Pregnancy Week 34
At 34 weeks of pregnancy the baby has grown to almost 20 inches in length and is probably around 5 pounds. By this point, the uterus has expanded to almost 6 inches from the belly button. The baby’s head also begins to move into the pelvis during this week, in preparation for stage 3 of pregnancy, when it will fully descend. First time mothers can experience this several weeks before delivery, however, mothers who have delivered before might expect this just before the commencement of labor. After the baby drops, there is a relief of the pressure on the diaphragm, which makes it easier to take deep breaths. Beyond week 34 of pregnancy, the baby will merely be adding more and more weight onto its body as it prepares for birth. Other than added weight gain, the baby will not change very much from this point on. It is important to realize that weight estimates are approximations which can be incorrect, depending on how much the placenta and amniotic fluid weight. Although an ultrasound is not completely accurate, it is the best method to determine the baby’s weight. Common measurements of the baby during this period include a determinations of the baby’s head, the abdomen, and the length of the femur.
Although the size of the woman does not determine how big of a baby she can deliver, whether the baby is too big to fit through the birth canal is determined by the physician during labor. If the baby feels too low, and the pressure on the vagina seems too terrible to ignore, a physician should be contacted. Although a common practice in the past, episiotomies are now being deemed unnecessary by recent research. An episiotomy is a vertical or horizontal incision from the vagina to the rectum which is supposed to prevent tearing during delivery. The studies have found that episiotomies often necessitate further, reconstructive surgeries, and cause a variety of superfluous complications. Risks include an increased amount of blood loss throughout delivery, increased susceptibility to infection, loss of sexual sensation, and an increase in recovery time. However, if the baby needs to be delivered quickly, an episiotomy might be helpful and even critical for the baby’s survival.
Pregnancy Week 33 | Pregnancy Week 35