That’s How I Strut, So What WEEK 34

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

Baby is 18 inches long, AKA the length of a hand-towel rack — and almost 5 lbs. Here’s something: An otherwise healthy baby born now would most likely suffer no long term health problems. But! Don’t you stop cookin,’ gurl! Keep baby in there! Just a few more weeks! Between now and week 36, amniotic fluid is at its most plentiful; then it’ll begin to decrease to make more space for baby because man are things getting tight in there.

You may be feeling increased pressure on your pelvis over the next few weeks as baby drops down deeper in your abdomen. Your bladder may be really feeling this pressure in the form of non-stop peeing, and, if you are so blessed, leaking urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze or simply bend over to put on a shoe. Which is sexy! The upside is that with baby’s new position, pressure on your diaphragm and lungs eases up, so breathing should get easier and you might not pant while you eat (also sexy!). One more sexy thing: As baby nestles lower in your pelvis you might develop a bit of a duck-style waddle. Ducks are cute, though, right? Just leave plenty of time to move from point A to point B, is all.

This week, your doc may order a biophysical profile (BPP), which looks at results from an ultrasound and a special non-stress test to measure your amniotic fluid levels and baby’s heart rate and breathing in relation to her movements. Now’s a good time to discuss positions for labor and delivery. You probably got a lay of the land from your childbirth class, but your doc can confirm what equipment is available at your hospital, from birthing beds to birthing chairs to birthing stools. Knowing what’s available can help you plan.

Many women really like having one of those big exercise balls on hand for labor — for bouncing through contractions or sprawling your body over and rolling — and you can even bring it to the hospital. (Bonus is you’ll get some use out of it during the newborn stage, as babies love to be held and rocked or gently bounced on it.) Plus, eventually — not too too far off on the horizon — you may even once again even use this ball for abs exercises. Just like in the old days.