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Pregnancy At Week 34

Pregnancy At Week 34

What’s happening with your baby?

Pregnancy at week 34 is in the final stretch! Your baby is now about 4 1/2 pounds, which is about the size of a cantaloupe. I’m sure you can feel that melon weighing you down in the front! They are also almost 18 inches long. This little baby has come a long way from that tiny little bean you first saw on the ultrasound. As she grows her fat layers are building even more, making her rounder and making her skin even smoother. You little baby’s fingernails have most likely grown all the way to the end of their fingers by now. If you’re nervous about cutting your wee one’s nails for the first time, you should know that most moms bite their babies nails off for the first several months. Sounds crazy but their nails are so thin and soft that it’s easier and safer than using nail clippers when they’re so little!

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    Your baby’s lungs are continuing to develop and so is her central nervous system. If you are a worrier, now is the time to relax. Doctors have found that babies born between pregnancy at week 34 and 37 are most likely completely fine without other medical issues. If you go into preterm labor now, assuming that everything else is normal, then the worst you should expect is maybe an extra day or two in the hospital. And think of that as a blessing! You will miss all of those lovely nurses who help and that blessed nursery that allowed you a few hours of sleep at night!

    What’s happening with your body during pregnancy at week 34?

    With the end in sight, you’re probably gasping at your still growing uterus. Yep, you’re right. It’s still growing! Your uterus now reaches five inches above your belly button! But your bump isn’t the only thing changing. Pregnancy hormones affect nearly every part of your body-your eyes included! You vision might seem blurry and the hormones can actually decrease your tear production which can leave your eyes feeling tired, dry and itchy. Also, the changing levels of fluids in your eyes can actually change your glasses prescription if you have one. But don’t worry, these are all temporary changes. Everything should go back to normal when the baby is born.

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    As your third trimester progresses your body continues to be under a great amount of stress as the baby grows and your body prepares for labor. With ever increasing pressure on your intestinal tract you might be prone to be bloated and gassy. Stress can also make those gassy feelings even worse because you tend to swallow more air when you’re anxious. Try to relax and keep calm. Eat smaller and more frequent meals to help relieve some of the pressure from your digestive tract.

    Leg cramps, back aches, and hip pain are all normal during pregnancy at week 34. If you find yourself getting achy or tire more easily allow yourself to rest. Your body is doing some hard work to make a healthy baby-give it the rest it needs to succeed. Also, sitting on a rolly exercise ball and rolling your hips in circles and figure eights can help relieve hip pain.

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    Edema, or swollen ankles and feet, are very common during week 34 of pregnancy. A mix of hormones, pregnancy weight gain and retaining fluids can cause your feet and ankles to blow up like balloons. Reset when you need to and slip into some comfy slippers at the end of the day. Your feet deserve the pampering!

    What to do this week

    It’s time to start seriously preparing for labor. Making a labor plan is an important step for you and the birth team that will be helping you through the process. Writing down your goals and expectations will help you to mentally prepare for the trying task. Also, it’s time to do your research. Know your options with pain relief, pain management and laboring practices of the location where you will be delivering. It’s important to know your options, as well as the risk factors associated with those choices.

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    As much as you plan for a certain result, you might not get it. Nearly 30% of all births in America end in Cesarean Section. Being prepared for the possibility of complications, surgery and the recovery afterward will help ease your way if that does end up being your birth story. Many women bring their babies into the world this way. A healthy baby is a healthy baby-that is the ultimate goal of labor. It will help you to feel more empowered if you do end up with an emergency c-section if you understand the process before hand and know what to expect.

    Also, begin compiling a list of things you want to have with when you give birth and what needs to be done at home while you’re away. If you have other children, begin thinking about who will take care of them. Begin thinking about how you will introduce your older child to the new baby. This isn’t always the easiest introduction to make. You’re most likely still many weeks off from the big day, but don’t expect yourself to think of all of these things as your contractions begin! You’ll want to be prepared.

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    Featured photo credit: Laura Flores via flickr.com

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    Emily Myrin

    Copywriter

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    Published on July 22, 2021

    20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

    20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

    It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

    Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

    Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

    1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

      These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

      Get the recipe here.

      2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

        This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

        To try this recipe, go here.

        3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

          Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

          Check out the recipe here.

          4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

            Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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            Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

            5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

              This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

              Find the recipe here.

              6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

                The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

                Get the recipe for this dish here.

                7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                  Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                  You can find the recipe here.

                  8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                    Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                    Find the recipe here.

                    9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                      This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                      Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                      10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                        Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                        The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                        11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                          Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                            This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                            Find the recipe here.

                            13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                              Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                              This easy recipe can be found here.

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                              14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                                Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                                Find out how to make it here.

                                15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                  This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                  The recipe can be found here.

                                  16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                    This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                    Find the recipe here.

                                    17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                      Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                      Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                      18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                        Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                        Find the recipe here.

                                        19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                          Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                          20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                            Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                            Get the recipe here.

                                            Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                            Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                            Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                            1. Lose the Sugar

                                            Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                            2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                            Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                            3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                            Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                            When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                            Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                            Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                            More Healthy Eating Tips

                                            Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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