Brain development is rapid and thus the size of the head is growing to hold new brain tissue. Brain development accounts for the growth of about 3/8 of an inch each week. Fetal skin starts out red, but changes to pink in the latter weeks of pregnancy. The color change is attributed to fat distributions under the skin, and more fat means pinker skin.
Weight gain increases in the 34th week. Single pregnancies account for a weight gain of about one pound per week. Multiple pregnancies are a bit more around one and one-half pounds. Edema is normal during pregnancy, but pitting that lasts more than a few seconds can be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a life-threatening medical condition that can happen in about 10% of women usually during the second half of pregnancy and postbirth. The major signs of preeclampsia are high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
At the prenatal visit
Bi-weekly visits are maintained for singlet pregnancies for a few more weeks. If you have multiple pregnancies, you are probably visiting the doctor every week at this point.
Blood pressure screenings are very important during the last few weeks of pregnancy as an increase in blood pressure is a common sign of preeclampsia. You must also watch out for changes in vision, sharp increases in weight, and protein in the urine.
This week is the perfect time to talk about circumcision. Even if parents have chosen to leave the baby's sex a mystery, deciding early on whether to circumcise the baby is important. Most circumcisions will take place in the hospital so the attending pediatrician will need to know the family's preference before the baby is discharged. There is no memorable pain associated with circumcision and some researchers have found links to a decreased chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases when men are circumcised.
Tips for this week
Eating smaller meals throughout the day is important, so make sure you keep small snacks like trail mix or cereal bars on hand.