Now that you know you are pregnant and you have come a long way through your pregnancy and within a few days, you will be having your labor and delivery. On average, your pregnancy will last for almost 40 weeks or a little more than that. So, when you are in the 31st to 34th weeks of your pregnancy, you need to take extra care of your health as you are very much close to childbirth and bringing your child back home. Many mothers-to-be remain confused regarding how to take care of their health and thus in the long run take care of their babies growing inside of them, especially at a time when they are very close to their labor and due date. When they are on the way to approaching the phase when they shall be giving birth to their babies, they need to be extra cautious about their health and the health of their babies, so that the baby is born safely and is healthy after birth. So, here is the guide that will help you to know what happens in the 31st to 34th weeks of your pregnancy, what to do, and also what to avoid.
The 31st Week of Pregnancy:
Changes In the Baby:
In the 31st week of your pregnancy, your baby is almost about 15 to 16.5 inches in height, and it weighs around 4 pounds. It has fully developed its sensory nerves and the five sense organs. So, it can hear all external sounds and can even respond to them. The major organs and physiological systems have all developed by now except for the pair of lungs that are yet to develop.
Changes In the Mother:
As you are heading towards your due date, your uterus has considerably increased in size and covers a large part of your belly. In this week are likely to have the following symptoms-
- Pain: In this week, your belly has grown enough and your baby has also increased in size and weight. So, now you are technically carrying more weight than before. This bearing of extra weight in the end stages of your pregnancy causes leg cramps, especially at night, along with severe pain and a bit of swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and in the back.
- Increase in the frequency of urination
- Shortness of breath
- Increase in body weight which is almost up to 21 to 27 pounds of weight gain
- Stretch marks continue to remain in your skin, especially in body parts like hips, legs, thighs, buttocks, and breasts
- Leaking of fluids from breasts
- Symptoms of preeclampsia might arise in this phase of pregnancy when there is a chance of an increase in the blood pressure levels that will cause damage to your health and will also affect your baby
- Excessive cramps and pain in the back and legs
- Hemorrhoids are characterized by mild to heavy swelling of veins in the rectal region leading to pain.
- Indigestion, heartburn, and constipation.
If the symptoms become extremely severe, it is recommended to contact your concerned health care expert.
Things To Do:
When you are in the 31st week of your pregnancy, here are some of the things that you would like to do:
- In this week try to be in rest and it is recommended to cut down your work schedule in this advanced stage of pregnancy. Ask for a maternity leave from your concerned authority when you are getting close to your due date.
- Arrange the nursery for your baby and stay connected with your pediatrician.
- Make proper arrangements and take necessary preparations before your baby arrives at home. Contact a childcare worker or a midwife this week or sometime before your due date.
The 32nd Week of Pregnancy:
The Changes in The Baby:
In this week, your baby has grown enough, and it is about 18.9 inches in height and weight around 4 pounds. Your baby is now preparing for its birth. It is now able to breathe properly, and it is making its way towards the mother’s cervical opening to come out in a few weeks.
Changes In the Mother:
There are some of the observable changes that might occur to you in this week of pregnancy. Some of them are as follows:
- Weight gain: you will keep on gaining weight in this week of your pregnancy. In fact, in the 32nd week, you are likely to gain almost 1 pound of weight every single week.
- Braxton- Hicks contractions: In the 32nd week of your pregnancy, you are might experience mild to severe cramps and pain in your back, legs, and abdomen that feel most similar to labor pain and cramps. These occur due to Braxton- Hicks contractions that occur occasionally and suddenly.
- Leaking of fluids from breasts: In the 32nd week also, you will find that fluid is leaking from the nipples of breasts that have a color of milky to a slightly yellowish tinge. This fluid is known as colostrum and this fluid leaks due to the action of lactating hormone within your body and this is a sign that your body is preparing for childbirth.
There are some other symptoms too that will begin to appear in the 32nd week of your pregnancy, such as the following:
- Indigestion that leads to stomach upset, heartburn, and constipation
- The gradual decrease in your sex drive in the closing weeks of pregnancy
Things To Do:
In this week, it is very important to keep in touch with your doctor and report whatever difficulty you face as soon as possible, so that you may get the necessary treatments once the defects are detected. You must talk to your health care expert if you notice the following symptoms in the 32nd week:
- The blurring of vision or any difficulty related to eyesight
- Mild to heavy bleeding from the vagina or discharge of any fluid from the vagina
- Excessive cramps and pain in the abdomen, in the pelvic region, or at the back
- A burning sensation and itching in the vagina after urinating
- Fever and headache
Apart from these, there are some other preparations too, that you may take up this week. Some of them are as follows:
- Preparing for proper childcare.
- Got to classes to learn effective parenting techniques.
- Keep your weight under control.
- Have a balanced diet and consume healthy foods instead of junk foods or over-processed foods.
The 33rd Week Pregnancy:
Changes In the Baby– By this week, your baby has grown a lot and has increased to a height of about 15 to 17 inches, and weighs almost 4 to 4.5 pounds. This gradual growth and a healthy increase in body weight will continue to increase till the date of its birth. Major organs, including the brain, have also undergone enough growth and thus the hormones are working effectively. The chemical reactions within its body are maintaining its optimum body temperature.
Changes In the Mother– Some of the previous symptoms like the back pain, shortness of breath, swelling of hands, feet, ankles, and face, problems of indigestion leading to constipation and heartburn will continue to occur in the 33rd week also along with the Braxton- Hicks contractions and difficulty of sleep leading to insomnia.
Things To Do:
Keep in touch with your doctor, go for regular visits and check-ups and consume the necessary medicines and prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your doctor. As you might feel difficult to sleep, try to get sleep therapy that might help you to fall asleep easily and get enough rest, which is very crucial in this advanced week of pregnancy. Since you are likely to get much pain in the back, legs, and abdomen along with the Braxton- Hicks contractions, try to get an appointment with an orthopedic who might suggest physiotherapy and yoga- whatever is necessary for you. To get better relief from cramps and body aches you can also try out some home remedies like compressing the areas of pain with a heating pad, taking warm water baths, or sleeping in altered positions.
The 34th Week Pregnancy:
Changes In the Baby:
In the 34th week, your baby is the size of almost around 19.8 inches in height and weighs nearly about 5 pounds. It will keep on gathering the weight until birth and in this week too, the baby is trying to make its way out and heading towards the opening. Now the lungs and the respiratory system are almost developed, and the skin takes a pink coloration.
Changes In the Mother:
The mother will still have the symptoms from the previous weeks such as heartburn and indigestion, excessive tiredness and exhaustion accompanied by breathing problems as the uterus has grown too much and leaving little space for the pair of lungs to contract and relax easily, soreness, and tingling of breasts, swelling in the face, ankles, knee, feet, and legs, and increase in the urge urinate frequently as the much grown-up belly is exerting much pressure on your bladders, making you urinate more often.
Things To Do:
In this week, the new mother-to-be should concentrate on some self-care tips that will help her not only to take care of herself but also to care for the baby. Some of the essential self-care tips are as follows:
- Exercise: In this week, practice workouts, yoga, and breathing exercises. But it is to be kept in mind that whatever physical exercise you practice in this time, those should strictly be under the supervision of your concerned physician or the supervision of an experienced physiotherapist.
- Eat a balanced diet: It is very crucial to have a healthy and balanced diet during this week of pregnancy. It is very much advisable by doctors and many dieticians that once you are approaching the end of your pregnancy, you should have a healthy and balanced diet that contains proteins, vitamins, especially the pre-natal vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Avoid having junk food or uncooked foods this week.
- Stay relaxed: You should get rid of stress disorders, anxiety, and panic attacks that may disturb your mind during this time of your pregnancy.
- Do the necessary tests: According to recent studies, it has been found that this week it is necessary to perform tests like ultrasound to check your child’s heartbeat, along with its growth and development and to know whether you are developing any complications in your pregnancy. Your RH or Rhesus factor is also tested to know the types and the positives and negatives of the blood group.
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