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    That bun in the oven has become a whole loaf.

    A developing fetus in the thirty-fourth week

    Your baby’s development

    Growing and getting ready for birth.
    Between weeks 34 and 37, your baby is continuing to refine his systems and put on significant weight. He’s about 12.5 inches long from head to rump; about as long as a loaf of bread.

    He probably weighs about 5 ½ pounds, and might gain another ½ pound this week as his weight continues to build quickly.

    The vernix (the white, waxy coating protecting your baby's skin) thickens this week. The lanugo (soft downy hair) that insulated your baby's skin so effectively for months is now almost gone. His fingernails have reached the tips of his fingers, too.
    A woman holding a glass of water

    Your nutrition and health

    Fluids, fluids, fluids.
    Water is one of the most important nutrients in your diet when you are pregnant. It constitutes half of your body weight; about 10 to 12 gallons. You lose water every day when you sweat, go to the bathroom, and even through breathing. 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 essential to life.

    In addition, 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 ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Drink more if you are exercising. Here’s a tip: You can count other fluids, such as 100% fruit juices, vegetable juices, soup, and milk, but you still want to try to keep regular water as your primary source of fluid.
    A pregnant woman dressed in blue holding her belly

    Things to think about now

    The lightening is coming!
    Lightening is when your baby drops or settles into your pelvis in preparation for birth.

    Lightening can happen several weeks before your baby's birth, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Or, it could happen the day your labor begins.

    When your baby does drop into the pelvic area, he’s considered engaged or in position for birth. This can sometimes cause increased discomfort, such as frequent urination or leaking. You might also notice that your belly seems lower and more tilted forward now.

    If you've experienced numbness or pain from pressure on your sciatic nerve, this also should stop when your baby drops. You might continue to notice late-pregnancy swelling in your legs or ankles throughout this week. Your doctor will continue to watch this during checkups.

    Braxton Hicks contractions might continue to prepare your body for childbirth.
    A pregnant woman holding a clothing item near a suitcase

    What happens next week

    Rapid movements, rapid gains.
    Your baby might shift from kicks and punches to rolls and wiggles as she continues to get into birth position.