Prenatal Development: Week 34

Your baby's fingernails have grown so much, they are now at the end of the fingers - they may need to be clipped in the first few days after birth!

Are You Getting Enough Calcium?
Even though you are 34 weeks pregnant, it is still extemely important to make sure you are getting enough calcium. Maternal calcium intake is crtitical as the baby draws calcium from the mother to make and harden his bones. So if a pregnant woman doesn't get enough calcium during her pregnancy, the developing fetus will take minerals from the mother's skeletal structure as needed. This, in turn, can greatly weaken mom's own bones and teeth.

Braxton Hicks contractions may start to increase now as you near delivery. Fatigue is a common complaint of late pregnancy. You may have trouble sleeping, experience aches and pains and gain more weight. Women also start to have anxiety about their upcoming labor, delivery, as well as taking care of a newborn. All of these things can add to your feeling of exhaustion.

So, rest as much as you can and try to take naps, if possible. Do not rely on caffeine to perk you up since too much caffeine can adversely affect your baby. Also, read up on the signs of labor and think about your birth plan. The more prepared you are, the less anxiety you will feel.

If Born Now, Baby Can Survive
Babies born at 34 weeks usually have fairly well-developed lungs and their average size of 5 pounds (2250 grams) and 17.7 inches (45 centimeters) allows them to survive outside the womb without extensive medical intervention. However, oxygen might be needed for a few days.

Meanwhile, your baby's adrenal glands have grown. They are now producing hormones that stimulate lactation. The vernix coating on the baby's skin is becoming thicker while the lanugo hair is almost completely gone.

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