Having a baby at 34 weeks inside your belly can give you a mixture of feelings. The anxiety of anticipating the birth process and happiness of finally getting to see your baby is something you have never experienced before. But before you think of anything else, let us take a moment and be thankful for your healthy pregnancy so far.
How far along are you?
Being 34-weeks pregnant means that you are in the eighth month of your pregnancy. That’s half of your third trimester. It is now just a matter of a few weeks before you see and hold your baby. Aw, we know all of us are getting teary at the moment. Just wait for the waterworks exploding from your eyes when you see your baby. Happy tears, of course.
Your baby at 34 weeks
Even in the later weeks of your pregnancy such as the 34th week, many organs and systems inside your baby keep developing. An overview of changes that occur while having a baby at 34 weeks inside your belly is given below.
A 34 weeks pregnant baby equals the size of a cantaloupe. The length of the baby at this week measures around 18 inches from head to toe. We know this sounds very tiny at the moment but wait till you have to push this baby outside of your vagina.
Having a baby at 34 weeks means that you are carrying four and a half pounds of weight inside your uterus. By the time your baby is born, its weight will increase to 6-7 pounds. These last weeks are very important for the baby as it is in these weeks that the baby gains most of its weight. An early delivery even by one week can result in dramatically less baby weight.
With the advancement of technology, doctors have discovered techniques to delay your pregnancy in case of any complication and reach full term. This is to avoid damages in low birth weight babies.
There are different positions in which a baby can present. A 34 weeks baby position depends upon many factors such as the growth of the baby, size of the uterus, weight of the mother and so on. Some common presenting positions are:
This is one of the most common and normal position. In this case, the baby’s head is downwards and delivers first. This is followed by the delivery of its shoulders, buttocks, and legs.
In a breech presentation, baby’s buttocks or legs move down towards the pelvis. It is the buttocks that are delivered first with the help of some maneuvers. The belly and head are delivered last.
This is an abnormal presenting position. The baby lies horizontally inside the pelvis. The shoulders enter the birth canal before any other body part. Some physical techniques are used to correct this procedure. Otherwise, a C-section is performed.
Any position other than the above-mentioned presentations is called a compound position. A C-section is always done in these cases.
As the baby opens its eyes around these weeks for the first time, it develops a specific eye color. The color depends upon the presence of a special pigment called “melanin”. In babies with zero melanin pigment in their eyes, the eyes develop a blue color. The more melanin deposits in the baby’s eyes, the darker eye color develops.
With having a baby at 34 weeks inside the uterus, the baby develops a sleep schedule. This means that the baby has proper sleeping and waking cycles. This pattern of sleep allows the baby to develop a schedule that will follow after its birth. It is, in fact, because of this cycle that some babies stay awake throughout the night while others sleep peacefully in the night.
It is in the 34th week that the testis (male reproductive organs) descend downwards from the belly into a scrotum (basically your baby’s balls). This event marks the permanence of the gender of your baby.
If, due to some reason, this process does not occur, the testis can travel downwards after the birth of the baby. This happens when the baby gets 6 months old. However, in a few numbers of cases, the testis doesn’t descend at all.
Your body at 34 weeks
We are pretty sure that by this time you know really well about the changes occurring during pregnancy. Keep reading to know about the changes that occur during week-34.
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels that dilate in your anus due to so many reasons. Although this complication is present in most parts of pregnancy, hemorrhoids become much more common by the eight months. Guess you will have to tolerate more while having a baby at 34 weeks inside the uterus.
Blurry vision and irritated eyes
Among many other organs that are affected by pregnancy hormones, here come your eyes. Due to the flow of hormones, your eyesight can get weaker and it becomes difficult to focus on objects.
Eyes can also become dry and irritated because of many changes that occur to tear producing cells. Try using a lubricating liquid to avoid itching.
Increased vaginal discharge
You might notice some clear or whitish fluid coming out of your vagina while having a baby at 34 weeks. This discharge is one of the many mechanisms by which your body prepares itself to deliver the baby. This discharge is totally normal unless you notice a change in color, smell or thickness.
Constant back pain and dull contractions
We know what you’re thinking. “This problem isn’t new!” is the phrase you’re probably saying right now. And we agree. But it is in these weeks that these pains increase in intensity. Braxton hicks’ contractions, the false labor contractions, also occur more frequently. However, you should report to your doctor any noticeable change in pain intensity.
What are the signs of preterm labor?
Preterm labor means the onset of contractions before 38 weeks of pregnancy. Week-34 is the time where most of the pre-term labor occurs. The signs are as follows:
- Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
- Change in the character of vaginal discharge
- More frequent contractions
- Early water breaking
- Increase in the quantity of vaginal discharge
- Constant back pains
If you experience these symptoms simultaneously, rush to the ER as soon as possible.
Does twin pregnancy increase the chances of preterm labor?
It does. It surely does. The chances of going into preterm labor increase by 50% with a twin pregnancy. The reason for this is very simple. The uterus accommodates two human beings inside itself. As the babies grow, the capacity of uterus decreases and the chances of early delivery increase.
Twins at 34 weeks are born very weak and underdeveloped if they deliver early, prior to the completion of their term.
You must ask these questions from your doctor!
Asking the following questions from your doctor is very necessary for this week.
- What will be your strategy if baby positions in a breech presentation?
- How long after delivery should you start breastfeeding your child?
- What exercises can you do to help relieve the back pain?
- What are the necessary classes or courses you must attend?
Now just sit back and enjoy your pregnancy while it lasts.