Bump Update: Week 34
Welcome to week 34 of your pregnancy! One more week behind you, and only a few more to go! You’ll probably be happy to know that you have reached another important milestone this week. If you’ve been feeling contractions, or if you struggled with preterm labor or having a premature baby in the past, and you’re worried about going into labor early (again), rest assured that most babies born after this point should be just fine. Even if he requires a little extra care in the beginning, if he’s born this week, your baby shouldn’t need any extra care in the future.
This week, you might be seeing a new side effect of those pregnancy hormones that have made your entire pregnancy so...comfortable: blurry vision. (Seeing...get it?) In addition to the blurry vision caused by pregnancy hormones, you might also notice a decrease in tear production and an increase in fluid behind your eyes’ lenses, which causes their shape to change, causing further vision problems. But, don’t worry! Just like the temporary change in shape you’ve seen in your belly, this too shall pass! It also doesn’t help that you probably aren’t getting as much sleep as you’d like. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep? Between the frequent bathroom trips and struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position, do you even remember what that feels like? And even though I’m sure tons of people have told you to get used to it because you won’t be getting sleep for a long time, trust me, being awake and holding your sweet baby is much better than being awake because your baby is kicking your bladder! SO much better! Plus, your husband can take a turn after the baby’s born. Right now? Not so much. Because of all of these lovely little pregnancy side-effects (not to mention, Braxton Hicks), that end-of-pregnancy fatigue has probably completely set in by now. Even though it probably seems counter-intuitive, getting a little (light) exercise might help. So go outside for a short walk (the fresh air is an added bonus in the energy department) if you can. But don’t overdo it! Now isn’t the time to start training for a marathon. Save that energy for labor. You’ll need it!
At this point in your pregnancy, you may have noticed that your baby doesn’t seem to be moving quite as much as he used to. While you should still definitely call your doctor immediately if you haven’t felt him move in an unusual amount of time (check with your doctor for guidelines on this), a slight decrease in movement is very normal because you’re not the only one running out of room. Your baby is living in some pretty cramped quarters these days, and this will begin to limit his movement. Speaking of movement, you might have noticed at this point that your baby has dropped, as your body begins to prepare for labor and your baby’s birth. However, this might not happen until much later in pregnancy, and for some mamas this doesn’t happen until the day their baby is born. If you’re having a boy, he has also most likely experienced a drop by now, as his testicles descend from his abdomen to his scrotum. Your baby’s fingernails and toenails are also nearing the end of development, and by now, they have probably reached the tips of her tiny fingers and toes. If you’re having a girl, this means she’ll be ready for her first mommy-daughter mani/pedi! Speaking of which, don’t forget to schedule a pre-birth mani/pedi for yourself!
If you haven’t already finalized your birth plan, now would be a great time to sit down with your medical team and spouse, and make sure you’re all on the same page. Make sure to take into account any special circumstances, and let your team know who you want to be present at the birth.