34 weeks and 5 days pregnant
This is an MRI image showing a cross section of the entire pregnancy. The mother’s spine is on the left of the image, and the baby is lying head down within the pelvis. An MRI is rarely needed during pregnancy, but if recommended, it is entirely safe.
You’ll probably find yourself analyzing every ache and pain in these final weeks of your pregnancy.
By this stage of pregnancy every time you get a twinge you may worry that it’s the onset of labour. This is a normal concern, but try to remember that, even though you’re heavily pregnant, most aches and pains are still likely to be due to constipation, or stretching ligaments, rather than labour.
You may begin to have Braxton Hicks’ contractions; these practice contractions occur as the uterus tightens as a warm up for labour. They also help to direct more blood to the placenta in the final weeks of pregnancy. Some women are unaware of them, while for others they can be quite uncomfortable. Relaxing the uterine muscles by changing your position, walking around, or having a warm bath can help.
If you’re unsure whether the pains you’re having are Braxton Hicks’, do always consult your midwife.
What will I need if I’m planning to breastfeed?
I found all the following items really useful when I was breastfeeding my baby:
Nursing bras that can be unclipped at the front or have zip-open cups. Get properly fitted (bearing in mind that your breasts will be bigger once your milk comes in). You’ll need at least two nursing bras and, thankfully, it’s possible to get some attractive styles.
Nipple cream : this is soothing if you have cracked nipples.
Breast pads (disposable or washable). Slip them inside your bra to absorb any leaks between feeds. Alternatively, breast shells slot inside your bra to catch any excess milk.
Breastfeeding pillow: a V-shaped pillow isn’t essential, but it will help you and your baby to get comfortable.
Muslins to catch dribbles.
Breast pump and bottles or bags for storing expressed milk.
If you’ve decided to breastfeed, it’s the best choice for you and your baby. However, it doesn’t always come naturally so make it easier by being prepared:
Read all about it . If you’re expecting some of the discomforts, they won’t come as such a shock and you may be able to take measures to prevent them. It can help, for example, to know how to latch on your baby correctly.
Address any concerns before your baby is born: ask your midwife, or friends who’ve breastfed.
See how it’s done by visiting a breastfeeding café (ask your midwife to recommend one). You may have been concerned about breastfeeding in public, so it can help to see how discreetly it can be done. You could also ask a friend to let you watch her position and breastfeed her baby.
Look for a breastfeeding counsellor – maybe a friend can recommend one, or contact the National Childbirth Trust or La Leche League for a list of counsellors.