34 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy week 34 fetus
length ~ 17.7 in  |  45 cm     weight ~ 4.7 lbs  |  2.1 kg   /   Mama, I'm movin' downtown!

Fetal development in week 34

Your amazing baby is on the move!

Until now, your wee womb-squatter's been living fairly high up in your poor stretched-out womb - blithely compressing your poor lungs and internal organs.

This week your baby's going to pack their tiny bags and make the epic shifting move to your pelvis - commonly referred to as the time when baby "drops".

If you haven’t noticed it already, you’ll be feeling the weight shift indicating your baby is most likely out of breech position with their head now resting on your pubic bone.

When baby drops this may also give you some horrific stabbing back pain as they press on your sciatic nerve. If that's the case, get off your feet and try to do some spine-lengthening stretches to help your baby move OFF that poor throbbing nerve.

In developing internal-organ news: although not quite fully formed, your little poop-factory's liver is now capable of processing a certain amount of waste.

Because your baby's liver is not quite birth-ready, it's common for newborns to get a case of mild and harmless jaundice (signaled by a slight yellowing of the skin).

Jaundice is the result of your baby's body producing more bilirubin (a by-product of blood production) than the liver can currently breakdown, leading to a subtle yellow tinge that goes away in a few days.

Babies born earlier than their due date tend to have moderate to severe jaundice, which - in the hospital, will be treated via light therapy to help their body break the bilirubin down.

For home-birthers, jaundice is easily dealt with by increased breastfeeding (to help their body pass the bilirubin) and "naked time" for baby in a warm sunlit area for 10 minute intervals throughout the day until it disappears.

And how's mom doing?

Hey mama! Did you know your watermelon-betwixt-my-legs waddle is still as charming as ever?

If you've got back pain, get yourself another warm bath or shower and apply the heating pad as needed. Keep trying to stretch and twist to get your pinch-tastic fetus off your poor screaming sciatic nerves.

Also, if you haven't tried it yet, you'll really love how light you feel while you're in the swimming pool! Don't worry about showing off your beautiful belly, just do it!

And captain obvious wants you to know: keep on drinking those tall glasses of water (and peeing like a fiend), take cat naps whenever possible and tie up any loose ends to prepare yourself for the big day when labor kicks in.

Did You Know?

During birth, there is a chance you will have to have an episiotomy (an incision in the perineum) if: 1) your child isn't tolerating the end phases of labor, 2) your baby is very large, or 3) your vaginal tissue is starting to tear and bleed in multiple places. Regularly massaging the perineum for five to six weeks before birth decreases the risk you'll have to have one.

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Pregnancy Week 34 Articles