34 weeks pregnant
How is your baby growing at 34 weeks?
At around 46cm long and weighing around 2.4kg (5.25lb), your baby is still busy growing with each successive week, with more fat accumulating around the body, arms and legs. Your baby is capable of sleeping with eyes closed and keeping them open when awake. Organs are fully mature, except the lungs. These may not be fully mature until week 36.
Although the chances of survival are excellent if born during this week, life inside the womb is still better for your baby. Your antibodies will be crossing the placenta to your baby, who can then use them to develop his or her own immunity to infections. A healthy baby born at 34 weeks may need monitoring and extra care in a neonatal nursery, but should otherwise enjoy a normal life with little medical intervention.
If there is a risk that your baby may be born premature, an injection of steroids before the birth can speed up the development of your baby's lungs.
With the back of your baby's body being heavier than its front, your baby may now begin to move in the direction that you lean. Your baby may shift his or her position to be back-to-back, with his or her back aligned with yours, especially if you are sitting a lot. If you rub your tummy, your baby may be able to feel the sensation.
How are you changing in week 34?
Your bump will still be increasing as well as your weight, and your baby's new position may be making you uncomfortable and contribute towards back ache. You may be getting a bit fed up, but remember there's only just over a month or so until your baby arrives. Short naps can be helpful if fatigue and tiredness are taking a toll. If you haven't before, you may start to experience some of the other common problems of pregnancy in the third trimester such as constipation, indigestion and heartburn, swelling of your ankles and feet, and leg cramps. Likewise, you may not have any of these problems and sail through your pregnancy.
What you need to know in week 34
You should have an antenatal appointment this week with your midwife or doctor, who should measure the size of your womb, measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein. He or she should also go over the results of any screening tests that you had at your last antenatal appointment. Now that you are approaching your due date, your midwife or doctor should give you information about getting ready for labour and childbirth. You should discuss your birth plan and how to manage labour pains, and your midwife or doctor should give you advice on how to recognise the symptoms of active labour.