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Pregnancy Week 34

Fetal Development at week 34

Your Baby

Your baby is still growing rapidly, and underlying fat deposits are smoothing the appearance of the skin. During this week, it will grow 1⁄2 inch (13 mm) longer.

Your baby’s eyes will open during the alert times of its daily cycle, and close when it sleeps. The eyes are usually blue at this time, regardless of the final color they will become, because the pigmentation that colors the eye is not fully developed. Final formation of eye pigmentation generally requires a few weeks’ exposure to light.

Your baby’s fingernails have now reached the ends of its fingertips. You may find you have to cut its nails after birth. Even though the nails are small, they can still scratch (babies scratch themselves because of their poor muscle control). The newborn’s face may even have some scratch marks on it from its own long fingernails.

You

Throughout your pregnancy, you have been supplying your baby with antibody protection to help make it immune to respiratory and gastrointestinal infections as well as to common viral infections (like measles), if such antibodies are present in your system. The antibodies are passed from your bloodstream through the placenta to the baby’s bloodstream. If your baby is born now, it will not only be able to make an efficient transition from the womb to the outside, but it will also be able to resist disease.

Since the amniotic fluid volume has reached its maximum, you can now think of your baby as resting on the walls of your uterus rather than actually floating in a fluid-filled space. It is still bathed in amniotic fluid, of course, and that fluid is replaced continuously by your efficient system.

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