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The 34th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mom

In the 34th obstetric weeks of pregnancy you may feel tired and fatigued from your condition. Also, there are disturbances of night sleep due to your large abdomen – your rest is interrupted by frequent bathroom trips and baby’s sharp kicks.

The baby is almost ready to be born. His organs are completely formed and the lungs are capable of operating without external assistance. Baby’s movements in the 34th week of pregnancy are not as frequent as before, but now they are made with greater force.

The size and development of the fetus in the 34th week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 34 sizeYour baby is now literally growing by leaps and bounds. The baby’s weight in the 34th week of pregnancy is already 2100-2400 grams, the length from the top to the sacrum is in the 31-32 cm range, and the full length is 43-44 cm. The amount of fat is increasing, and its portion of the total weight is 8% .

The baby in the thirty-fourth week of pregnancy matures and begins to lose the embryonic fuzz. The skin turns lighter and the redness gradually disappears. A waxy coating on the body is now more abundant: it is necessary to ensure maximum protection of the skin from softening by amniotic fluid. In addition, a large amount of lubrication will help the baby to pass more easily through the birth canal if he is born prematurely.

The facial features of the child have become quite distinct and they correspond to what was prescribed down by genetics. The cheeks have widened and they are now quite plump. Hair actively grows and becomes more dense, ears stick out and become normal-like.

By the 34th week the fetus takes a position in the abdomen, which will remain unchanged until the birth. In most cases we are talking about a cephalic presentation: it is inherent in nature and facilitates the birth process of the baby.

However, it sometimes happens that the baby still is in breech or even a horizontal position. By the way, the latter option means that the child may be anxious and uncomfortable. It’s not necessary to worry in advance, because there is still time before birth, and special exercises can help the baby to move into a proper position.

[attention type=yellow]In this term the fetal organs are practically completely formed. In the event of birth the baby will not be considered premature, rather born prematurely. Such children can breathe independently and do not need CPR.[/attention]

Organs and systems are in the final stage of formation, and here is what is happening now:

  • There is an active process of strengthening of the bones and the baby needs calcium.
  • The adrenal glands are in a fully functioning mode, producing a hormone that promotes the preparation of the mother’s body for lactation.
  • The surfactant substance has reached the required amount, so that the child could breathe without assistance in the event of childbirth.
  • Кidneys are actively working – they are constantly renewing the amniotic fluid.
  • The gastrointestinal tract is also formed and ready for independent functioning.
  • A unique pattern of lines is formed on the palms, and the fingernails already extend beyond the fingertips.
  • The hearing organs are also well-developed, and the child is able to hear sounds.
 The development of the fetus at 34 weeks of pregnancyIn the 34th week the baby has a certain schedule. The space for tumbling around in mom’s belly is getting more scarce, and the kicks are stronger. The child actively “pushes away” the internal organs of the mother, to get more comfortable.

Preparation for breastfeeding is on the way – a favorite hobby of the baby is sucking his thumb. Also, the baby still hiccups, as can be felt by rhythmic twitching of mom’s belly. We need to remember that there is no reason for concern, as this is just a result of ingestion of amniotic fluid.

Your child is very responsive to external sounds. He relaxes when he hears melodious music and familiar voices and is frightened by sudden noises.

The development of twins in the 34th week of pregnancy is no different from a singleton pregnancy. Babies’ organs are also developed and they have all the skills of a normal child. The difference is, perhaps, in body weight – the weight of the fetus in the 34th week of pregnancy is about 2 kg or so.

What’s going on with mom

What’s going on with mom in the 34th week

 Photos of mothers belly at 34 weeks of pregnancy

In the 34th week a belly is already so big that you feel discomfort in the back and lower back, as well as the constant pressure on the bladder. The height of the uterine fundus is 32-34 cm, and it rises 14 cm above the navel. Above you can see the photo of bellies in the 34th week of pregnancy.

With regard to weight, since the beginning of pregnancy you have gained up to 8-12 kg. Now it is necessary to control the weight increase and try not to exceed more than 200-300 grams per week. After all, otherwise you risk “overfeeding” yourself and the baby, causing difficulties during labor.

Baby movements become less frequent as the space is simply too snug for him. But his kicks gain in strength and can cause painful sensation in the mom.

[attention type=yellow]Some future mothers may feel some relief this week. The thing is that the baby is dropping lower, and the pressure on the diaphragm lessens. This eliminates the shortness of breath and heartburn.


However, there are other, even worse discomforts:

  • Discomfort in the pubic area and compression of the sciatic nerve. This is caused by stretching of the ligaments, but it’s considered normal.
  • Training Braxton hicks. They become more frequent and cause the “tightening” of the belly. Warm showers and No-Spa can ease the pain. More about this.
  • Rashes and itching. This is caused by stretching of the skin. You can ease the situation by using creams and moisturizing oils.
  • Edema of the face, hands and feet. This worries almost every mother, and the main thing here is to watch that the phenomenon has not taken on a permanent nature.
  • Mammary glands are preparing for lactation, and they actively manage the process of milk production. This occurs under the influence of hormones.
Future mother is 34 weeks pregnantIn the 34th week of pregnancy monitoring your discharge remains important. Remember that normally it should be milky, smooth in consistency, and may have sour scent. It is assumed that the vagina may secrete mucus that coats the uterus during pregnancy. Also, any vaginal check-ups in this term may cause the appearance of a light bloody discharge.

The emotional condition of the expectant mother is vulnerable. And although, the time when she was concerned about frequent mood swings and bouts of nervousness, is long gone, there are new worries to replace it. They are related primarily to the upcoming labor and the emergence of the baby into the world.

The future mother begins to wonder whether everything is ready for the baby’s arrival. However, looking ahead, we assure you that there is no reason to be nervous, and at the crucial moment you will mobilize all your strength and knowledge, leading to a successful result.

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 34th week of pregnancy

Photo fetal ultrasound at 34 weeks of pregnancy

As before, you need to see an obstetrician-gynecologist and take a urine test once every 2 weeks. The doctor will record your weight, measure the pressure and the height of the uterine fundus, eliminating the possibility of hypertonicity, and listen to the baby’s heartbeat. You may need to be checked on the examination table and have a pap smear.

[attention type=yellow]Also, upon the doctor’s recommendation, you may need to undergo a Doppler examination and CTG. These methods assess the condition of blood circulation and the heartbeat of the fetus.[/attention]

Usually, all scheduled ultrasound tests at this point have already been undertaken. However, your doctor may recommend undergoing an additional procedure. This will help determine:

  • the degree of placental maturity;
  • fetal presentation;
  • the overall condition of the child;
  • the possibility of cord entanglement;
  • cessation of fetal development.

We invite you to watch the video of a fetal ultrasound in the 34th week of pregnancy and to look at the child in the photo above.

Possible abnormalities

As during the entire pregnancy, now it is more than ever necessary to monitor your condition and watch for disturbances. Let’s see what dangerous situations are possible in the 34th week:

  • Breech. This means that the baby has not turned head down and is sitting on his buttocks. You should not despair – your doctor may recommend a set of special exercises that will help your child to take the correct position. If all else fails, you will be scheduled for a planned Caesarean section.
  • Premature birth. Despite the fact that the child is sufficiently developed, and the odds of a favorable outcome are nearly 100%, a premature birth now is still undesirable. In order to react on time, you need to know what symptoms may indicate the beginning of labor. They are: relaxation of the intestine, regular contractions, the loss of the mucus plug, and leakage of amniotic fluid. If you notice these symptoms, seek medical assistance.
  • There is still a danger of a specific type of discharge. We are talking about cottage-cheesy formations of greenish color with a sharp unpleasant odor. In this case, immediately see a doctor.

Mom’s nutrition in the 34th week

Nutrition in the 34th week plays an important role. Throughout the pregnancy, the child gets calcium and other nutrients from your body, and now you need to replenish its reserves for a rapid recovery after labor.

In general, the principles of nutrition remain the same. Here’s what you need to pay particular attention to:

  • Adequate intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.
  • Do not forget about calcium-containing products: the baby strengthens his bones and takes calcium from you in large doses.
  • It’s no longer necessary to ingest liquids in large quantities, as this can contribute to edema. Limit yourself to 1.5-2 liters per day.
  • Do not abuse pastries and sweets if your baby is already large enough.
  • Avoid products with artificial additives and flavorings.
  • Try to keep your food balanced, containing the necessary substances and trace elements. If necessary, supplement with prenatal vitamins.

Skin care and exercises for pregnant women

Skin care at 34 weeks of pregnancySince in last few months the pregnancy is characterized by increased sweating, this creates a favorable environment for bacterial growth. To avoid this, you must follow proper hygiene and do not forget to take a shower twice a day.

The skin should be thoroughly moisturized using creams, oils and lotions. Choose products designed specifically for pregnant women, as they contain minimal harmful additives.

Do not forget about any tools that help in the fight against stretch marks. No need to wait until after labor – it is important to solve this problem right now to get the best effect.

Exercises in the third trimester are very important: they will help to prepare the body for childbirth. Here’s what will help you:

  • Kegel exercises will strengthen the pelvic floor.
  • The lotus pose – or sitting cross-legged – will support the muscles of the back and hips.
  • Aqua aerobics will improve your overall condition and will tone up the entire body.
[attention type=yellow]Also, do not neglect morning calisthenics – even 10 minutes will be enough to feel better. Spend a few hours a day walking in the fresh air – this is especially important for the mother and baby at this point.[/attention]

Sexual activity in the 34th week

In the absence of contraindications, you can maintain an intimate relationship. However, it is recommended to restrain your ardor and select gentle positions as the birth canal becomes very vulnerable.

In the 34th week of pregnancy unprotected sex is desirable because sperm has a positive effect on the cervix, making it elastic, thus preparing it for childbirth.

If you are expecting twins, you have placenta previa or there is a risk of premature labor, then all sexual activity should be abandoned.

Choosing the hospital

Choosing the hospital at 34 weeks of pregnancyYou have the right to choose your own hospital. To determine which institution is best for you, seek feedback from friends, as well as websites of maternity hospitals where you can find useful information about doctors, rooms, and other conditions.

It is also now widely practiced to enter into a delivery contract with a particular doctor. It’s worth your time to plan the delivery, especially if you have potential complications of pregnancy.

Recommendations for mom and dad

  • Whereas a pregnant woman has almost gotten used to the role of a mother, it’s not the same for the future dad. You should not be hard on him: men’s psychology is designed differently; wait until delivery, and you will be assured of his love for the baby.
  • You should already be accumulating necessary baby items. Do not delay this, because after giving birth you simply will not have time.
  • Try to get plenty of rest and sleep, you need to conserve your strength before a new stage in your life.
  • We would like to encourage the future dad to be attentive to his pregnant wife. Do not forget that she is carrying your child, and she needs support and care.

Video about the 34th week of pregnancy

We invite you to view this video guide for pregnancy, which will discuss the main points of the baby’s development in the 34th week. You will also learn about the biggest problem of this trimester – edema – and how to fight it; information about the signs of premature labor will help you to react quickly in such a situation.

Dear future mothers, you are most of the way there, and we can congratulate you on reaching the finish line. You have done a great job – followed the proper diet and lifestyle, regularly visited a doctor and followed his or her recommendations. Now, set your mind on a successful delivery and enjoy the last weeks of your beautiful condition.

[attention type=yellow]It would be great for you to share your emotions and feelings with us, or perhaps you are interested to know how the other moms feel.[/attention]

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