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Week 34
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 32 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Check out this week:
Easy Labor Authors Are Here to Answer Your Questions
Dr. William Camann and Kathryn Alexander, authors of Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth are here to discuss how you can make confident, informed choices regarding pain relief preferences. [Click Here]
Healthy Pregnancy Over 35 Author Interview
Laura Goetzl, MD, MPH, author of Health Pregnancy Over 35, is visiting to discuss the unique concerns of women over the age of 35. [Click Here]

Fetal Development:

eighth monthThe baby responds as a newborn with its eyes open while awake and closed while sleeping. S/he is developing immunities to fight mild infection. Those sharp little fingernails are at the ends of the fingertips already, and you might need to clip them during the first few days after birth.

Multiples: The positions that your babies are in are likely to stay that way as they are so confined, they can't move around much.

Which positions are your babies in? With a multiple pregnancy, you can have a myriad of configurations: less than 50% of twins are both born headfirst. One twin is vertex (head down) and one is breech (lower part of the body comes first) about 40% of the time. One (or more) can also be transverse (baby lies across Mom's pelvis). The McCaughey septuplets were in a pyramid configuration. As the babies get bigger, it's harder for them to move much to get into the proper birthing position. Your care provider will probably want to do an ultrasound(s) to determine presentation so that delivery plans can be made.

Maternal Changes:
You've probably felt some Braxton Hicks contractions for the past several weeks but they may intensify now. They are usually painless and non-rhythmical. These are preparing your body for the real thing.

If you haven't already, it's time to start the selection process for a pediatrician.

Multiples: Labor will begin in the majority of twin pregnancies before 37 weeks with 50% of deliveries between 34 and 37 weeks. Are you ready?

If You're Planning to Breastfeed:
Although breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your little one, babies are not born knowing how to breastfeed and many women in today's society have never seen a woman breastfeed before. One of the keys of getting off to a good start is through knowledge and a bit of preparation. Read what you can about breastfeeding before your baby arrives. Check with your hospital/birthing center or careprovider for local breastfeeding support groups. Visit our Breastfeeding Cubby for lots of "getting started" information and recommended books. You're even welcome to pop into our Breastfeeding Support forum before your baby arrives to ask our veteran moms questions. If you're expecting twins or more, we have lots of breastfeeding information for you too!

Ideas for Dad:
Mom is feeling huge and clumsy now. She may be weepy and vulnerable or extremely moody. Tell her how beautiful she is and what a wonderful mom she'll be. Serve her breakfast in bed and help her feel like the special woman she is.

Inspirational Thoughts:
When you can't have what you want, it's time to start wanting what you have. ~Kathleen A. Sutton

Reading:

In the Newborn Year: Our Changing Awareness After Childbirth by Elisabeth Hallett, published by Book Publishing Co, 1992

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