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9 Month Miracle
Your Baby: Preparing for Arrival

Your baby gets bigger and bigger as each day passes. As of week 34, the baby weighs almost 5 pounds (2268 g), and is between 19 and 20 inches long (roughly 49 cm). There are lots of new developments in progress. The baby's skin is starting to be less wrinkled and while the hair covering the baby's skin (lanugo) is decreasing, the vernix white coating is getting thicker in preparation for the delivery.

If you've seen or felt something drip from your breasts, you're not imagining things. Pre-milk substance (colostrum) is in the making, thanks to the hormones from the placenta.

Your Body: Older Children Notice Changes

As your belly gets bigger, if you already have children, your child will notice:

  • They cannot sit on your lap anymore.
  • You are not picking them up very much.
  • You are low in energy.

Explain to them that having a baby is hard work. Reassure them that you are OK and that they are still very important to you.

Know that your child may get clingy and act up. Set limits with your child as you always have. Be caring and let your child know that she is still important.

Help Prepare Children for New Baby

Encourage your child to play with a doll. Your child can feed, diaper, and care for the baby doll. Let your child play with some of the baby things. Your child may want to dress their stuffed animals or dolls in the clothes. Tell your child they can help do this with the real baby.

Ask your child to help get ready for the new baby. Your child can help:

  • Pack your suitcase for the hospital.
  • Pick out the baby's coming-home clothes.
  • Get the new baby's crib or room ready. Set out clothes and arrange the diapers.
  • You shop for baby things.

Make arrangements for your older child. Tell your child who will take care of them when you have the baby. Let your child know that you will not be gone for long.

Plan for Homecoming

Plan for your child to visit you and the new baby in the hospital. Have your child visit when there are not a lot of other visitors. On the day that you take the baby home, have your older child come to the hospital to "help."

Let your child know what the baby will do:

  • Where the baby will sleep
  • Where the baby car seat will go in the car
  • How the baby will breastfeed or take a bottle every few hours

Also explain what the baby cannot do. The baby cannot talk, but they can cry. And the baby cannot play because they are too little. But the baby will like watching your child play, dance, sing, and jump.

On a Different Note: A Spinal Tap of Sorts

Some women swear by the epidural block, an anesthesia inserted in the spine to decrease or eliminate discomfort during labor. Others are a little more hesitant when it comes to this type of intervention. If you're still unsure of where you stand, read pain relief during labor and delivery. Or, if you want to see how and where it is administered, check out the 6-step epidural presentation.


Review Date: 8/20/2019

Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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