34 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms & Baby Development - Babylist
34 Weeks Pregnant
November 9, 2022

34 Weeks Pregnant

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34 Weeks Pregnant.
34 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you’re 34 weeks pregnant, you might be tired, you might experience swelling and there might be increased pressure on your pelvis. Meanwhile, baby is sleeping a lot, and their brains and lungs are continuing to develop. What else? Read on to learn about week 34 of pregnancy.

How Many Months Is 34 Weeks Pregnant?

34 weeks pregnant in months is eight months pregnant, which is part of the third trimester of pregnancy.

Your Baby at 34 Weeks

Big things are happening with many of your baby’s major organs, as their brain and lungs are continuing to mature. Their little nails are getting longer too. See the details on what’s happening with your baby at 34 weeks.

  • Nervous system: By this week, your baby’s central nervous system is developed. Brain power continues to increase as the formerly smooth organ becomes increasingly more wrinkly—aka smarter!
  • Breathing fluid: Baby’s development is still happening in the respiratory system. The lungs continue to grow and mature, and your baby is practicing for their first breath by inhaling amniotic fluid.
  • Thick coating: Vernix caseosa, that cheesy substance that keeps baby’s skin soft and supple, is now thickening. Sounds gross but it’s to keep their skin moisturized during birth. You might notice some of it in baby’s skin folds after their arrival.
  • Fingernails and toenails: Your baby’s tiny nails have grown too. Pro tip: Babies grow nails really quickly and they can’t control their hands, so infants often scratch themselves. Prevent that by adding bodysuits with attached fold-over mittens and baby clippers or nail scissors to your registry.
  • Fetal sleep: Your baby’s sleep happens in cycles right now. Part of the time, they’re in a deep sleep state, and part, they’re in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep—meaning they’re dreaming in there! There’s also another part of the time that’s an indeterminate type of sleep; it’s so mysterious because the fetal brain is still immature and unlike a full-fledged baby’s.

For the rest of your pregnancy, the amount of time your baby sleeps in utero will gradually lower to about 85-90% of the day. That’s about the same amount of time they’ll sleep after you give birth.

How Big Is Baby at 34 Weeks?

Your baby is 17.7 inches long and weighs 4.7 pounds this week. That’s about the size of a Tickle Me Elmo.

💛 Congratulations 💛

There are only 42 days until your due date!

34 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

Pregnancy-Ultrasound-week-34

Your Body at 34 Weeks Pregnant

At 34 weeks pregnant, weight gain is still recommended at about a pound per week. If your physical activity has slowed down a bit, you might find that you gain a little more weight than expected. It’s not a reason to freak out, but do try to keep an eye on it, since the more weight you have to carry for the next month or so the more uncomfortable you may be. Of course, any rapid or unexpected weight gain should be reported to your healthcare provider, since it could be a sign of preeclampsia.

In the next couple of weeks, your amniotic fluid levels peak. This means that even though baby is still growing (almost 18 inches now), your pregnant belly may not seem to get much larger.

At your 34 week appointment, the doc will likely measure your fundal height, an approximate way of keeping tabs on baby’s size and your amniotic fluid level. It probably will measure about 32 to 36 centimeters this week.

34 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

As you’re getting close to your and baby’s due date, you may be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, as well as pressure in your pelvic region. Here’s what you might expect at 34 weeks.

Fatigue

The fatigue of the first trimester may come back in the third trimester, in part because you’re not sleeping well—whether you’re waking often to pee or are all-around uncomfortable—or because you’re carrying around 20 or 30 extra pounds on the daily. It’s great to get some moderate exercise to keep your energy up if you’re up to it (but don’t overdo it), and try to get as much rest as you need.

Swollen ankles and feet

Your joints and tissues are softening in preparation to deliver your baby, which means your body needs to retain extra fluid. And all that fluid can also cause swelling, otherwise known as edema. This slight swelling usually isn’t cause for concern—it’s considered just another pregnancy annoyance. To prevent or ease it, sit down and put your feet up, eat bananas or other potassium-rich foods, drink lots of water and don’t go wild with the salt intake. Sometimes though, swelling is cause for you to reach out to your care provider right away. “Sudden swelling in the hands, face, or feet can be cause for concern,” says Venus Standard, a certified nurse midwife and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. As is swelling that comes with a headache or blurry vision, or that only impacts ons side of the body (known as asymmetrical swelling). Swelling that meets any of these criteria can be a sign of preeclampsia, a condition that’s dangerous for both you and baby.

Pelvic pressure

Now that baby’s getting heftier, you might feel downward pressure on your pelvic floor. This may just be due to baby’s weight, or it could be a sign that they’ve “dropped” lower into your abdomen. If it’s exceptionally strong or sudden, it could be a sign of labor too. If you start to feel contractions as well as the pressure, call your healthcare provider just in case.

Hemorrhoids

All that extra downward pressure can also affect your rectum and cause hemorrhoids. Over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams and witch hazel pads are usually considered safe to use and can help ease the discomfort. Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods to help prevent constipation, which can also contribute to them.

Fun Fact

Most moms are righties! We’re talking about boobs, not hands. Yep, one study found that the right breast produces more milk in 76% of people.

34 Weeks Pregnant Baby Bumps from Real Moms

34 weeks pregnant belly @alissasafiera

34 weeks pregnant baby position @hannahgrowsababy

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34 weeks pregnant belly pictures @mariapbj

34 weeks pregnant baby size @lifestylebymariah

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Pregnancy Symptoms Coming up in Week 35

Week 35 will likely look a lot like week 34, only a little bigger, a little heavier and a little more uncomfortable. Braxton Hicks contractions might become a little more frequent and you’ll probably notice it’s a little tougher to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

Commonly Asked Questions About 34 Weeks Pregnant

Is it normal to have blurred vision?

Can’t see straight? Pregnant people sometimes experience blurred vision because pregnancy hormones and excess fluid can affect tear production and the shape of your cornea. “Eye changes can occur in pregnancy and usually resolve after delivery,” says Dr. Langdon, an ob-gyn at Medzino. If you have severely blurred vision that interferes with your daily activities though, or comes along with other weird symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.

I’m constipated. Should I be concerned?

Worry not. Constipation happens, and is pretty normal for this phase in pregnancy. If that’s something you’re experiencing, try going for a walk and eat fiber-rich foods, and do your best to stay hydrated.

What if I go into labor early?

While Braxton Hicks contractions (aka “sporadic” contractions) are a normal part of this phase of pregnancy, some people will experience preterm labor. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a preterm delivery, and there are measures your doctor can take to keep baby in as long as possible. And if you do turn out to have an early delivery, the good news is that babies born after 34 weeks of pregnancy face fewer risks. If you have certain risks factors for early labor, such as preeclampsia or family history of premature birth, or if you start experiencing persistent signs of labor at this point, contact your provider.

Recommended Products for 34 Weeks Pregnant

Is the third trimester flying or crawling for you? Either way, just take it one week at a time. You’re nearly there. Do your best to prioritize your right-now comfort and think about the things that will make you and baby happy in just a few short (long) weeks.

34 Weeks Pregnant Checklist

  • Go to your week 34 prenatal visit.
  • Write and send thank you cards for your shower.
  • Make sure everything is lined up at work for your leave. Your files and notes should be easily accessible for your fill-in. If your baby comes early, you don’t want to worry about having to brief anyone on project status or anything like that.
  • Throw a few more things in your hospital bag. You should really have everything you need inside it by 36 weeks. Remember, that 37 weeks is considered “early term”—meaning, even though it’s not a full-term birth, plenty of babies make their debut then.
  • If you’re unsure how you want to handle pain during labor, check out Pain Medications Preference Scale by Penny Simkin. It’s a great judgment-free tool to help you think about your preferences—and that is what’s most important here!
This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.