Welcome to week 34 of your pregnancy!

Your baby is around 45cm long from head to heel, that's approximately the size of a cantaloupe melon! At this stage, their bones are continuing to harden, except for the skull bones. These remain soft and separated to facilitate the journey through the birth canal during delivery.

The flexibility of your baby's skull bones allows them to gently move and slide over each other, ensuring that their head can be born safely while still protecting their delicate brain - an incredible design that nature has perfected!

Now, let's talk about pre-eclampsia, a condition that can develop during pregnancy, usually after 20 weeks. It's essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms, as pre-eclampsia can be serious. Your midwife will regularly check your blood pressure and urine for early signs of pre-eclampsia during your appointments. Keep an eye out for other symptoms, such as a severe headache, swelling, and vision problems, and don't hesitate to call your maternity unit if you experience any of these warning signs.

As always, it's essential to stay attuned to your baby's movements during this time - their regular movement is a reassuring indicator of their wellbeing. If you notice any changes, such as a decrease in movements, call your maternity unit for guidance straight away.

The placenta is an incredible organ, and develops wherever the fertilised egg embeds in your uterus. If you have an anterior placenta (a placenta attached to the front wall of your uterus) you should still expect your baby to develop a pattern to their movements. 

As you prepare for labour, it's helpful to know about the pain relief options available to you. Gas and air (Entonox) is one form of pain relief commonly offered during labour, including at home births. It can help take the edge off contractions. If you're curious about other pain relief options, including gas and air, be sure to explore your options and discuss them with your midwife.

So, as you navigate these final weeks of pregnancy, you're doing an incredible job!



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