34 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey there, pregnant moms and dads-to-be! Welcome to your 34th week of pregnancy! Can you believe that you only have a little over a month to go before you’ll be taking your little one home? As I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, I gave birth to my baby Bracey at 30 weeks of pregnancy. Learn about Bracey’s premature birth and first few weeks in my Baby’s First Year series. My time in the NICU with Bracey has freed me up somewhat, and I’m taking advantage to continue to develop this pregnancy series for you all. I’m crossing my fingers for you, hoping that you are feeling good and will make it to full term.
Hopefully by now, you’ve started putting ideas together for your child’s nursery. Short on space, we’ve been reconfiguring a terrace for Bracey’s room. Regardless of where you plan to keep your baby, try to get the space organized with the nursery essentials you need. Your baby could come early and you want to be prepared!
34 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
34 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Also known as lightening, this symptom occurs when your baby drops from your upper abdomen into your lower pelvis. Baby dropping occurs as your baby begins to position itself in the correct way for labor. While baby dropping can occur at around week 34 like it did for me during prior pregnancies, it may also not occur until labor. This symptom sounds concerning, but it actually helps reduce heartburn and the shortness of breath you have been feeling.
As a consequence of your baby taking up residence in your lower pelvis, you may feel some extra pressure down there. During my prior pregnancies, the increased pelvic pressure I experienced at this point led to an even more frequent trips to the bathroom. This was NOT a welcome development! Talk to your doctor if your pelvic pressure begins to hurt or you have any concerns.
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Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 34 Weeks
At week 34, your baby weighs 5 pounds and is 17.5 inches long, about the size of a butternut squash. Does it feel as if your baby is sitting lower in your belly? That’s the “baby dropping” we discussed above!
Starting this week, your baby’s protective goopy coating, vernix caseosa, begins to thicken. If you’re having a boy, his testicles will begin to descend from the abdomen to the scrotum. A small proportion of boys will be born with undescended testicles, which is not a cause for concern. Regardless of gender, at this stage your baby’s level of sex hormones is rising, which may cause their genitals to be swollen at birth. This swelling likewise is totally normal and should disappear soon after birth.
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
Women who are more social and have support socially are more likely to have heavier and more healthy babies than women with less social interaction.
Labor & Delivery: Signs and Symptoms
If this is your first experience with childbirth, signs of actual labor might be difficult to distinguish from normal pregnancy symptoms (I’m looking at you, Braxton Hicks contractions!). Here’s a run down of what you can expect to experience when labor begins.
If these symptoms occur, don’t immediately head to the hospital or birthing center. If labor has not advanced, you’ll likely be sent home or asked to wait. Normally, your doctor will ask you to come into the hospital once contractions are occurring every five minutes over the course of an hour. Getting to this point can take a while since in many cases, the first stage of labor (early labor) progresses relatively slowly as your body prepares for birth. There are three stages of labor. The first stage has 3 phases: early labor, active labor, and transitional labor. Check out the stages of labor below!
Your Pregnancy at 34 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
At 34 weeks, you’ll be having a routine checkup with your doctor. Your weight and blood sugar will be checked, and your doctor will measure your belly. You might be offered an ultrasound at this appointment depending on whether or not you have a history of preterm labor.
Here are the prenatal tests that are routinely available at 34 weeks of pregnancy:
Contraction Stress Test
Fetal Acoustic Stimulation
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Stick to healthy foods for your health and your baby’s! Check out Week 4 and Week 5 for a complete guide of what to eat and not eat during pregnancy. Also check back in each week for a healthy pregnancy recipe.
Quick, Healthy Snack Tip
Dates with Nut Butter: Slice open a date, remove the seed (if necessary), and fill with about 1 teaspoon of nut butter. (OneIngredientChef)
Why Dates? Dates are fruits that come from date palm trees. These fruits are often dried, meaning they are high in calories, but they also contain lots of nutrients. Dates are high in potassium, Vitamin B6, copper, manganese, and copper. Dates are also high in fiber, so they can help reduce any constipation you may be feeling as a result of pregnancy — thank goodness! Dates also contain flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acid, which are all antioxidants that help protect your body from certain chronic diseases.
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How Many Months Is 34 Weeks?
At 34 weeks, you are considered approximately 8 months pregnant. Can you believe it!?
Week 34 Pregnancy Checklist
- Schedule your week 36 prenatal appointment
- Consider having a Group B strep test
- See if your healthcare provider can add your baby to your current plan
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
- Exercise and do your Kegels and pelvic tilts
- Check in on your partner’s wellbeing
- Go to a prenatal yoga class
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists