Your Pregnancy: Weeks 33 and 34

Pregnancy week by week: You are 33 and 34 weeks pregnant


 

Your Body

The top of your uterus has journeyed five inches north of your navel at this pregnancy stage. As baby’s head points south, it may feel like his feet are crowding or lodging into your ribcage. You might be able to persuade your little one to move into another position — and get some temporary relief — by inhaling as you raise one arm over your head. Exhale and release the position. Repeat the same stretch using the opposite arm. In the next month, your baby’s head will eventually drop into your pelvis. This frees up space so you have more breathing room and puts less pressure on your stomach (you’ll notice you’ll be able to eat more and your heartburn will subside). The downside is that shift in weight transfers to your pelvis and on your bladder. Don’t be surprised by deep pressure, numbness and tingling deep in your pelvic region and discomfort when you walk.

You might confuse Braxton Hicks contractions (a.k.a false labour), hardening and tightening of the uterine muscles, with true labour pains. The former are sporadic, short-lived, less than a minute or two, and relatively painless. Taking a stroll, changing your position and getting some rest can nip them in the bud. They’re a dress rehearsal for active labour, which is characterized by contractions at regular intervals that increase in intensity and run along your lower back and travel to the front of the abdomen without dissipating, even if you change positions. Speaking of contractions, be diligent about doing Kegel exercises — contracting and relaxing pelvic floor muscles — 25 times, three to four times a day. Strong pelvic muscles give you the strength to push during labour.

Should your baby be born this week, he or she would have a high rate of survival. Symptoms of premature labour include leaking amniotic fluid, passing a pink or brown discharge, period-like cramps, sometimes accompanied by nausea and diarrhea, contractions that reoccur every 10 minutes, a sensation that your baby is pushing down and low back ache.

Baby’s World

He is between 44 and 48 cm. (17 – 19 in.) long, weighs about 2 to 2.28 kg (4.4 – 5 lb.) and is about the size of a cantaloupe. He’s likely reached his full height; the body’s priority now is plumping up baby. He will pack on 50 percent of his birth weight in the following seven weeks. Consequently, his jabs, kicks have probably begun to hurt a tad. There is also less padding between mother and baby since the quantity of amniotic fluid has reached its peak. Fontanelles (or soft spots) on the skull are bony plates that are not fused so baby’s head can pass through the birth canal without difficulty. The bones won’t join together until he is 18 to 24 months. His adrenal glands have started pumping adrenaline, a hormone and neurotransmitter mom relies on during labour.

Fun Fact

Sweet and sour are two flavours that baby can now differentiate between in the amniotic fluid. Some researchers reason it’s how Mother Nature prepares an infant for breast milk, which contains an array of tastes from mom’s diet.

Weeks 31 & 32     Weeks 35 & 36

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