Help your growing baby develop in the thirty-fourth week of your pregnancy

Your growing baby has grown tiny fingernails by week 34. Build up your growing baby’s body by continuing to eat adequate protein daily during this pregnancy stage.

What’s happening this week?

Your growing baby fingernails have grown so much that they almost reach the tip of the fingers.i The fuzzy hair or lanugo that covered the body is now gone; and his or her skin is covered with a thick, waxy substance called vernixi. This will protect your growing baby from any chafing in the womb.

Your growing baby’s brain continues to make new and complex connections. Since your growing baby is working so hard, he or she is also spending a lot of time snoozing.

This week, your growing baby weighs about 4.75 pounds (2.15 kilograms) and measures about 17.75 inches (45 centimeters) from head to toe.ii

What can you expect? 

You may not feel your growing baby move as much as before, but this is because he or she has now filled out your womb and just doesn’t have space for those acrobatics anymore.iii Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your growing baby in any way.

Your ankles, feet, and hands may start swelling in this last trimester due to fluid retention, which is due to blood flow in the lower part of the body being partially blocked as your growing uterus pushes on the pelvic veins.iii Use these tips to manage swelling for a comfortable pregnancy:

  • Talk to your doctor if there is sudden swelling in your face, hands, and around your eyes. These could be signs of something more serious.
  • Get off your feet. Do not stand for long periods of time. Try to elevate your feet whenever you can, and try not to cross your legs when you sit.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

To support your incremental needs and your growing baby’s brain and physical development, continue to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in DHA and other essential nutrients like iron, zinc, copper, choline and folate.iv

Keep in mind that switching your body position can coax your growing baby out of any awkward poses that are giving you discomfort. A gentle massage over the aching area also helps – ask your partner or a close family member to give you one.

Massaging your growing baby while he or she is still in the womb also introduces him or her to human touch and to the world outside the womb. At the same time, you are encouraging your growing baby to respond to your loving touch.

 


 

 

References:
 
i.       Fetal development: The 3rd trimester. (2014, July 11). Retrieved April 10, 2017,     
ii      Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. (2016). Your Pregnancy Week by Week (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.
iii      You and your baby at 33-36 weeks pregnant. (2017, March 31). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from          
iv     Georgieff, M. K. (2007) Nutrition and the developing brain: nutrient priorities and measurement. American Journal of          
        Clinical Nutrition, 85(2): 614S-620S.