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Mom Is 34 Weeks Pregnant [What Should You Expect?]

Mom Is 34 Weeks Pregnant [What Should You Expect_]

Week 33 now comes to an end — a new set of experiences awaits as you welcome your 34th-week mark.

This connotes eight months into the pregnancy, and soon enough, you’ll be able to hold your little one in your arms.

I understand how thrilling this gets, as I’ve once witnessed the EXCITEMENT and DELIGHT in a mom’s eyes, awaiting the day of their child’s birth.  

I myself get giddy just at the thought of seeing my beautiful nieces and nephews for the first time. 

But do you ever wonder how your baby is doing inside your tummy after 34 weeks? We’re going to find out in this simple guide!

Aside from learning about your child’s growth, you’ll also navigate the changes in your body at this stage of pregnancy. This way, you can properly care for yourself and your baby while looking forward to their natal day. 

Baby’s Development at 34 Weeks

Baby’s Development at 34 Weeks

Your little one continues to grow and develop in your tummy at 34 weeks of pregnancy. 

They’re preparing to meet their loved ones in the outside world, especially their loving parents. 

Your uterus, on the other hand, is still growing, so it can aptly carry your ever-growing bambino. 

How Is Baby Like?

On your 34th week, your baby has expectedly learned how to shut their eyes when dozing off to sleep and open them when they’re awake. 

This development is pivotal, especially when establishing a sleep schedule as they settle in after birth.

The white, waxy coating (vernix) covering your baby’s skin also thickens. In a few weeks, it will be shed into amniotic fluid and will mostly be gone by week 40.

It’s also thrilling to witness your baby trying to poke through your belly. When a small bump shows up on your growing tummy, it’s likely to be your little one’s small feet or hands trying to reach the confines of your womb. 

Baby’s Size Is Like a 5-Pound Bag of Flour

If you’ve already seen a five-pound bag of flour, you probably have an idea of how big your baby is at 34 weeks. 

At this stage, your bambino weighs approximately 5¼ pounds and is 18 inches long. They’re also fattening up, and their limbs are gaining more flesh.

It’s also a delight to know that their facial features are becoming MORE DISTINCT. You’ll be able to see most of their major facial characteristics through ultrasound imaging.

To support your child’s development, you must maintain a healthy pregnancy diet and take the prescribed prenatal vitamins. Doing so can also keep yourself in good physical and mental condition during pregnancy.  

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and using illicit drugs and unprescribed medication. You must also steer clear of alcoholic beverages, like beer and wine.

Sex Difference

If you’re expecting to deliver a baby boy, you should know that their testicles are starting to make their way down to the scrotum from the abdomen.  

However, there are instances where some babies are born with undescended testicles. This is totally normal, and it’s nothing to worry about. 

Roughly 3-4% of full-term baby boys are born with undescended testicles. The same also happens to approximately 30% of preterm babies. 

In these cases, their testicles will most likely go down before their first birthday.

Fingernails and Toenails Reached the Tips

You’ll be happier knowing that their fingernails have reached their fingertips. You can already imagine how these little nippers would look once you hold them. 

Their toenails, on the other hand, are still growing continuously. These will eventually reach the tips of their tiny toes by week 38.

You better prepare those infant nail clippers. You might need to trim your baby’s nails soon to protect them from scratches, especially if their nails are jagged or chipped.

Is It Safe to Deliver My Baby at 34 Weeks?

You can deliver your little one safely even at 34 weeks into your pregnancy, but they need to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for monitoring. 

On the other hand, premature babies born at 35 weeks and older and weighing more than 4 pounds will be brought to the Progressive Care Nursery (PCN).

Babies between 31 and 34 weeks have a 95% survival rate when born. However, this depends on their health. It’s still best to consult with your doctor for safety measures. 

Mommy at 34 Weeks of Pregnancy

Now that you’ve learned how your little one is doing inside your belly, it’s time to explore your physical condition at this ever-exciting time. 

As a pregnant mom, it’s VITAL to know how to navigate your body during pregnancy to be aware of the possible changes you might experience and the appropriate care you need.

Uterus Is Still Growing

If you notice your baby bump getting bigger, it’s because your uterus is still growing. 

Yes! There’s still room for your baby to grow inside your womb as the uterus continues to expand

Upon reaching FULL-TERM, your uterus extends from the pubic area up to the bottom of your rib cage. As you approach your due date, your baby will likely drop lower to your pelvis.

Starting to Experience Vision Changes 

Pregnant mom usually experience vision changes, such as blurry eyesight, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. 

The reason behind this is the temporary change in your cornea’s shape and thickness due to fluid retention. 

Irritation and dry eyes are also COMMON SYMPTOMS you’ll notice at 34 weeks into your pregnancy — this could be a result of reduced tear production

Wearing contact lenses might cause discomfort in your eyes. Hence, it’s best to stick with your good ol’ glasses in the meantime.

These symptoms are nothing to worry about, as they’re only temporary and will disappear after delivery. 

However, it’s still best to double-check with a health professional because vision changes can also be signs of preeclampsia. 

Pregnancy Symptoms at 34 Weeks

Pregnancy Symptoms at 34 Weeks

Even as you approach your full term, you might still experience a few pregnancy symptoms, including:

Bloating, Gas, and Constipation

It’s normal to get gassy throughout the third trimester, so you might feel quite bloated. Anxiety even intensifies gassiness, as you tend to swallow more air when stressed.

On the other hand, constipation happens due to hormonal imbalances in the body during pregnancy. Medication, supplements, and a low-fiber diet also contribute to slowing down your bowel movement. 

Heartburn

Heartburn and indigestion may also occur as your stomach and other internal organs are squeezed by your expanding uterus. In turn, you might feel a subtle burning sensation in your chest and throat due to acid reflux. 

Increased Vaginal Discharge

Your hormones, specifically estrogen, go haywire during pregnancy. They increase blood flow in your body and, conversely, stimulate the mucus membrane, thus increasing vaginal discharge.

Hemorrhoids

Varicose veins appearing on your rectum are called hemorrhoids. These can cause itchiness, pain, and discomfort at any time of your pregnancy, but they most likely show up in the mid-second to the third trimester.

Hemorrhoids are also due to increased blood flow, specifically down the pelvic area. Constipation can even contribute to hemorrhoids, as extra straining might cause the veins in your rectal area to swell. 

Leg Cramps and Back Pain

Pregnancy weight, swelling, and fatigue are the likely causes of leg cramps. You’ll noticeably feel painful spasms through the calves up to the legs, especially at night.

Pressure might also be felt on your lower back and belly as your body’s center of gravity shifts.

Sitting too long can hurt your back more, so I highly recommend doing light exercises, such as walking and stretching, with your doctor’s guidance. Massaging your legs with magnesium lotion before bed can also help reduce cramping. 

Edema

When you’re pregnant, you’re body tends to accumulate and retain fluid, leading to the swelling of your fingers, feet, and ankles. The amount of swelling varies, depending on the weather and hour of the day.

More swelling is expected at night, as well as in warmer temperatures. Wearing compression socks or leggings can help minimize edema, so you might as well consider investing in these pieces of clothing. 

Fast-growing Hair

Increased hormone production also triggers quick hair growth, causing your hair to appear thicker and shinier during pregnancy. Some pregnant moms are even prone to frizziness, dryness, brittleness, and oiliness.

Body hair growth is also expected, specifically on their cheeks, chin, and nipples. However, it’s important to note that these changes are normal and might be temporary — they’ll most likely go away a few weeks after childbirth. 

Leaking Colostrum

As you near your due date, your prolactin (milk-inducing hormone) is revving up to aid breastmilk production once you give birth. When prolactin outpaces estrogen and progesterone, a few drops of colostrum might leak from your breast.

In this case, you can insert nursing pads inside your bra to keep your chest dry and ensure comfort throughout the day.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks might start appearing as your body gains weight and your skin stretches. This is not true for all pregnant moms, as varying factors like genetics, lifestyle, diet, and skincare determine skin elasticity. 

Insomnia

Another pregnancy symptom you might encounter at 34 weeks is insomnia. You may be feeling anxious about your most-awaited delivery day or have trouble sleeping due to pains and discomfort brought on by other pregnancy symptoms.

If you think your disrupted sleep patterns are getting in the way of doing daily tasks and your health, it’s best to consult a doctor immediately. 

Shortness of Breath

Breathlessness is a normal occurrence among pregnant moms. This starts as early as the first trimester and continuously progresses as your baby grows.

As previously mentioned, your uterus is still growing, and now, it extends up to the bottom of the rib cage, pushing your diaphragm. In turn, your lungs are compressed, and their capacity to fully expand becomes limited when taking a breath. 

Tips for a 34-Week Pregnant Mom

Tips for a 34-Week Pregnant Mom

Proper care is VITAL for you as a soon-to-be mom and your baby’s welfare. What you do will greatly affect your and your little one’s health and well-being. 

To guide you on your 34th week, I will share some tips I’ve learned from observing and talking to other moms. These meaningful suggestions will definitely help you get through this pregnancy phase. 

Keep a Small Bottle of Eyedrops

As discussed, your eyes are one of the areas that experience discomfort at this stage. Itchiness, irritation, and vision changes are only a few of the pregnancy symptoms expectant moms encounter. 

With your eyes feeling more sensitive and dry, it’s best to keep a small bottle of eyedrops with you wherever you go since this helps with lubrication

Eye drops are GENERALLY SAFE for pregnant moms, but it’s best to consult a healthcare professional when choosing the right brand. 

Additionally, I suggest wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes, especially when it’s dry and sunny outside. 

Dealing with Prenatal Blues

It’s typical to feel blue all of a sudden — especially with the stress, anxiety, and pressure you feel, on top of the raging hormones within your body. 

Some pregnant women are even susceptible to suffering from depression during their pregnancy when this is not properly addressed. 

I want you to know that your feelings are VALID, and there’s no shame in seeking help when needed. 

It’s best to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner, family, trusted friends, counselor, and healthcare professional. 

It also pays to engage in fun and relaxing activities that make you feel at ease. 

Thoughts About Cutting Back on Salt

Doctors used to recommend a low-sodium diet for expecting moms, which means cutting back on salt to ease fluid retention. However, in today’s time, they NO LONGER do so. 

They figured that including a moderate amount of salt in a pregnant mom’s diet helps regulate fluids in the body. Completely cutting back on sodium is even found to be unhealthy for the growing baby. 

Generally, you don’t need to restrict yourself from eating salty food, but you must moderate sodium intake since too much is still bad for you.

Find Ways to Boost Your Energy

Most pregnant moms feel less energetic throughout the day. If you’re a coffee lover like me, ditching your usual dose of caffeine during pregnancy could even aggravate your sluggishness. 

But did you know exercising is a good way to lift your energy

Brisk walking, yoga, and minimal stretching can increase the amount of endorphins (a.k.a. feel-good hormones) in your body, thus REVITALIZING your energy levels. 

Physical exercise also helps you achieve a good night’s rest. When you get better sleep, you’ll be less likely to deal with daytime fatigue. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Consult your OB-GYN before engaging in physical activities. You must also ensure to wear proper maternity clothes fit for exercising to protect your body from soreness and injury. 

Enjoy a Safe Soak

If you have a tub or dip pool at home, allow yourself to indulge in a relaxing soak. Warm baths help your mind feel relaxed and at ease and your body LESS SORE. 

Stories that dirty water could enter the cervix and cause infection is a myth, and no scientific evidence backs it up. 

The only thing you must be careful of is getting into the tub. Ask someone to assist you if your bathroom has no handlebars to avoid slipping. 

Also, make sure that your tub has a non-skid surface, and always take your time when getting out so you won’t fall. 

Discuss Labor Plans

Consulting with your doctor on what you must do during labor helps you prepare and navigate your upcoming childbirth. 

They can give you tips on dealing with contractions, when to call a doctor, or what to do when your water beaks. 

Being unaware of the things to expect during labor might cause panic and anxiety. Hence, it’s important to seek proper guidance as early as now. 

Is It Normal to Feel Cramps at the Lower Abdomen at 34 Weeks of Pregnancy?

Cramps at the lower abdomen could be a sign of Braxton Hick’s contraction. This is totally normal even at 34 weeks because your body prepares for labor

However, if you feel uneasy about your cramps, you can discuss it with your OB-GYN for proper diagnosis and care.

Is It Possible to Feel Signs of Labor at 34 Weeks of Pregnancy?

Signs of labor experienced at 34 weeks could indicate preterm labor. Symptoms you might feel include:

  • Mild cramps above the pelvis
  • Pressure in the groin, thighs, and pelvic area
  • Subtle lower back pain
  • Intestinal cramping or diarrhea
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Preterm labor could sometimes lead to preterm delivery, meaning you’ll likely deliver a premature baby

Your doctor can provide proper ways to PREVENT preterm labor and delivery. 

Hence, it’s important to visit them during your scheduled appointments to discuss your concerns and monitor the progress of your pregnancy.

Consider Getting a Car Seat

A car seat is NON-NEGOTIABLE for car safety, especially when you plan to carry a newborn with you in the vehicle. 

Hence, it’s important to consider getting one before your baby arrives. With this, you can already have it installed in your car and ready for baby’s use. 

A few things to remember when installing a car seat are as follows:

  • Don’t install the car seat near airbags because it might injure or kill the baby when it blows off. The safest spot is in the backseat, preferably in the middle. 
  • Keep the car seat backward for a rear-seating position. 
  • Secure the base tightly. Double-check if the seat is stable; it shouldn’t wobble, slide, or turn. To be sure, you can ask a technician to verify your work. 

Conclusion

Pregnancy is such a wonderful experience, especially for women who dream of becoming moms. That’s why I understand how excited you feel as you await the day you can hold your baby in your arms. 

While your little one is still inside you, it’s important to UNDERSTAND their growth, development, and the changes you might encounter at 34 weeks into your pregnancy. 

Learning about these things can help you determine the best ways of caring for your baby and yourself to ensure your well-being. 

There’s no one-size fits all guide to pregnancy because experiences are unique for every mom-to-be. However, you’ll know how to navigate your pregnancy and prepare for childbirth with the right information.

Sky Bustillo
Sky Bustillo

Hi, I’m Sky!
As a Filipina in her mid-20s, a sister to young ones, and a tita to my nieces and nephews, I somehow share the same sentiment as other parents. I have a growing aspiration of becoming a mom someday!
But there also comes a worry that you won’t be able to give the best to your children, especially with the food they eat, the products they use, and the new habits and hobbies we introduce to them.
Your kid’s safety and welfare are your top priority, that’s why I always make it to a point to learn from the stories and experiences of other moms.
It’s a delight to share what I learned and know to help the moms close to my heart, and this time, I’m writing to relay advice to you from the insights of other moms and my experience around kids, too.
I’d love to be a part of your journey, and I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful for you and your young one!