Your Baby is Approximately 4.7 to 5.8 Pounds!

During Week 34 of pregnancy, your baby continues to grow and develop as they near their arrival. Here are some key developmental milestones and changes that occur during this stage:

  1. Size and Appearance: By Week 34, your baby measures around 17.7 to 18.6 inches (45 to 47.2 centimeters) in length and weighs approximately 4.7 to 5.8 pounds (2.1 to 2.6 kilograms). They are gaining more weight and their body continues to fill out as they accumulate fat.
  2. Muscle and Bone Development: Your baby’s muscles are becoming stronger, and their bones continue to harden. This allows them to move and kick with more force. Their skeleton is becoming less flexible as it prepares for the transition to life outside the womb.
  3. Digestive System: The digestive system is nearly fully developed, and your baby continues to swallow amniotic fluid, which helps train their digestive muscles and prepares them for digesting breast milk or formula after birth.
  4. Lung Maturation: While your baby’s lungs are not fully mature yet, they are continuing to develop. The air sacs (alveoli) are multiplying, and the production of surfactant increases, which is important for proper lung function and breathing after birth.
  5. Reflexes: Your baby’s reflexes are becoming more refined. They may suck their thumb, blink, hiccup, and practice swallowing. They are also becoming more responsive to external stimuli, such as sound and light.
  6. Sleep and Wake Cycles: Your baby has established regular sleep and wake cycles. You may notice patterns of activity and rest throughout the day, with periods of increased movement followed by quieter periods of rest.
  7. Head Position: By Week 34, many babies have settled into a head-down position in preparation for birth. However, it’s still possible for your baby to change positions before labor begins.
  8. Immune System Development: Your baby’s immune system continues to develop, with white blood cells and antibodies providing some level of protection against infections.
  9. Brain Development: The baby’s brain is rapidly developing, and the connections between brain cells are becoming more intricate. The brain is responsible for controlling various functions, including movement, reflexes, and sensory perception.
  10. Practice Breathing Movements: Your baby continues to practice breathing movements, which help strengthen their respiratory muscles and prepare them for breathing outside the womb. These movements involve inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid.

Remember that these milestones and changes are general guidelines, and the exact timing and progression of development can vary slightly from one pregnancy to another. Your healthcare provider can provide more personalized information about your baby’s growth and development during your prenatal appointments and ultrasounds.

As you approach the final weeks of pregnancy, continue to take care of yourself by eating a balanced diet, staying active (with your healthcare provider’s approval), getting adequate rest, and attending regular prenatal check-ups. The bond between you and your baby continues to strengthen as you eagerly await the arrival of your little one.

Preparing for Baby’s Arrival:

Preparing a hospital bag with essential items for you and your baby’s arrival is an important part of getting ready for childbirth. Here’s a checklist of items to consider including in your hospital bag:

For the Mom:

  1. Comfortable clothing: Pack loose, comfortable clothing for labor and postpartum, including a nightgown or comfortable pajamas, a robe, and slippers.
  2. Maternity bras and nursing pads: These are essential for breastfeeding or providing support during recovery.
  3. Personal care items: Include toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and hairbrush. Don’t forget items like lip balm and moisturizer for your own comfort.
  4. Essentials for labor: Consider packing items that can help you during labor, such as a birthing ball, massage oil, or items for relaxation like music or aromatherapy.
  5. Comfort measures: Bring items that provide comfort, such as your own pillow, a cozy blanket, or an eye mask for better sleep.
  6. Nursing essentials: If you plan to breastfeed, pack nursing bras, nursing pads, nipple cream, and a breastfeeding pillow if desired.
  7. Postpartum supplies: Include items like maternity pads, comfortable underwear, and any other postpartum care products recommended by your healthcare provider.
  8. Entertainment: Bring items to keep yourself occupied during downtime, such as books, magazines, or a tablet for watching movies or shows.
  9. Important documents: Carry your identification, insurance information, birth plan (if you have one), and any hospital paperwork or pre-registration forms you may need.
  10. Snacks and drinks: Pack some nutritious snacks and drinks to keep you energized during labor and postpartum.

For the Baby:

  1. Clothing: Pack a few onesies, sleepers, and outfits for your baby, keeping in mind the season and weather. Include socks, mittens, and a hat for warmth.
  2. Receiving blankets: Pack a few soft and lightweight receiving blankets for swaddling or keeping your baby cozy.
  3. Diapers and wipes: Bring a supply of diapers and wipes for your baby’s immediate needs. The hospital may provide some, but it’s good to have your own as well.
  4. Baby care essentials: Include items like baby lotion, baby wash, and a gentle baby brush or comb.
  5. Going-home outfit: Pack an outfit for your baby to wear when you leave the hospital.

It’s a good idea to pack your hospital bag a few weeks before your due date, so you’re prepared for an early arrival. Remember to communicate with your healthcare provider or birthing center to get any specific recommendations or additional items they may suggest for your particular situation.

 Prepare for the Final Stretch!

As you enter Week 35 of pregnancy, you’re in the final stretch of your pregnancy journey. Here are some key things to expect during this stage:

  1. Baby’s Growth and Development: By Week 35, your baby continues to grow and develop. They may measure around 18 to 19 inches (45.7 to 48.3 centimeters) in length and weigh approximately 5.5 to 6.5 pounds (2.5 to 2.9 kilograms). Their organs and systems are nearly fully developed, and they are preparing for life outside the womb.
  2. Positioning of the Baby: By now, most babies have settled into a head-down position, with their head pointing toward the birth canal. However, some babies may still be in a breech or other non-optimal position. Your healthcare provider will monitor your baby’s position and may discuss options if needed.
  3. Braxton Hicks Contractions: You may experience an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions during this stage. These practice contractions can become more frequent and intense, but they should still be irregular and not consistently progressive like true labor contractions.
  4. Pelvic Discomfort and Pressure: As your baby continues to grow, you may experience increased pelvic discomfort and pressure. This is normal as the baby’s head engages into the pelvis in preparation for birth.
  5. Breathlessness and Heartburn: With your growing baby taking up more space in your abdomen, you may experience increased breathlessness and heartburn. This is due to the pressure on your diaphragm and the relaxation of the muscles that control the opening between your esophagus and stomach.
  6. Continued Weight Gain: You may continue to gain weight during this stage of pregnancy, although at a slower pace than earlier in the pregnancy. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet and stay active (with your healthcare provider’s approval) to support your health and the baby’s growth.
  7. Increased Discharge: You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge as your body prepares for childbirth. However, if you experience any abnormal discharge that is accompanied by itching, a foul odor, or changes in color, consult with your healthcare provider.
  8. Frequent Urination: As your baby puts more pressure on your bladder, you may need to urinate more frequently. This is normal, but be sure to empty your bladder fully to help prevent urinary tract infections.
  9. Nesting Instinct: Many pregnant women experience a nesting instinct during this stage, where they feel a strong urge to prepare their home for the baby’s arrival. This may involve organizing the nursery, washing baby clothes, or completing other nesting activities.
  10. Regular Prenatal Check-ups: It’s important to continue attending your regular prenatal check-ups during Week 35. Your healthcare provider will monitor your health and the baby’s well-being, checking vital signs, measuring your belly, and assessing the baby’s position and growth.

Remember, each pregnancy is unique, and the exact experiences and timeline may vary. If you have any concerns or questions about your symptoms or the progress of your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for guidance and reassurance. They are there to support you throughout this final stage of pregnancy and help ensure a safe and healthy delivery.

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