Welcome to the 34th week of your pregnancy journey, you are doing amazing so far! At this point, it is important to be consistent with your healthy daily routine. Keep eating healthy food, doing some pregnancy-friendly workouts. And most of all, make sure to keep your doctor and midwife updated with any changes in your routine or if you are feeling any different.
This is a very exciting time in your pregnancy as you can now see your baby’s arms and legs poking through your belly! It will feel a bit funny when you start seeing your own belly moving, but it only means that your baby is growing up nicely and is getting ready to meet you soon!
Your baby can now open and close his eyes according to his own sleeping schedule, you are probably now familiar with your baby’s busy schedule and have an idea of whether he will be awake or asleep at certain times of the day.
Your baby is now covered in a waxy or cheesy coating called the vernix, this coating will start to get thicker during this week before it starts to shed within the next few weeks.
Changes Happening in Your Body by Your 34th Week
By your 34th week, you will have some mixed feelings about what is going on inside you, mostly because your baby has changed his position to face head down into the pelvis which gives you a little more room to breathe!
This could mean the end of any sickening symptoms you may feel. This process is called “engagement” which helps to free up some extra space in your abdomen and gives your lungs some space to breathe.
This process helps reduce the pressure on your stomach as well and accordingly, relieves you of symptoms such as heartburn. This drop-down is known as “lightening” and it brings relief to most women at this stage of their pregnancies.
The only downside is that you might feel like going to the bathroom more than the usual and you might occasionally feel like walking is too much effort, however, this doesn’t mean that you are about to give birth, you might need to wait a few more weeks till your baby settles in his new position.
This is about the right time to think about your maternity leave, at this stage, you might find some difficulties going to work especially if you use public transport or if your job requires a lot of standing up.
Some women keep on working until it is time for them to give birth, which is absolutely fine and harmless as long as you are comfortable and not stressed at work. Some women choose to start their maternity leave 11 weeks before birth. However, if your baby comes earlier, your maternity leave starts automatically the day after you give birth.
Your maternity leave will also kick in automatically in case you had any pregnancy-related illness within the last four weeks of pregnancy before your baby is due.
Speak to your midwife, doctor, and partner about whether it is best to stay home and get some naps before your baby comes or is it better to go to work and be active. It differs from one woman to another, still, a mother knows what’s best at all times, listen to your body and if anything comes to your mind, don’t hesitate to speak to your midwife about it.
Your breasts might feel huge at this point, they could be also leaking some yellowish colostrum, this is early milk that is rich in antibodies, which will help protect your baby against plenty of diseases if you choose to go for breastfeeding. In case your breasts felt sore, try wearing a light bra through the night time to support them.
Symptoms of the 34th Week of Pregnancy
This week’s symptoms are almost the same as the past few weeks, although you might get some more Braxton hicks contractions or experience leaking breasts.
Your 34th week of pregnancy symptoms might include:
- Sleeping problems
- Baxton Hicks
- Bleeding gums
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Random pain around muscles
- Sore breasts
- Leg cramps
- Stretch marks
- Thicker hair
- Swollen gums
- Urine infection
- Bloating or constipation
- Spotty skin
- Feeling too warm
- Greasier skin
- Vaginal infection
- Thicker hair
Your Baby’s 34th Week Development
Your baby is rapidly growing in your womb, making it tighter and tighter in there, but you can still feel all of his kicks and movements. By your 34th week, your baby is now around 2.1kg in weight and is about 45cm in length from head to toe.
Your baby is now curled up inside your womb with his knees bent up against his chest. It sure feels very crowded in there, but still, you can see your baby shifting positions and moving his limbs.
If you are having a boy, his testicles will be descending from his abdomen into the scrotum. When he is born, his genitals might look swollen or enlarged, this is due to the extra fluids or due to a late rush of hormones. No need to panic though, it is completely normal and it goes away after a few days.
This Week’s Tips
Keep Your Eyes Hydrated
Your eyes might be feeling a bit more sensitive and dry than usual at this point of your pregnancy, to avoid that, keep the eye drops handy as well as your sunglasses, and most importantly, drink plenty of fluids.
Get & Install a Car Seat
Having a car seat for your infant is extremely important, make sure to have it installed as soon as you can as you get closer to your due date. Follow the right instructions to install it properly and test it first to make sure it won’t move around while you are driving.