Week 34 of Your Pregnancy
From the 34th week of gestation, your child is theoretically viable. Around six weeks before birth, it’s mainly a matter of putting on the finishing touches and gaining weight and size. You will notice the latter by a belly that does not want to stop growing.
We will tell you tips and tricks for preparing for birth in this article.
Here you can find all of our 3rd trimester articles:
Development of the baby
The development of your baby’s senses is well advanced. In the 34th week of gestation, the baby’s hearing continues to refine. Especially at this stage of its development, your baby perceives high-pitched sounds particularly well.
It now listens attentively to music and voices and will remember the sound after birth. This familiar voice and musical tones will seem familiar to the newborn and will reassure him.
Calcium is introduced into the bones of your child’s skeleton, which ensures that the bone mass thickens. This causes them to become harder, more robust and therefore more stable. However, bone maturation is not fully complete at delivery. You should continue to support them with additional vitamin D. You can get the prescription from your pediatrician at the U examination. According to current recommendations, all newborns should receive daily vitamin D in the form of drops or tablets – until the second experienced spring. The lungs undergo a further maturation process, which makes them more stable and the function consistent.
The baby now has less and less space for extensive movements, which is why it turns from side to side in its entire mass.
If you are expecting twins, the space problem in the uterus for the two babies is even more massive and the movements even more intense due to the restriction. In the case of a twin pregnancy, because of the overlapping of the two bodies, it is difficult for the doctor to properly establish and visualize the rhythm of the two hearts. Ultrasound examinations present a special challenge.
In male children, the testicles move from the abdomen to the scrotum during the 34th week of gestation.
In the ultrasound, the scrotum usually appears particularly large at this time. This is due to water retention that has formed in the scrotum. Many boys still have a large, swollen-looking scrotum after birth. However, this appearance disappears after a few days of life.
Through an impulse that the baby receives, the child continues to gradually move into the birth position, which makes a normal and natural birth possible.
Back pain and shortness of breath are prevalent symptoms in the 34th week of gestation that you will surely struggle with. In about two weeks, you’ll begin to experience descending contractions, which will move the uterus with the baby deeper into the small pelvis. During this time, you may experience other symptoms, such as diarrhea or mild nausea. However, these symptoms will quickly subside.
You may already notice an unusual downward pressure. The weight of the baby is putting pressure on the pelvic floor. This pressure could increase again after the lower contractions because the baby then slides into the small pelvis. You can counteract this with gentle movements, such as pelvic rocking. This loosens the bony pelvic ring and the surrounding tissue, preventing tension in this area.
Descending labor or real labor?
Your clinic bag should be ready in a fixed place before the onset of the lowering contractions because many parents are not sure whether these are preterm contractions or real contractions. Time and again, first-time moms / first-time parents drive to the clinic unsure and are then usually sent home again with a “blind alarm”. In any case, however, this trip to the hospital is excellent practice for the real thing – the day of the actual birth.
You are now in the 34th week of pregnancy or in the ninth month of pregnancy, and you have less than 2 months left until you can finally hold your little miracle in your arms. Maybe you have already experienced the first contractions.
So, the 34th week of pregnancy is a good time to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of the onset of labor and techniques to relieve labor pains. The most common signs that the so-called opening stage of labor has already begun are:
- regular contractions that occur at increasingly shorter intervals and which are perceived as pain in the lower back and/or menstruation-like cramps
- “Leakage of amniotic fluid” (due to the rupture of the amniotic sac).
The order in which these birth signs occur is very individual. Every mother and every child are different, and so is every birth. Since everything never follows the same pattern, it is best to pay attention to all the listed symptoms.
Many pregnant women may experience these symptoms days or even weeks before birth. If you have any of these signs, you should see your doctor from the 34th week of pregnancy to rule out the possibility of premature birth.
By the way, the opening phase of birth is followed by the expulsion phase. As the name suggests, in this phase your baby will continue to come into the world through pressure contractions.
Start now: the perineal massage
Now you should prepare your body for birth with regular perineal massages. The massages serve to make the tissue in the perineal area more elastic. In this way, you can prevent birth injuries such as perineal tears or cuts. These cannot always be avoided. However, regular perineal massage can reduce possible damage. For the massage, rub a few drops of perineal massage oil between your index finger, middle finger, and thumb, and gently insert your thumb a little way into the vagina. Now massage the skin between the vagina and anus with both fingers and press gently with the thumb.
Raspberry leaf tea is also said to loosen the tissues and muscles. However, do not drink too much of it. 1 cup a day is enough. After one week of use, midwives recommend a week’s break.
34th week: What changes in you?
Can you still see your feet in the 34th week? You would think that your abdominal girth would have reached its maximum. But there’s still more to come. After all, the baby in your belly is still gaining weight in the 34th week.
The development in your abdomen is also noticeable externally: In some women, the shape of the abdomen changes as the baby turns. Sometimes the linea negra, a dark, harmless pigmentation that runs vertically from the belly button to the pubic bone, only appears now.
Around the 34th week, your navel also begins to change: It first becomes flattered and then bulges outward. You may find that this area hurts a little in the 34th week. This is because the skin is under so much tension. Because it’s starting to get very tight in your belly, the baby may be pressing on your gastrointestinal tract. Nausea could be one of the consequences – although not as severe as perhaps at the beginning of pregnancy.
In order to relieve the digestive system, you should only eat small meals – of which there can be a few more.
FAQ - 34th week of Pregnancy
Babies who are born after 34 weeks gestation have the same long-term health outcomes as babies who are delivered at full term (40 weeks). This means that if your baby is born when they are 34 weeks old, they have the same chances of being healthy as any other baby that wasn’t born prematurely.
Your baby’s brain is fully developed, and they might even be dreaming. Your wee one is getting pretty snug in there – they’re all curled up with their knees to their chest. They can still change position, so you’ll still be feeling baby move.
If you’re 34 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 8 of your pregnancy.