Your Pregnancy: 34 weeks pregnant

This week your baby’s bones are hardening. However, the bones in his skull are not completely fused yet and will remain flexible to help ease his passage through the birth canal.


34 weeks pregnant

Your baby

  • From head to toe, your baby is about 48 cm (19 in) long and he weighs nearly 2.28 kg (5 lbs). As he continues to put on weight, his arms and legs are filling out to become more in proportion with the rest of his body.
  • Do babies dream of amniotic sheep? Fetal brain scans show babies have periods of dream sleep around this point in their development.

When the baby “drops”
No, this isn’t about one of your crazy pregnancy dreams!
 In the next couple of weeks, your baby may drop down so his head is engaged firmly in your pelvis. Then, you and your caregiver may notice a change in your abdomen — the top of your uterus may be closer to your bellybutton than before. While some babies drop a few weeks before labour, others drop just before labour begins.

Read more: The stages of labour>

When your baby does drop, he may put increased pressure in your pelvis and this may make you feel like he’s going to “fall out” (he won’t!). The increased pressure may also lead to a tingling sensation or numbness in your pelvis. Though this may be uncomfortable, it’s a good sign that your baby has settled into your pelvis and is unlikely to turn. And on the plus side, you’re probably breathing easier than before, now that your lungs have more room.

You said it! Advice from real moms
“Breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally to all women. Don’t stress if you have problems, but seek out help. It gets easier with time.” – Nalan

Read more: Breastfeeding problems solved>

Did you know?
Your baby would have an excellent chance of survival if he were born now. Babies born prematurely between week 34 and 37 of pregnancy have almost the same chance of survival and good health as those born full-term. During the first few weeks, they usually only need help to stay warm and get enough calories. Babies born before 34 weeks of pregnancy may be less mature functionally — their kidneys, lungs, and muscles may not work as well as those of full-term babies, so they have a lower survival rate and may require special care.

Read more: Support system for premature babies>

Can my partner cut the umbilical cord?
Yes! He can also hold the baby the moment he’s born, even before he has been cleaned up. If you and your partner have any special wishes like these, discuss them with your caregiver and write them down in your birth plan, which you can bring with you to your hospital or birthing centre so the staff knows what you want, even if your caregiver is away.

Read more: Umbilical cord care>

Labour day tips: expect the unexpected
It’s impossible to predict how your labour’s going to go, but it is helpful to learn about the different things that could happen so you don’t panic if things go in a different direction than you expected.

Read more: 9 steps to a better labour>

Originally posted in October 2011.