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34 Weeks Pregnant

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Your Baby

Check out what happened with your baby's development last week.

Making the drop. If your baby is a boy, his testicles are now descending from his abdomen into his scrotum. Occasionally, one or both testicles fail to move into position before birth. In this case, your baby's testicles will probably drop before his first birthday. If your infant's scrotum seems large right after birth, don't worry: The swelling is due to extra fluid and will go away in a week or so.

No vacancy. Your baby is moving around less frequently, mostly because of the cramped quarters. Of course, it may not seem as if he's settled down—now that he's so big (about 4.7 to 5 pounds and 15.5 to 16 inches long), you can feel even the slightest movement. In fact, since your baby is right up against the wall of the uterus, you're probably getting good at guessing which body part (foot? elbow? arm?) is protruding.

Baby blues. "Guess what color my eyes are now?" Regardless of the eye color your baby will end up with, right now his eyes are blue. The pigmentation process in his iris won't be complete until his eyes have been exposed to light for several weeks after birth. His final eye color may not be evident for years.


Your Pregnancy

Is it show time? With only a few weeks to go, it's a good idea to know the signs of labor. Labor is different for every woman, but the most common symptoms are regular contractions that occur at increasingly short intervals, lower-back pain accompanied by menstrual-like cramps, a broken bag of waters (rupturing of the amniotic sac), or a blood-tinged mucous discharge, which may indicate that your cervix has started dilating. Be aware that the presence of any of these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean that you're in labor. You may have signs of labor days or even weeks before you actually give birth. Let your health care provider be the judge; if you have any of these symptoms, call him or her immediately. To learn more about the signs of labor, click here.

Finalizing your birth plan. Most likely you've done some research and thought a lot about how you want your labor and birth to go—which family members you want present, whether you want pain medication, and so on. You've probably also discussed your wishes with your health care provider. Now is a great time to go over your preferences again with your doctor or midwife to refresh her memory and to make sure you're both still on the same page.

From the experts. You may find that as your breasts enlarge, the stretched skin becomes itchy. "You might want to try a soothing lotion on them, one without irritating perfumes," suggests Elaine Zwelling, R.N., Ph.D. "Vitamin E ointment, cocoa butter, or a purified lanolin balm will work well too." For more skin-care tips from Dr. Zwelling, click here.

 
 
 
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