Your baby this week
34 weeks pregnant

Expert advice

Bloodwork

A reader asks: "My wife is pregnant and just found out that her blood is Rh negative. What does this mean? What are the risks for her and the baby?"

The expert answers: "Having Rh negative blood means that a protein, the D antigen, is not present on the surface of the red blood cells. This condition occurs in about fifteen percent of Caucasians of European ancestry, five percent of African-Americans, and about one percent of Asians.

"During pregnancy, there is a risk that baby's blood and mom's blood could mix. If mom was Rh negative and baby was Rh positive, then the possibility of a problem exists. This is called Rh isoimmunization. The D antigen on baby's blood can be recognized as a foreign entity by mom's immune system. She can then generate antibodies that can cross the placenta and attack baby's blood cells, resulting in anemia."

Click here to find out more.


A-cord-ing

The umbilical cord linking the placenta and the baby is normally made up of three blood vessels. By the time your baby is born, the umbilical cord will be about two feet long.

>> Caring for your newborn's umbilical cord


Back labor

If you experience back pain during labor, there are several things you can do to help relieve it.

Childbirth educator Kira Smith, ICCE, says, "Changing positions may be helpful to relieve the pain and also to help the baby turn to a more favorable position for the birth. Using a position, such as hands and knees, that keeps the baby's head off your spine can be helpful. Pelvic rocking and squatting may also help the baby rotate and end the back pain."


Mom and baby

In real life

"Some days it seems like Naomi has the hiccups a lot -- like today, it's only 8am and she's already had them twice! Then other days it might only be one time, but usually she has them first thing in the morning and in the evening. I can't remember how often my other kids had them so I was wondering how often your little ones get them." - Kelly

Be sure to check out what other moms in your stage of pregnancy are chatting about at our Pregnancy & Baby Due Date Clubs!


"My friend has a baby. I'm recording all the noises he makes so later I can ask him what he meant." - Steven Wright


Big families

Years ago, ten or more children constituted a large family. Today, families with more than three children are considered immense, earning stares of awe and sometimes scorn. The sheer insanity and excitement of having so many people under one roof provides each member with a cornucopia of challenges and joys.

Family

Why on earth would anyone want to have so many kids? They're noisy, they rarely pick up after themselves, and the amount of laundry in a house with four children is astronomical.

Ah -- but many parents of large families find the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. In fact most find little complain about, other than counting heads at the grocery store. If you're thinking of adding to your brood, read on about what these parents, kids, and family psychologist say about parenting "over-size" families in Are you ready for another baby?

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