Saturday, March 24, 2012

Week 34: Mama, I'm movin' downtown!

Fetal development in pregnancy week 34

17.7 in | 45 cm
4.7 lbs | 2.1 kg
Your amazing baby is on the move!
Until now, your wee womb-squatter's been living fairly high up in your poor stretched-out womb - blithely compressing your poor lungs and internal organs.

This week your baby's going to pack their tiny bags and make the epic shifting move to your pelvis - commonly referred to as the time when baby "drops".

If you haven’t noticed it already, you’ll be feeling the weight shift indicating your baby is most likely out of breech position (if they're being stubborn, check out 17 Ways To Turn a Breech Baby) with their head now resting on your pubic bone.

When baby drops this may also give you some horrific stabbing back pain as they press on your sciatic nerve. If that's the case, get off your feet and try to do some spine-lengthening stretches to help your baby move OFF that poor throbbing nerve.

In developing internal-organ news: although not quite fully formed, your little poop-factory's liver is now capable of processing a certain amount of waste.

Because your baby's liver is not quite birth-ready, it's common for newborns to get a case of mild and harmless jaundice (signaled by a slight yellowing of the skin).

Jaundice is the result of your baby's body producing more bilirubin (a by-product of blood production) than the liver can currently breakdown, leading to a subtle yellow tinge that goes away in a few days.

Babies born earlier than their due date tend to have moderate to severe jaundice, which - in the hospital, will be treated via light therapy to help their body break the bilirubin down.

For home-birthers, jaundice is easily dealt with by increased breastfeeding (to help their body pass the bilirubin) and "naked time" for baby in a warm sunlit area for 10 minute intervals throughout the day until it disappears.

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