34 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Keep a close watch for the signs of labor. Although you may not be due for a few more weeks, if you notice regular contractions at increasingly short intervals, lower-back pain accompanied by menstrual-like cramps, water breaking, or a blood-tinged mucous discharge, contact your doctor immediately.
- Consider taking a class in infant CPR, breastfeeding, or any other area of baby care you’d like to learn more about.
- Plot and time your route to the hospital, and practice getting there.
When you’re 34 weeks pregnant, your baby’s weight could range from 4.7 to 5 pounds and his length could be somewhere between 17 and 18 inches. It may seem as though he’s moving less frequently as his growing body presses up against your uterus. This week, your baby’s brain is continuing to develop, and he may turn head-down in preparation for birth. Braxton Hicks or “practice” contractions are an early sign that the big day is getting closer. Between now and then, there’s a lot more in store, so catch up on what’s going on this week.
Your Baby’s Development
Maternal calcium intake is very important during pregnancy. A developing baby draws calcium from the mother to make and harden bone. Because your growing baby’s calcium demands are high, be sure you’re getting enough of this mineral to prevent a loss of calcium from your own bones. Your prenatal vitamin has some extra calcium, but be sure to also eat calcium-rich foods like milk and other dairy products, tofu, broccoli, and calcium-fortified juices and foods.
By now most babies will be in position for delivery. Your health care provider can tell you if your baby is positioned head- or bottom-first. Babies born at 34 weeks usually have fairly well-developed lungs, and their average size of 5 pounds (2,250 grams) and 12.6 inches (32 cm) from crown to rump allows them to survive outside the womb without extensive medical intervention.
Being tired is a common complaint of late pregnancy. Difficulty sleeping, aches and pains, weight gain, and anxiety about labor, delivery, and taking care of a newborn may contribute to your exhaustion. Rest as much as you can and take naps if possible.
Pregnancy symptoms at 34 weeks
Indigestion may be making a come-back now your baby’s pushing up against your tummy. Keep eating small meals, and try not to lie down straight after a meal. A nice nap after dinner may sound like a good idea, but lying down too soon after eating can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
How your life’s changing
- The big day could be only a month away. If you’re having your baby in hospital, try contacting the maternity unit to see if you can visit beforehand. If it’s not possible, find out if your hospital offers an online tour.
- In the meantime, you can read up on admission procedures in early labour. Ask your midwife if you want to know about how your baby will be monitored in labour. And ask her what the hospital’s policy on eating and drinking during labour is.
- You should have an appointment with your midwife this week, so it’s worth making a list of any questions you may have about your birth choices.
- Does your partner know what to bring to the hospital? Snacks, toiletries and a change of clothes are all essential. But your partner may also want to bring something to read, a camcorder, and even swimming shorts (if you’re planning a water birth). See what else should go in a dad-to-be’s hospital bag.
- When the time comes, and you think you are in labour, your midwife will advise you to stay at home for as long as possible. See these tips for coping at home in the early phase of the first stage labour.