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In the 34th week of pregnancy, the uterus continues to grow even though there is not enough space for it. The uterus’ size is around 5 inches above the navel now. By the same token, the unborn baby pushes up against the abdominal cavity.
The mother in week 34
At week 34, the soon – to – be mom might be able to breathe a little easier compare to last week since the baby may have descended lower into the pelvis. This then gives the lungs more space to take in some oxygen. Add to that, here are the following symptoms:
Week 34 symptoms
From week 34 onwards, the eye vision tends to become blurry due to the pregnancy hormones. Those hormones are also the cause of fluid build – up in the eyes. As a result, the change in curvature of the eyes affects her vision.
There is no need to worry about it since this symptom is only temporary. A pregnant woman’s vision will go back to normal after the child is born.
Dry and sensitive eyes
The abovementioned symptom usually comes along with dry and sensitive eyes. Pregnancy hormones also decreases tear production which can leave the dry and sensitive. To make matters worse, this may lead to discomfort and irritation.
Studies show that about 23% of pregnant women suffer from depression. This is due to the mixed emotions she is currently dealing with together with the symptoms.
Burping, bloating, and farting
Burping, bloating, and farting – this humiliating trio is caused by the high levels of progesterone.
Indigestion is also caused by the presence of progesterone. This hormone relaxes the gastrointestinal tract muscles which lead to the symptom. Apart from that, the expanding uterus takes up the space of the other internal organs.
On the lighter side of the situation, indigestion gives the nutrients more time to be absorbed in the bloodstream and reach the unborn baby.
Leukorrhea (medical term for vaginal discharge) is an odorless and milky white substance that the vagina discharges during pregnancy. The production of leukorrhea is caused by high – levels of estrogen which stimulates the body’s mucous membranes.
Leukorrhea serves as the birth canal’s anti-body which maintains the healthy balance of good bacteria in the vagina.
Back pain is a shooting pain which begins in the back or buttocks and stretches down the legs.
Back pain occurs because the joints become unstable due to relaxin. This hormone loosens the joints and ligaments in preparation for labor. Aside from the said hormone, here are the other factors of back pain:
- Added weight of the growing baby
- Center of gravity shifts forward which curves the lower back more than usual
Stretch marks are the tearing of supporting layers underneath the epidermis. Stretch marks occur when the skin is being pulled rapidly to its extreme.
The hair changes an expectant mom notices are caused by the high – levels of estrogen. Here are the following hair changes which take place during pregnancy:
- Thick and lustrous appearance
- Rapid growth
- Hair sprouting from unwanted body parts
Did you know that about 75% of expectant moms experiences sleep deprivation (widely known as 3rd trimester insomnia) in the 3rd trimester? This symptom is a combination of causes of the hormonal fluxes such as:
- Frequent bathroom trips
- Acid refluxes
- Leg spasms
- Pre – birth anxiety
Irregular bowel movements
Irregular bowel movements (commonly called constipation or colon congestion) happen since the growing baby takes up the space normally occupied by the bowels.
Hemorrhoids (medical term for piles) are swollen varicose veins located in the rectal wall. Hemorrhoids occur due to the following factors:
- Enlarging uterus presses the rectal wall
- Increased blood volume to the pelvic area
Edema (swelling feet, ankles, and hands)
Did you know that about ¾ of pregnant women are affected with edema? Edema occurs due to the increased blood and fluid production to nurture both parties.
The breasts begin to produce colostrum (pre – cursor to breastmilk) which causes the leakage.
Fetal development in week 34
An expectant mom may be able to see her baby’s body parts through her belly. This is because the amount of amniotic fluid in his sac decreases. Aside from that, here are the following fetal developments which will take place in the 34th week:
- First and foremost there are 99% of babies who are born at week 34 can survive outside the womb and most of them are born without any major complications.
- The baby – in – waiting stretches for about 17.2 – 18.7 inches (could be as tall as 20 inches in a standing position in – utero) from head – to – toe length and tips the scales roughly at 4.2 – 5.8 pounds.
- The distribution of white fat underneath his skin is almost finished. Having said that, the unborn baby has a rounder appearance this week.
- The vernix caseosa (a waxy and cheesy protective coating his entire body) begins to thicken this week. This will begin to shed in the next few weeks.
- If an expectant carries a baby boy, his testicles have moved (from his abdomen down to his scrotum) in its respective position (under the scrotum). However, in some cases, about 3 – 4% of baby boys are born with undescended testicles. But there is no need to worry about that as this will be fixed before he even celebrates his 1st
- Baby – to – be’s brain is forming trillions of nerve connections which makes it possible for him to learn inside the womb. This major brain development is one of the reasons why he sleeps and even dreams most of the time. When he dreams, his eyes dart around rapidly like that of a sleeping adult.
- His nervous system continues to develop and mature.
- His lungs are nearly fully developed by now and any breathing complications can be easily treated this week.
- The unborn baby urinates for about 1 pint per day.
- By week 34, the unborn baby begins to settle her sleeping patterns. He now closes his eyes during snooze time and opens them when he is awake.
- His pupils is able to dilate and become narrower in reaction to light
- His tiny toe and fingernails have reached his toe and fingertips.
- The unborn baby begins to recognize certain noises and voices at 34 weeks. In a like manner, he begins to react with what he hears (especially if it’s the mother who is singing or talking). Some theories suggest that the baby will recognize songs the mom sings while still inside the womb, and he will most likely be soothed by those lullabies if he is used to hearing them once he is born. Evidence also shows that newborns pay closer to high – pitched tones.
Pregnancy tips for week 34
Week 34 of pregnancy serves as the 6th week of the 3rd (and last) trimester. 6 weeks down and 6 remaining weeks to go before the much – awaited due date. To ensure that the baby will be born healthy and safety, make it a habit to do the following things:
Things to do during the 34th week of pregnancy
Lubricating eye drops
To prevent the eyes from getting dry and irritated, insert some lubricating eye drops.
Stay well – hydrated
Staying well – hydrated while pregnant is a must. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Hydration brings a lot of benefits such as:
- Prevents indigestion
- Lowers the chances of having acid refluxes
Fiber – rich foods
Make it a habit to include fiber – rich foods on the plate. Here are the following fiber – rich foods she should eat:
- Whole grains
Wear pads and/or panty liners
Leukorrhea discharge is heavy this week so always wear pads and/or a panty liner to keep the underwear clean and dry.
Sleep or lie on the left side of the body
Avoid sleeping using the back after the 1st trimester. Make it a habit to sleep or lie on the left side of the body. This position reduces the pressure on the major and rectal veins. Plus, it keeps the blood circulation going.
What to avoid in week 34
Vices are sinful behaviors which pregnant women are strictly prohibited to engage in. Here are the vices an expectant mom must consider avoiding:
- Smoking cigarettes or e – cigarettes, and tobaccos
- Engaging in recreational drugs
- Taking some sleeping pills
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
Substances with caffeine content
Caffeine is a form of drug (diuretic) which triggers the bladder to urinate more and interrupts the sleeping schedule of both parties. Aside from coffee itself, here are the following substances with caffeine content:
- Energy drink
- Some teas
- Non – cola sodas
- Soft drinks
- Some weight loss pills
- Some pain relievers
Even though gingko biloba is an organic memory – booster, this herbal supplement is not yet proven safe until now to take during pregnancy.
Seafood with toxin
Surprisingly, not all seafood is safe for consummation during pregnancy. Here are the following seafood she must steer clear from her plate:
- Fresh tuna
Keep the skin moisturized
Expect more stretch marks to appear as the belly grows bigger. Make it a habit to moisturize the skin daily to soften the appearance of stretch marks. Slather on some cocoa butter or pink calamine for best results.
Gas – trigger foods
The puffy phenomenon is highly likely to occur at week 34 (burping, bloating, and farting). To lower the instances of suffering from this humiliating symptom, she must cut back intake of gas – trigger foods such as:
- Onions and/or onion rings
- Fried and greasy foods
- Sweet and sugary treats
- Rich and buttery sauces
Do not buy or use a douche. Douching disrupts the natural chemistry in the vagina which can lead to various infections.
Feminine wash and wipes
Stop using feminine wash and wipes for a while. These female essentials change the pH in the genital tract which could lead to vaginal irritation and infection.
Carrying heavy objects and reaching for high items
Avoid carrying heavy objects and reaching for high items while pregnant. Doing these activities will cause body strains.