At 34 weeks pregnant, the excitement is building. You’re ticking off the weeks until it’s time to birth your baby.
The idea of giving birth might feel daunting.
But remember, you’ve spent this time building a great support team and getting informed about your choices for birth.
Take what those ‘well meaning’ advice mongers say with a grain of salt, and look forward to the rest of your journey.
If you have questions about what to expect at 34 weeks, read on.
34 weeks pregnant in months
You’re getting so close to the end of your third trimester now!
Maybe people ask you when is your baby due and how many months you are? At 34 weeks pregnant, you’re 8 months pregnant.
What should I expect at 34 weeks pregnant?
It’s really important to surround yourself with positivity, leading up to the arrival of your little one.
Most often the negative things you hear are related to other people’s experiences. This doesn’t mean you’ll have the same birth experience.
It’s especially hard if your mother or older women in your life have very negative views. If possible, ask them to keep their views to themselves to avoid stressing you out.
It can help to know what normal, undisturbed labor actually is, to ease your mind about how you’ll cope and get through it.
You might be feeling more Braxton Hicks contractions. These are ‘practice’ contractions to get your body used to the idea of labor.
It’s likely you have backache from the weight of the baby. It can help to have a nice deep bath, and perhaps to see a chiropractor.
It’s important to focus on having some quality time with your partner right now.
You’re getting closer to your due date and soon you’ll both be a little preoccupied. A babymoon break is a great way to spend time together and enjoy the last weeks of being just a couple.
Try to finish the task of getting together everything you need for your nursery.
If you’re unsure about the best way to move your baby about, why not consider a baby carrier?
You might find this is the best investment you make. There are lots of options to choose from. Babywearing is very popular these days, as mamas discover how much their babies love to be held.
Using a carrier means you can go for a walk, do housework or play with your other children, while you hold your baby.
Check out our informative article Choosing a Baby Carrier Or Sling – 7 Styles to Choose From to help you decide whether a carrier or sling is a good choice for you.
34 weeks pregnant blood when wiping
In pregnancy, the cervix is very vascular, which means it has a large blood supply it. During pregnancy, it doesn’t take much for it to bleed or start spotting.
Perhaps you’ve had sex and the touch contact has caused bleeding. Or something more serious could be occurring with your baby or placenta. If you have pain or any other concerning symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your care provider immediately.
To be on the safe side, speak to your doctor if you have any bleeding when wiping at 34 weeks pregnant.
34 weeks pregnant pelvic pain
At 34 weeks of pregnancy, pelvic pain can be quite intense.
Due to the hormone relaxin, which is released to allow your muscles and ligaments to stretch in pregnancy and birth, your body is moving and stretching more than usual.
This can make the ligaments across your belly and pelvis stretch, particularly the symphysis pubis at the front of your pelvis. It can separate a little and is really uncomfortable for some women, and very debilitating for others.
Things you can do to help:
- Wear a good support garment
- Don’t do any heavy lifting
- Sleep with a pregnancy pillow
- Put your feet up and rest
- Try simple pain relief.
Speak with your doctor for more advice, and see Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) During Pregnancy for more information.
34 weeks pregnant ultrasound
An ultrasound at 34 weeks isn’t routine, meaning you wouldn’t have a scan unless you or your care provider suspect there’s a complication with your baby.
Do your research, and speak to your trusted care provider to assess whether or not you need to have a scan.
Ultrasounds aren’t advised, unless completely necessary. There are risks as well as benefits in having them and it’s important you’re aware of those risks.
Unfortunately, many unnecessary scans are done without informed consent. This can lead to an intervention that could’ve been avoided, especially as ultrasound isn’t always accurate for weight and size of your baby.
34 weeks pregnant with twins
In many countries, twin births are usually planned to happen around 36-37 weeks. Most twin births naturally happen by 37 weeks.
Obstetricians and gynecologists will usually recommend steroids for twins, in case they come earlier than 37 weeks. Steroids help their lungs cope with life outside the womb.
Some obstetricians and gynecologists suggest booking a c-section by 37 weeks. Remember, it’s your decision. You might want to wait for your twins to come in their own time.
Finding a supportive healthcare provider who supports natural twin birth can be challenging, depending on where you live.
34 weeks pregnancy symptoms not to ignore
At 34 weeks pregnant, if you notice certain signs and symptoms, it’s vital you seek medical advice and contact your care provider immediately, for the safety of you and your baby.
Some of the symptoms to look out for are:
- Headache with visual disturbances or vision changes
- Constant pain in abdomen or anywhere else
- Really sudden swelling in your legs, ankles, hands, feet and face
- Mid sternum chest pain
- You feel like your baby is not moving, or has reduced movement
- You have vaginal bleeding
- Your water breaks. It might be clear. Yellow-green indicates meconium might be in the amniotic fluid.
34 weeks pregnant – signs of labor
If you’re a first time mother, you’re probably analysing every little niggle and symptom for signs of labor.
It’s not unusual for your body to start preparing weeks before you actually go into labor. But 34 weeks is very early.
If you see any signs of labor at week 34 of pregnancy, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Signs of preterm labor include:
- Cramps that feel like menstrual pain just above your pubic bone
- Pressure, or an achy feeling in back, thighs or pelvis
- Diarrhea, with or without cramps
- Increased vaginal discharge that is thick and snot like (mucus plug)
- Water leaking, or pink-brown discharge
- Vaginal bleeding.
Be sure to read Premature Labour – Signs, Symptoms and Management for more information.
Are babies fully developed at 34 weeks?
Your baby at 34 weeks looks like fully developed but there’s still some fine-tuning to go.
If your baby is a boy, his testicles within the scrotum will have descended by now.
When your baby is born you might notice the genitals are quite puffy and swollen.
This can be disconcerting, but it’s a result of your pregnancy hormones and very normal. Baby girls sometimes have a ‘mini menstruation’ as a result of these hormones.
Your baby’s fingernails are growing. By the time she’s born, she might need a manicure!
Your baby’s adrenal glands are kicking up cortisol production.
Cortisol stimulates the production of lung surfactant, which is linked to the time labor actually kicks off.
Even after 36 weeks of pregnancy, your baby’s lungs are still undergoing development.
At this stage, it’s important to give babies all the time they need to gestate, which is why it’s best to avoid unnecessary induction.
What Causes Labor To Start? has plenty of information about your baby’s lung development and labor.
Although it varies with each individual, a baby’s lungs are not considered fully functioning until around 37 weeks gestation.
Can a 34 week baby breastfeed?
Congratulations on making the decision to breastfeed your baby.
Yes, you can breastfeed your baby if she’s born at 34 weeks. Many women find they already have colostrum and have ‘leaky breasts’ at this gestation.
Late preterm babies, born at 34 weeks gestation, may need help with breastfeeding but it’s excellent for them to have the chance for skin to skin contact with their mothers.
If you’re still unsure about breastfeeding, now is a great time to attend a local breastfeeding class.
A breastfeeding class can help you and your partner understand the importance of breast milk for your baby.
It’s also great for your partner to learn how best to support you in breastfeeding your baby.
If breastfeeding is a challenge, as it can be for some women, seek support from a lactation consultant.
34 weeks pregnant – baby movements
Babies develop their own pattern of movement, and most women can feel these movements from around the end of the second trimester.
By the time you are 34 weeks pregnant, you’re getting very familiar with your baby’s pattern of movement.
This pattern is different for all babies but shouldn’t change. Some babies move more in the evening or in the morning. Some kick all the time while others might punch.
Find out more in Baby Kicking – 9 Important Facts You Need To Know.
The key is if your pattern changes or you feel reduced movements, you need to contact your doctor for an assessment.
There are a few outdated practices out there – for example, have a cold drink and the baby will move, or your baby’s movements slow down in the third trimester.
This information isn’t correct and is potentially dangerous.
Babies do sleep and won’t move as much during this stage. If you’re not sure how long your baby has been quiet, or if you’re at all concerned about your baby’s movements, it’s always best to contact your healthcare provider.
What position is the baby in at 34 weeks of pregnancy?
At 34 weeks pregnant your baby can be in any position she likes!
Most babies toss and turn before they settle head down, usually in the next few weeks. If your baby isn’t yet head down, there’s still plenty of time for her to get into the optimal fetal position.
Be mindful not to recline too much and try a more forward leaning position to encourage the baby into an anterior position (where her back is facing your belly).
Here are some tips to help get the baby into an optimal position:
- Optimal fetal positioning with Spinning Babies
- Chiropractic care
- Relaxation – let that oxytocin flow.
Chat to your midwife or doctor or midwife for more advice.
More information about baby position can be found in Optimal Fetal Positioning – How To Make Birth Easier.
34 weeks pregnant baby weight in kg
At 34 weeks pregnant, your baby’s weight could be as much as 2.6 kgs (5.7 pounds), and she is about 39-47 cm long (15-18 inches) – about the size of a cantaloupe.