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34 Weeks Pregnant – What You Should Expect?

By Lisa Hayden / March 11, 2020

Your baby is almost here. At 34 weeks pregnant you may feel like you have been pregnant forever, but it is almost over and you will soon be able to touch and love your baby. At 34 weeks pregnant your baby is about 4.7 pounds and is about 18 inches long. He has lots of muscles and that cute baby fat to keep him warm. He has finger and toe nails, eye lashes, and a full nervous system. His bones are much stronger and he has probably assumed the birthing position with his head down.

At 34 weeks pregnant the baby has the ability to hold things, he bumps and kicks a lot and is fully developed. Should you birth at this stage the baby is about 98 percent developed and has a strong chance of survival.

The baby is ready and you probably are too. The symptoms of late pregnancy are extremely discomfort. You experience several issues that your doctor may be able to help you with. The following is a list of the discomforts you may experience at a 34 weeks pregnant stage.

Swollen Feet

You may experience big swollen ankles and feet. It is normal to have extremely swollen feet which wont fit into any shoes you own. In fact, you may have to go out and buy new shoes a size or two larger than you normally wear. Once your baby is born your swelling will go down, but you may need new shoes for a few weeks. To relieve this swelling drink lots of water and elevate your feet when resting. Place pillows under your legs or put your feet up on an arm rest to allow the blood to circulate better. Foot and leg massages feel wonderful, so if you have someone special, ask them for a nice foot or leg massage.

Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

Eeclampsia is a big risk at this point in the pregnancy. This could be a risk for both the baby and the mother as her blood pressure can rise significantly. At 32 weeks pregnant your doctor will insist on seeing you every few days to make sure everything is well.

Frequent Urination

As this is the final phase of pregnancy, the baby is moving down into the birthing canal and pressing up against your bladder. This causes you to feel like you have to go to the bathroom all the time. The problem is once you get there, you don't really have to go.

These are just a few of the symptoms at 34 weeks pregnant. But rest assured that if you go into labor at this point, the baby will not have a problem in surviving. You should however stay away from stairs, try to reduce stress and drink lots of water and high fibered foods.

If you're feeling these, welcome to the third trimester! You are now at 34 weeks and your due date is fast approaching. This phase is filled with excitement and worries as you go through the last few weeks of being pregnant. To reduce the stress of the upcoming big day, you can start writing your birth plan. A birth plan enumerates the things to do before, during, and after your labor. You have to consider your priorities when outlining your birth plan. Add in notes so you will have backup plans when something unforeseen happens. Write down the people who you want to be around when you deliver your baby. To make it easier for you on what to include in your birth plan, let’s look into every aspect that is related to your pregnancy at this point.

What’s going on with the baby?

Your bundle of joy weighs around 4-5 pounds and about 18 inches long at 34 weeks. Try to compare the baby’s size to a medium-sized honeydew. During an ultrasound, you will observe your baby is rounder as his or her skin and fat layers are becoming fully-formed. Vital organs like the brain and the lungs are continuing developing at this stage. Remember that baby reaches full term by 39 weeks.

Don’t fret about preterm labor! According to most obstetricians, babies born from 34 to 37 weeks have great chance of being healthy. Babies born at these weeks just need to stay for a bit inside the nursery room for observation. Nevertheless, babies born before 39 weeks are just as healthy as full-term babies.​


What going on with your body?

Your body is under tremendous fatigue right now. The annoying symptoms are not as intense as before but the body is preparing its system for childbirth. There will be restless night as it becomes uncomfortable to settle for sleep at night. You will also have frequent bathroom breaks day in and out as the growing uterus collides with the bladder. If you’re still working at this time, try to slow down a bit and heads up your coworkers about your upcoming maternity leave. It will be quite tricky to wear shoes at 34 weeks since the foot and ankles will swell dramatically.

When will the baby “drop”?

“Drop” is the term used to describe the event where the baby descends to the mother’s pelvis, near the pubic bone. Another term for this process is called “lightening”. No one can accurately know when will the baby becomes “engaged” but this usually happens during the latter part of pregnancy. Some mothers, who are carrying their second or third children, experience lightening only before the labor begins.

You will feel a little difference once the baby has dropped down your pelvis. You may not see it with your naked eye but people around you (especially other moms) will see this sign when it shows. With the less pressure on your abdomen, you will be able to breath easily but the downside is the frequent trips to the bathroom as the bladder is pressed even more.

Birthing Classes: What’s in it for you?

At the start of the third trimester, many mothers opt to enroll in birthing classes. These classes can help moms on topics related to labor, delivery, postpartum care, and caring for the newborn. One of the most sought-after lesson in birthing classes is the breathing techniques and pain management during labor. Aside from the usual topics on pregnancy, birthing classes are sources for information about different birthing methods, breastfeeding, postpartum changes in your body, plus the role of your partner during delivery.

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You and your partner can attend classes together. This is not only a good bonding moment but also a sort of orientation class for your partner as he assumes the new role of being a father. There are sessions dedicated for fathers where dads are taught pointers on how to assist their partners at the delivery room.​

Birthing classes are good venues to interact with other expectant moms. The goal of these classes is for you and your baby to be safe during delivery. Keep an open mind for the pieces of information you will get from these classes. Some techniques you will gather here might be useful, some others might not. The point here is be ready to listen for tips that will help you come up with smart decisions when the actual delivery takes place.

Delivery methods: What are your options?

The decision on how and where you want to deliver your child is a personal one. There are many options to choose from - be it normal delivery or cesarean; with or without the use of medicine; or to be done at home or at the hospital. At around 34 weeks, you should already decide about this and include these details in your birth plan. For now, let’s check the pros and cons associated with the different birthing methods:

Vaginal Delivery

The natural birth method for all mammals, including humans, is through the cervix. A normal vaginal delivery is that mother goes into labor with or without the use of drugs to deliver her child. An active labor which is characterized by contractions lasting for about a minute and repeat at about four times in an hour. Contractions are the motions produced by the uterus to push the baby through the birth canal and lastly through the cervix. The cervix must dilate at 3 centimeters or more for labor to continue.

Cesarean Section

Cesarean section or simply c-section is the process of giving birth through an incision in the mother’s uterus. C-section can be scheduled beforehand for reasons such as breech baby at the end pregnancy; the mom carries more than one baby; or if the mother already gave birth before via the same procedure. It can also be done on the spot when the pregnancy is high risk or if the cervix stopped dilating during delivery. Unlike during normal deliveries, amniotic fluid is not naturally flushed out during c-section since contractions did not take place. The doctors will need to assist the baby in expelling this liquid but this will inflict harm on the baby’s lungs. This is the reason why babes delivered via c-section are carefully monitored at the nursery room after birth.

34 Weeks Pregnant – What You Should Expect?

Natural Childbirth

Some women prefer to undergo natural childbirth. A spontaneous vaginal delivery is done without the assistance of any drugs or equipment. Women who choose this path is bound to 100% feel the sensations of pressure and pain. The intensity of the pressure changes throughout the delivery. Childbirth, they say, consists of strong urge to go to the bathroom as the same nerves are affected during delivery.

Use of Modern Medicine

Those with low tolerance with pain opt to give birth with general or epidural anesthesia. The numbness against pain and pressure will depend on the effectiveness of the anesthesia. A mild application of anesthesia will leave you with a little pressure. Some moms-to-be choose to not feel anything at all especially the stretching on the cervix and vagina.

Hospital Births

Recent surveys show that most women still choose to give birth in hospitals. It is necessary to deliver your child in a hospital if you are experiencing high risk pregnancy or if there is a need for a c-section. Giving birth at the hospital is a smart choice since you will be attended by professional health providers and you will have access to proper medication.

Home Births

In the past, only a small percentage of women try the traditional way of giving birth at home. However, with the rise of alternatives like water birthing and birthing through hypnosis, many are encouraged to deliver their babies at the comforts of their homes. This is convenient since you don’t have to think about pricey hospital bills, but make sure to only work with a certified midwife.

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