Your Pregnancy Week 34

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Learn about 

your symptoms and changes during the 34th week of pregnancy.

Your Baby

By pregnancy week 34 your baby weighs in at almost 4.7 pounds and may be 17.7 inches long!

Changes in Your Growing Baby

Your baby spends most of her time filling out. Your baby's primary job from now on is growing and adding meat to her bones. Keep in mind that the weight your baby will gain will depend on a number of factors. The weight gain estimates provided are just estimates. Most babies will be born between six and ten whopping pounds. Most will measure 19-21 inches, but this will vary from baby to baby. Each baby is unique and different and special in their own way.
Estimating the weight of your baby may prove challenging as you continue your through your pregnancy. Many women hope to get an estimate about how big their baby is via ultrasound in the final weeks of pregnancy. Truthfully however, this estimate can be off by a pound or more!
There are many reasons weight prediction is so challenging. It is difficult to guess how much a baby will weigh when you consider the weight of the amniotic fluid and placenta. Ultrasound while helpful may still measure a baby incorrectly. An ultrasound can be helpful however for estimating your baby's size and weight. Your doctor will usually measure the diameter of your baby's head, the circumference of your baby's head and the size of your baby's abdomen to get an idea of how large your baby will be during delivery. At best however, this is only an estimate!

Your Body's Development

Your uterus measures roughly 5.6 inches from the top of your belly button. You make find however that you look larger or smaller than other pregnant women who are at the same stage of pregnancy as you are. Each woman tends to carry her baby a bit differently. Keep in mind the size of your abdomen generally does not necessarily correspond to your baby's size. Some women measuring very small or looking small will still have very large babies!

Changes in Your Body

You might start feeling a bit uncomfortable and anxious to meet your tiny baby. Some women start feeling anxious about delivery around this time. Others worry that their baby may not be able to fit through the birth canal. Fortunately most babies have no difficulty fitting through their mother's pelvis, even if your pelvis is small. If you do have concerns your healthcare provider can provide you with guidance to predict whether or not your baby is too big to fit through your pelvis. Usually this diagnosis is not bade until delivery though, as your doctor assesses how well your baby fits into your pelvis.
Petite women are just as capable of delivering large babies as larger women. Many petite women have delivered babies weighing in at eight pounds or more. So don't panic just because you are small. You can do it!

The same is true of larger women. Some onlookers have an annoying habit of pointing out how large some women are growing. Just because you are large doesn't mean you will have a 12 pound baby. Relax. Most babies know just how big to grow to fit through their mother's birth canal.

Sometime after 34 weeks pregnant you may notice Braxton Hicks contractions and that your baby has dropped lower in your belly. This is a process whereby your baby's head enters the birth canal to prepare for delivery. For first time mothers this can happen a few weeks before delivery. For second or more time moms, this sometimes doesn't happen until right before birth. You may notice this happens when your abdomen looks lower or when it suddenly becomes easier to breathe. Most women welcome dropping as a sign they are approaching delivery.

Video: What to Expect from the 34th Week of Pregnancy



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