is likely increasing. If the swelling is accompanied by severe headaches, dizziness, or pain your upper abdomen, you should contact your healthcare provider, as this could be a sign of pre-eclampsia. The swelling is due to water retention, and believe it or not, the way to reduce it is to continue drinking more water. Drinking less water only makes the situation worse.
As your baby continues to grow in length and weight, he or she should weigh close to five pounds and measure between 15 ½ and 17 ½ inches. Most of the organs are almost fully matured, with the exception of the lungs. The facial features are very distinct at this point. As the fat continues to build under the skin, your baby is looking a bit plumper and is taking on his or her mature facial characteristics. He or she will continue to grow as the due date approaches. You may notice too that he or she is still getting the hiccups. This is normal.
Pregnancy Week 34 Tips
If you’re experiencing heartburn, try eating six or seven small meals per day instead of two or three large meals. Also, try to avoid wearing uncomfortable tight-fitting clothes and instead find loose, baggy clothes to help reduce discomfort. If there isn’t anyone around to massage you, make an appointment with a masseuse. This can help reduce swelling and pain throughout your body. Hang in there, Mom! It’s almost over! Next is pregnancy at 35 weeks.