You are 34 Weeks and 2 Days 40 days to go…
Your baby is blinking and learning to focus, and his pupils will dilate in response to light filtering through the uterus.
At the back of your baby’s eye, nerve cells that identify either
black and white or color are maturing. The cells that respond to color
signals are the last to develop but will eventually process more than
half of the information that the eyes receive.
Your baby today
Your baby’s eyes first began to develop
two weeks after conception and then all of the major eye structures are
formed over the following four weeks. The eye, however, keeps growing
during the pregnancy and the optic nerve continues to develop after
The eyes have been
opening since 26 weeks of pregnancy but, until now, eye movements have
been poorly coordinated. Eye movements are first seen at 18 weeks but
they are random and infrequent. Movements become more frequent from 26
weeks and now, in the final few weeks, movements settle into a cycle of
rest alternating with rapid eye movements (REM).
Some light does get through into the uterus and your baby is now much more responsive to strong lights.
I’m concerned my maternity leave substitute will do a better job than me. Are these fears normal?
Yes, completely normal. I remember being worried that the man
filling in for me would outshine me. The amazing thing was that once my
baby was born, anything work related was eclipsed by my new role. Far
from losing skills, I think I became an efficient multitasker and when I
returned to work, found the job easier than taking care of a baby.
Try not to worry. Not only do you have legal rights regarding the safety of your job (see Your Rights and Benefits),
but you will have your chance to shine once again when your baby has
settled into child care. In the meantime, enjoy your leave. It goes
quickly, but also presents you with an opportunity to hone some
important life skills.
Getting out and about
In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to drive
in the months leading up to the end of your pregnancy. However, if you
feel that you’re not able to concentrate at the wheel, or driving makes
you uncomfortable, then give it a pass. When driving, it’s very
important that you position your lap belt directly under your belly , to ensure that there is no danger to your baby if you are involved in an accident.
Traveling by public
transportation is fine, too, but make sure you take full advantage of
your condition to pointedly request a seat. Being jolted around on a
train or bus is not ideal—not because it will damage your baby, but
because your center of gravity has changed and you are more likely to
fall or experience embarrassment and discomfort. Long periods of
standing can also cause your ankles and feet to swell.
If you’re feeling
uncomfortable or dizzy, get off the train or bus and sit down in a
cooler environment, preferably with your feet up, for about 20 minutes.
Always carry water with you when you’re out.
Driving is still an option in late pregnancy, but you may find it uncomfortable to be in the car for long periods.
You are 34 Weeks and 3 Days 39 days to go…
As maternity leave approaches, you might be looking for ways to save money, so here are ways to find baby clothes on a budget.
Your baby will often stick his tongue out, as part of the
development of the reflexes needed to feed. The rooting reflex enables
your baby to find the nipple, then the strong suckling reflexes take
over to coordinate breathing, feeding, and swallowing.
Your baby today
Dressing your newborn baby doesn’t have to be expensive.
Don’t be shy about asking friends and family members for hand-me-downs.
Those who aren’t planning any more children will probably be glad to
get rid of them. Get together with your women in your prenatal class,
and arrange a swap session—many moms may have older children of a
different sex than the new baby, and have no need for pink T-shirts, or
polo shirts! While the idea of your baby wearing “used” clothing may
take some getting used to, rest assured that most babywear is hardly
Look on the internet for
end-of-season sales, and even on some of the auction sites, where you
can often pick up designer goodies for a fraction of the original price.
Visit your yard sales or garage sales. Shop around; you don’t have to
pay a lot for items such as sleep sacks and will find inexpensive prices
in the supermarket. Make a purchase with your weekly grocery shopping
and you won’t notice the cost as much.
that you will probably receive numerous gifts of clothing when your baby
is born. If you know exactly what you’d like, you may like to create a
gift registry from a favorite store or ask people for gift certificates
for that store. When looking for more expensive items of clothing, head
for the three- to six-month-old rack, so that your baby will get plenty
of use out of them. It can be disappointing if your newborn only gets a
couple of weeks’ wear out of an outfit you like.
Knitting your own baby clothes is a great way to save money, and it can be rewarding to see your newborn in your own creations.
A little squeamish?
It’s quite normal to feel concerned about getting through labor
on the day, and focusing on your partner and attending to her needs may
help keep you distracted and reduce your anxiety. If possible, try to
develop a good relationship in the coming weeks with your partner’s
caregivers. This way you’ll feel more able to express any worries you’re
having, and hopefully get the reassurance and information you need.
If you find yourself
feeling woozy on the day, try to leave the room since the nurses and
doctor will be focused on caring for your partner. If you don’t have
time to leave the room to seek help when you feel faint, sit down
immediately, with your head lower than your hips, or lie down with your
feet raised. Try to stop yourself from panicking by taking slow, deep
breaths. You’ll find that the feeling passes quickly.
A good tip is to ensure
that you are not too hot and to eat and drink regularly to prevent your
feeling faint due to low blood sugar.