34 weeks and 1 day pregnant
This profile of the baby shows the tip of the nose touching the placenta. Your placenta will not be growing any more and now thins slightly. Within, the placenta continues to mature and it remains a highly efficient means of supplying your baby’s energy needs.
As your size begins to have an impact on your daily activities, you’ll find that a few practical adjustments are necessary.
Your posture will change as your bump continues to grow. To compensate for the heavy weight you’re carrying, you might find that you lean back slightly, especially when you’re walking downhill. You might also waddle when you walk as you shift your weight from side to side. In a few weeks’ time, when the baby begins to engage into the pelvis, you may find that you waddle even more.
It’s normal at this late stage of pregnancy to move more slowly than normal. You may find yourself struggling to get out of bed or out of a chair, and picking something up off the floor can be more difficult than usual. Tasks such as doing up your shoelaces or painting your toenails can seem impossible. You can overcome problems such as these; for example by putting your feet on a stool to tie your shoelaces so you don’t have to bend down so far. If you need help, there’s no shame in asking. It can be difficult to be reliant on others but remember it’s only temporary.
Can I have a water birth in hospital?
This depends on the maternity unit: some have birthing pools; others have facilities for you to hire a pool. Some units may be unable to allow a pool to be used for structural reasons; the amount of water would be too heavy for the floor to hold.
If your maternity unit does have a birthing pool, bear in mind that it may already be in use when you go into labour. Some units may let you labour in a pool, but not allow you to give birth in the water.
Whether you develop diabetes in pregnancy (known as gestational diabetes), or have pre-existing diabetes, you’ll require special care from a diabetic healthcare team and consultant obstetrician. This is because diabetes poses risks in pregnancy.
In the mother, these include high blood pressure, blood clots, pre-eclampsia, diabetic kidney disease, and diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the retina in the eye. For the baby, there is an increased risk of congenital abnormalities and growth may be too fast or too slow.
The key to a healthy pregnancy and baby when you have diabetes is good blood-sugar control as your insulin requirements will change throughout pregnancy. Controlling blood-sugar levels reduces the risk of birth defects and stillbirth, or of you having a larger than expected baby, which can lead to problems during the birth.
If you have gestational diabetes, you will need to adapt your diet to include more carbohydrates and fibre and reduce your intake of fats and sugar. You may also need insulin injections to help control your blood-sugar levels.