Your guide to being 34 weeks pregnant
Feeling fab or frumpy at 34 weeks?
Your baby’s digestive and intestinal systems are fully – functioning now, although they will continue to mature until about the age of two. Her first poo (meconium) is ready and waiting to be passed and her lungs are nearly fully developed. If she were to be born now, she’d have a 95 per cent chance of surviving without any medical help – reassuring to know.
Her fingernails now reach the end of her fingertips, and once she’s born you may be surprised at how long (and sharp!) they are.
The placenta reaches maturity and starts to age from this week onwards but it will still continue to do its job, providing your baby with nutrients and oxygen, until the birth.
What’s happening to you
Time may be dragging and if you’re still at work then you’re probably desperate for maternity leave!
One of pregnancy’s stranger side effects is changes in your eyesight. Fluid retention can affect the curvature of your eye, causing your vision to change. If you normally wear contact lenses, then you may find a return to glasses more comfortable, or you may find that you need a different prescription for your lenses (an optometrist will be able to advise you). Rest assured that any change in vision will be temporary, but mention it to your midwife to be on the safe side. If you experience any visual disturbance or if it’s accompanied by headaches, nausea or vomiting or sudden weight gain, seek immediate medical advice as this can be a symptom of pre – eclampsia.
Your pelvic region may be feeling tingly or numb and it may even be painful to walk. This is because your body is producing the hormone relaxin, which softens and loosens ligaments in preparation for labour. It can affect your symphysis pubis – the joint at the front of your pelvis where your hip bones meet with two of your pelvic bones – making it even more difficult to get about. This condition is known is symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and affects around one in 35 pregnant women to varying degrees. Mild symptoms meaning that walking is difficult or uncomfortable and you have to take extra care when turning over in bed, for example.
When to check it out
Mention any ligament pain (however mild) to your midwife. If symptoms are severe and you are in a lot of pain she may refer you to an obstetric physiotherapist who can provide you with a pelvic support garment to wear and advice and exercises to help manage it. Resting as much as you can also helps, although the only ‘cure’ is the birth of your baby.
‘To do’ this week
Want to do everything possible to prepare yourself for labour? Try a bit of perineal massage. Massaging the perineum (skin between the anus and vagina) with a cold – pressed oil (such as sweet almond or olive oil) may help reduce the risks of tearing during delivery. It can help make your perineum softer and more supple and will familiarise you with the stretching sensations you’ll feel when your baby’s being born.
Wow! Did you know…
Your baby’s digestive system is fully functioning and she’s weeing a lot now – up to a pint a day!