At thirty-four weeks pregnant, there’s plenty of exciting things in store. Your baby is nearly ready to be born, and it’s time to start thinking practically, not only about your hospital bag essentials but about your birth plan! Find out what else you need to know about your baby and your body at 34 weeks pregnant.
How big is my baby at 34 weeks?
Your baby is now the size of a cantaloupe, weighing in at five and a quarter pounds and measuring up to 18 inches. They have been growing steadily and they are rounder and cuter than ever thanks to their fat layers filling them out.
What’s my baby doing at 34 weeks?
If your little one is impatient to arrive and pops out sooner than expected - for example, right about now! - it shouldn’t be too dangerous for them as long as they haven't got any other health problems. They might have to stay for a short time in the neonatal nursery and may have a few health niggles, but generally, they should end up as fighting fit as a full-termer.
Oh, and right about now their first poo (meconium stool) is lurking in their intestines ready to be passed once they are born. It’ll be thick, gooey and greenish black.
If your baby is a boy, this week, his testicles will make the trip down from his abdomen to his scrotum. A small number of babies are born with undescended testicles, but they usually make their way down before their first birthdays.
Common symptoms to look out for:
What is my body doing at 34 weeks pregnant?
In this last stretch before childbirth, you’re probably feeling exhausted, though perhaps not as zombie-like as you may have felt during your first trimester. It’s no surprise you’re tired, given your rapidly changing body, the constant toilet breaks during the night, and any worries you might have about the birth or about becoming a mother.
Try to slow down from here on, and to take it easy to save your energy for the big day. Practically speaking, try to limit what you do before bed: avoid caffeine and chocolate, try not to drink too close to bedtime, and don’t exercise just before going to sleep to avoid that post-workout rush. It’s also worth leaving the smartphone and iPad in another room to avoid the temptation of browsing the internet for cute baby clothes when you should really be trying to sleep.
What to do this week:
If you haven’t written your birth plan yet, now’s a good time to start. Essentially, a birth plan gives your midwife an idea of what you would like during the labour, whether that’s pain relief, where you want to give birth, birthing companions and equipment you want to use, such as mats or beanbags.
However, it’s good to remember that a baby won’t necessarily follow your plans, so keep your mind open and expect the unexpected. It definitely helps if you’ve read up on all the possibilities beforehand, so you’re fully informed if your birth plan goes out the window.
It’s also worth making sure your baby bag is packed and ready, even if you’re planning a home birth, in case you end up being transferred to hospital. Check our list of essentials to pack in your hospital bag here.
Don’t forget to pack some things for your new arrival. For you, we advise packing things like your birth plan and maternity notes, a dressing gown, some cosy socks (feet get cold in labour!), slippers, music on your phone or iPod, books and magazines (you might have to wait a while for the baby to show up!) snacks and energy drinks for labour, lots of maternity sanitary towels, a nursing bra and an old nightie or T-shirt to wear during labour.
Your baby will need sleep suits and vests, nappies, blankets, wipes, booties and a hat, plus, of course, a cute (but practical) leaving hospital outfit. And be aware, some hospitals won’t let you leave unless you have a proper, EU approved car seat fitted properly. Take a look at our Mother & Baby award winning car seats below.
Take me back to week 33
Take me to week 35
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