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Week 34 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Baby’s Development|Body and Life Changes|Your Doctor Visits|Health and Safety
Week 34 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Baby’s Development

How is my baby growing?

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, your little one can already say hello to the world and be just fine. They will be able to manage the way any full-term infant does.

During the period of 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, the baby’s fat layers – which will help control the temperature in the body once it is born – are piling up, giving the body a rounder shape.

At this point, the baby measures 17 and 3/4 inches long and weighs 4 ¾ pounds.

If your unborn baby has older siblings, now is the time to prepare them for the new family member. At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, you can also ask extra help from your mother, or other relatives or friends about taking care of the baby, especially if you are a first-time mom.

You may also start getting pantry must-haves: food, medicine, toilet paper, and toiletries. It’s a good idea to also prepare baby necessities like diapers, wipes, clothing, formula, bibs, blankets, mittens, car seats, and others.

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, your growing baby has less room to move around inside your womb. Because of this, the baby’s wiggles, stretches, kicks, and other movements may feel less forceful. But you can still feel them.

Other developments are:

  • Your baby is positioned deeper in your pelvis in preparation for the big day.
  • Your baby’s brain is developing fast, and the little one may even experience dreams.
  • As early as week 34 of pregnancy baby development, an ultrasound procedure with a healthcare professional will show that your baby has changed into a head-down position — ready for life in the outside world.
  • Your baby boy’s testicles have dropped into the scrotum. At times, one or both testicles do not drop at week 34 of pregnancy baby development. But it will do so when the baby is six months old.
  • Tiny fingernails and toenails have developed at the tips of the fingers and toes.
  • The baby’s sleep schedule is in place because they can close their eyes while sleeping and open them when awake.
  • The tiny body is wrapped in a waxy, cheesy coating called vernix, which sheds itself before the big day.

Body and Life Changes

How is my body changing?

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, your body is changing and adapting to the needs of a growing fetus. You will notice:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions. These are pre-labor or practice contractions. Expect them to become stronger and more frequent over time. But there is no need to worry if the cramped feeling has no set pattern. It also goes away when you vary your position. If you think the contraction has a regular interval (for example, contractions are always five minutes apart) immediately call your OB doctor.
  • Bigger breasts. Enlarged breasts could bring discomfort since it stretches the skin and makes you itch. A good moisturizer and bra that gives maximum support will help.
  • Swollen ankles and feet. Help yourself by refraining from standing. Prop your legs on a pillow when seated. Supportive shoes also help.
  • Blurry vision. Pregnancy hormones are responsible for this. Reduced tear production can make your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses. Greater fluid behind your eyes’ lenses can change their shape for some time, making you more nearsighted or farsighted. Wearing eyeglasses instead of contact lenses may make you feel better.

These changes do not last. Your vision will be back to normal after childbirth.

  • More vaginal discharge. Pregnancy hormones, especially estrogen, are behind this. They boost blood flow in the pelvis and activate mucous membranes. Underwear with breathable cotton liners can keep you drier and reduce odor.

What should I be concerned about?

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, you must watch out for:

  • Pelvic pain. You might feel pelvic pain when your baby drops lower into your pelvis to get ready for the big day. Or you may also feel discomfort in your lower back. You might feel bladder pressure. To ease pelvic pain, stay off your feet when you feel discomfort. You may also enjoy a warm bath. Seek your health professional if these do not work.
  • Constipation. Difficult, reduced bowel movements happen for various reasons. Drink lots of water, prune juice, or other fruit juices. Eat high-fiber foods like fruits, greens, whole grain bread, and bran cereal. Try walking or mild exercises to help your digestion. Take smaller, more frequent meals instead of a few large ones.
  • Bloating and gas. This happens because stressed people usually swallow more air. Help yourself by inhaling deeply through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth a minute or two daily.
  • Itchy rash. Pruritic Urticarial Paules and Plaques of Pregnancy (PUPPP) is characterized by itchy red bumps on your belly, thighs, or buttocks. Contact your health professional if you feel intense itchiness all over, even in the absence of a rash. This could be a symptom of a liver problem.
  • Your hospital bag. Now is the time to decide what to include in your hospital bag. You will need a change of clothes, underwear, your medical records, snacks, and others.

Your Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, you can talk about:

  • Exercises or stretches you can do to relieve pressure on your lower back and other parts of your body
  • Your desire to undergo an infant CPR (cardiopulmonary course)
  • Your concerns if your baby is breech
  • Signs that could make you seek a health professional, like vaginal bleeding, fluid from the vagina, preterm labor, pain, and others
  • Your plans before and after giving birth
  • Sexual activity during pregnancy

What tests should I know about?

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, you must undergo the following health exams:

  • Repeat routine health checks. Your health care provider will check contractions, fluid leakage, and bleeding. He or she will look at your blood pressure, check your weight gain, and feel the baby’s heartbeat and movements. You may be asked to keep track of your baby’s daily movements. You will also have to be on your toes should the movements stop. Ask about vaccinations, like flu shots, tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. The Tdap vaccine should be administered between the 27th and 36th week of pregnancy.
  • Test for group B strep. You will be checked for r group B streptococcus (GBS) at week 34 of pregnancy baby development. GBS is a bacterium that is usually seen in the intestines or lower genital tract. It does not cause harm in adults. But infants who get infected with GBS at childbirth can get seriously sick. The health care professional will swab your lower vagina and anal area. He or she will send the sample to a lab for testing. If you test positive for GBS — or if you have given birth to an infant with GBS disease — you will get intravenous antibiotics during labor to protect your baby.
  • Biophysical profile (BPP). Your physician may ask for this combined ultrasound procedure and nonstress test. It will check the baby’s heart rate over time and see if the baby is responding well to stress.

Health and Safety

What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, you should:

  • Get enough calcium. This strengthens your baby’s bones and teeth. Milk, cheese, yogurt, malunggay, broccoli, and sardines are rich sources of calcium.
  • Sleep on your side. A study shows that sleeping on your back raises the risk of stillbirth.
  • Protect your joints. Pregnancy hormones relax your joints as a prelude to childbirth. Refrain from jumping or high-impact moves. Bend your knees, not your back, when you pick things up. Avoid carrying something heavy.
  • Swimming. This is good exercise at 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development. It straightens your body and is good for your back. Avoid twisting too much as this could strain your tummy muscles or ligaments.

At 34 weeks of pregnancy baby development, you are already at the homestretch. Stay healthy, have those checkups, and relax.

Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis, or medical treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Maridol Ranoa-Bismark Updated May 08, 2020
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.