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Week 34: Growing and Preparing for Birth
Baby’s skin thickens and her nails grow out, plus other exciting developments.
Between the 34th and 37th weeks of your pregnancy, your baby continues to refine her systems and put on significant weight.
- Your baby probably weighs just less than 5 pounds and is about 12 1/2 inches long from head to rump -- about as long as a loaf of bread.
- The white, waxy coating protecting your baby’s skin (vernix) thickens at your 34th week of pregnancy.
- The soft, downy hair (lanugo) that insulated your baby’s skin so effectively for months is now almost gone.
- Your baby’s fingernails have reached the tips of her fingers when you’re 34 weeks pregnant.
- Your baby might gain about 1/2 pound this week as her weight continues to build quickly.
Hydrate With H20
Fluids keep you and baby safe and well.
Water is one of the most important nutrients in your diet when you are pregnant. It constitutes half of your body weight, which adds up to about 10 to 12 gallons! You need water to digest and absorb other nutrients, remove waste products from the body, regulate body temperature and perform the millions of metabolic processes that are essential to life.
You lose about 2-3 quarts of water every day when you sweat, go to the bathroom and even breathe. Now that you’re in week 34, drinking water is more important than ever, as dehydration can lead to false contractions, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. In addition to preventing contractions, water:
- Helps build important tissues.
- Assists nutrients as they circulate in and out of your body.
- Aids in digestion.
- Helps you maintain the right amount of amniotic fluids.
Make sure you are getting 10 glasses (about 8 ounces each) of water a day. Drink more if you are exercising.
Here’s a tip: You can count other fluids -- such as 100 percent fruit juices, vegetable juices, soup and milk -- in your liquid count, but still aim to keep regular water as your primary source of fluid.