This week of pregnancy is when both mother and baby will start to gain a good amount of weight. Women, due to the uterus pushing up on the organs, you may experience shortness of breath. The baby may be sitting on the diaphragm, which makes it difficult for the lungs to expand to their full capacity. Soon, the baby will settle into the pelvis and as the last weeks of pregnancy you will be able to breathe easier. If you are feeling out of breath, try lying down with your upper body elevated. This will ease the shortness of breath. If you already live with asthma or other respiratory conditions, talk to your doctor and see what he recommends.
At this week of pregnancy, early labor is possible but doctors try to prevent that from happening. The baby if born at this week of pregnancy, they may have health problems and other conditions that may stay with them the rest of their lives. You can prevent early labor by attending all of your doctors’ visits and stay off of your feet as much as possible. The key in the third trimester is to rest as much as possible. If your doctor recommends bed rest, do so. Don’t overwork yourself and listen to what the doctor tells you.
Your Baby’s Growth and Development
By pregnancy week 34 your baby is close to 5 pounds and may reach almost 20 inches in length! Your baby really does resemble a tiny person at this point. Your baby is still working on adding fat to his or her body. Most babies concentrate on this task from here on out.
Your doctor may try to estimate your baby’s weight in the upcoming weeks. This is not an exact science however, and many estimates are as much as one pound or more off in some cases! Keep this in mind if your doctor provides you an estimate of your baby’s weight.
Why such variance? There are many factors contributing to this. How much amniotic fluid you have for example, may influence your doctors estimate of your baby’s weight. While ultrasound provides most doctors a fairly accurate means of estimating the baby’s weight, it isn’t 100% correct all the time. Keep this in mind the next time you think you know how much your baby will weigh.
If your doctor does use an ultrasound however to estimate your baby’s weight they will consider many measurements including the diameter of your infants head, the circumference of the abdomen and head and measure the length of your baby’s femur.
How Your Life’s Changing
By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you’re under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now’s the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day. If you’ve been sitting or lying down for a long time, don’t jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.
If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short). Up to one percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your practitioner so she can make sure it’s not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don’t have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.
Are There Benefits To An Episiotomy?
An episiotomy is a sometimes controversial practice. Many women wonder if they will tear during pregnancy. This depends. Factors increasing the likelihood you will tear include the size of your baby, especially your baby’s head.
While episiotomies are more and more common, there are many studies suggesting this is an unnecessary medical procedure many new mothers have to bear. What is an episiotomy?
It is a cut your doctor may make from your rectum to vagina to help deliver the baby. The idea is by making a neat incision you will avoid any severe tearing. A doctor can make the cut vertically or horizontally then stitch you up after.
Many claim this is a reasonable procedure that can help prevent second and third degree tears. However there are some studies suggesting that recovery from an episiotomy is even longer than recovery time necessary for ordinary tears associated with labor and delivery.
There are also some risks associated with this procedure including increased risk of infection and blood loss after delivery. Be sure you talk to your doctor about this procedure and their opinions regarding it before you go into delivery. Together you can make an informed decision about whether this may or may not be right for you and your baby.
As the due date draws near, make sure that you are at ease with the way the birth is going to happen. Many women tend to panic and when they get into the delivery room, they forget everything they have learned. Share your concerns with your doctor and your partner. They will be able to set your mind at ease. Millions of women have given birth and they have gotten through it just fine.