In this late stage of pregnancy and with only 4-6 weeks left to go, there is not much developing left with your baby. They will continue to gain weight and some skeletal and organ developments will be in their finishing stages. You, however, will continue to gain some weight and will most likely continue to experience some sleeping or fatigue problems. Anxiety, weight gain plus the weight of your baby, and the weight of taking care of your newborn call all contribute to that level of anxiety and fatigue. Read on to understand more about the 34th week of pregnancy.
Key Points of Pregnancy at 34 Weeks
- Most babies will be roughly 95% done developing and will be in position for birth. If not your doctor will discuss options or interventions to solve the problem.
- Your fatigue may be heightened so it's key that you get enough sleep and take naps throughout the day if possible.
- Your body will be preparing for labor in many different ways such as Braxton Hicks contractions, your breast may feel very full and tender, and you may feel your baby moving less but more forcefully.
Pregnancy Body Changes at 34 Weeks Pregnant
During week 34 of pregnancy, you might notice more swelling than you had before, especially in your ankles, fingers, and face. Continue to drink lots of fluids (water is best), and rest when you can with your feet elevated.
Remember, if you notice sudden, extreme swelling in any of these areas, or you have a rapid significant weight gain, call your healthcare provider right away. This could be a sign of preeclampsia or toxemia. Both are serious conditions that could result in damage to the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or eyes and may cause a stroke or other brain injury according to the Mayo Clinic.
Fatigue 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.
Braxton Hicks contractions may be starting or continuing, and you may be experiencing pelvic aches, a sore rib cage, and general discomfort as you get larger. Braxton Hicks contractions are basically a test run of labor contractions. It's a way for your body to prepare you for the true pain of labor.
Your Baby's Growth and Development at Week 34
When you're 34 weeks pregnant, your baby now measures about 12.8 inches, crown to rump, and weighs about 5 pounds. This will differ by person and by baby, this is only a generalization. If your child falls far outside this normal range, your healthcare provider will consult with you on options and strategies.
The vernix coating on the baby's skin is becoming thicker, whereas lanugo hair is almost completely gone. The skeleton is finishing hardening, and your baby is developing immunities to fight infections. Your baby's fingernails have reached the tips of their fingers.
By now most babies will be in position for delivery. Your healthcare provider can tell you if your baby is positioned head down or breech (bottom-first). Babies who are born at 34 weeks can usually survive outside of the womb without extensive medical intervention.