33 weeks pregnant
Your baby is almost fully equipped for the outside world
If your baby was born this week, she’d still need some help with breathing and feeding. But it’s reassuring to know that basically she’s in pretty good shape for survival. However, you are unlikely to go into labour this early. Now is your chance to start practising the relaxation and pain-relieving exercises that you’ve been learning at your antenatal classes. The more familiar you are with the techniques, the more they will help you during labour.
1.The fundus, or top of the uterus, is high in your abdomen and the pressure under your ribs may make it impossible for you to enjoy a full meal without discomfort.
2.Your baby’s gut would be able to process food if she were to be born this week. All the digestive enzymes are now active.
3.At 34 weeks the average crown to heel length is 45cm (17.7in) and the average weight is 2.1kg (4.7lb).
4.The position of the baby is unlikely to change between now and the birth if this is your first pregnancy.
5.The amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby varies in individual pregnancies. At this stage, the fluid has reached its maximum level.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to week 34 of your pregnancy. You may be feeling like you’ve been pregnant forever! Please note that most babies don’t arrive on their due date or even within a couple of days of that target. Many babies arrive after week 37 or a couple of weeks after their due date. Every pregnancy is different and there’s usually no harm if a baby arrives a week or two early or late. By this week your baby should weigh approximately 2.3-2.5 kg.
What are you about to experience?
The top of your uterus can now be felt approximately 5-and a-half inches above your belly button. It is important to remember that every woman’s pregnancy is different, so your measurements may vary from other pregnant women. The most important thing is that your uterus is growing at a consistent rate.
Your baby’s development
During the last several weeks, we have discussed that your baby’s body has begun to accumulate fat under the skin. This is an important part of development because these fat stores will help your baby regulate body temperature after delivery. The baby’s central nervous system is continuing to mature, and the lungs are well-developed. While most doctors would ideally like you to carry up to 38 to 40 weeks, your baby has a good chance of surviving outside of the womb at this time.
Changes in you
Many of the symptoms you’re likely to experience this week have probably been bothering you for a few weeks already.
- Blurry vision: Not only can your vision seem a bit blurry these days, but a decrease in tear production can leave your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses. Be happy as these changes are all temporary and normal. Things should clear up as your eyes return to normal after delivery.
- Belly button: You may have noticed that your belly button has become an ‘outie’ or that it is extremely sensitive. If this is the case, you can take a band-aid to cover it.
This is a good time to familiarize yourself with the birthing process. First, visit the labour room of the hospital where you’re planning to give birth. Go ahead and fill out any pre-registration paperwork and talk with your doctor about pain management options like epidural for the big day. And if you have any questions about the delivery itself, make a list and go over them with your doctor.
Also start preparing your environment for the baby which may include investing in a baby bed, a feeding pillow, a breast pump (if you have to get back to work), baby clothes, your personal hygiene items etc. Also pack a hospital bag and stow it either in the car, or near the entrance of the door, so you have it with you at all times.
Nutrition for you
A healthy diet during pregnancy is critical for the growth of the baby. A pregnancy diet is always a topic of discussion. There are things to worry about, and then there are things not to.
- Moderation: Eat in moderation foods that include oils, salad dressing, cream, chocolate, biscuits, pudding, cake, ice cream and even cold drinks. A bit of healthy fats such as ghee and butter are welcome to give you the required energy. So, don’t be scared of them yet don’t go overboard.
- Go Dairy: Milk and milk products are very good during pregnancy because of the high calcium content. However, opt for low-fat versions whenever possible to keep the calories in check.
Some of the worries at this stage of pregnancy are issues with which you must already be familiar
- Heartburn: Heartburn and indigestion may be troubling you more because of your growing uterus that is squeezing against your tummy and other internal organs. All the indigestion could also be causing sleeplessness. So, before bedtime keep the meal light and non-spicy.
- Mood swings: Like most expectant mothers at 34 weeks, you’re probably feeling anxious, nervous, and really low. Keep your mood positive by listening to good music, watching some funny movies, or being around with people who make you feel negative. Avoid people who tire or frighten you with their own tales of terrible labour pains and other miseries.
What do the experts suggest?
“If you begin experiencing contractions, you should call your doctor immediately. While your baby is considered pre-term at this point, some women do go into labour early. At 34 weeks, your baby has a very good chance for a healthy delivery and long-term survival. If you begin to experience contractions, keep track of how long each contraction lasts and how close together they are. Your doctor will need this information when you reach the hospital.”
Dr. Sangeeta Malhotra
CGHS Maternity and Gynea Hospital, Delhi
What do some of the moms say?
Let’s hear what moms have to say about their own experiences of pregnancy.
“My amniotic fluid level was normal during week 33 but suddenly dipped in the coming week. I didn’t realise it was leaking, until I went for a check up. My doctor told me to go to the hospital immediately. I wasn’t prepared to deliver, but I was told if I waited any more it could be harmful for my twin girls, so I delivered in week 34,” shares Arti Singh.
“I faced issues with my vision in last leg of my pregnancy. I remember everything was blurry around me. I went for an eye exam and my doctor gave me some eye drops to lubricate my eyes. But the blurred vision became alright as soon as I delivered,” shares Tanvi.
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Summer: Avoid direct mid-day sun, because pregnant women are more prone to sunburn than non-pregnant women. Also, all the exhaustion of carrying the baby can make you feel weak and tired very soon in excessive heat. Keep yourself well hydrated.
Monsoon: Try wearing loose and light weighted clothes during monsoon as it is necessary to give full comfort to your baby bump. If the air becomes chilly, do cover yourself up as you don’t want to be falling sick at this stage. Each well-cooked and fresh food to keep off any stomach bugs.
Winter: Use a humidifier to counter the dryness generated by a heater. Or you can keep a bowl of water in front of the heater. This helps to add moisture to the dry air. Also, keep the mood upbeat by chatting up with friends and family.