34th week of pregnancy: changes in the baby and the mother

By (embryologist).
Last Update: 03/10/2023

The 34th week of gestation is part of the ninth month of pregnancy and the time of delivery is getting closer. The pregnant woman may feel nervous because she wants to hold her baby in her arms. In the case of a twin pregnancy, it is possible that a premature delivery may occur in the next few weeks.

The pregnant woman in her 34th week may feel pressure or discomfort in her upper abdomen. In addition, the woman may notice shortness of breath because the uterus is already 12 cm above the navel, so all the internal organs are displaced upwards.

Regarding the size of the baby at 34 weeks of gestation, its weight is approximately 2.2 kg and it measures 44 cm. The mother will be less aware of her baby's movements, as there is practically no space left inside the uterus.

Changes in the pregnant woman

As gestation progresses, the weight and volume of the belly increases. Therefore, as the probable date of delivery approaches, the pregnant woman will feel more and more tired and uncomfortable. The woman will have trouble sleeping and resting at night, and will feel pelvic pressure as the baby is wedged in.

In the final stretch of pregnancy and having reached the 34th week of gestation, it is normal for a woman to have some of the following discomforts:

  • Choking sensation.
  • Dizziness.
  • Gases
  • Slow and heavy digestions.
  • Uterine contractions.

In addition to all these symptoms, the woman may present with a condition called intercostal neuritis. It is a pain that does not stop caused by intercostal pressure exerted by the uterus on other intestinal organs. Normally, this pain affects the right area and it is recommended to apply heat, as well as to avoid lifting the arm.

Recommendations in the 34th week of pregnancy

When the pregnancy reaches its 34th week, the pregnant woman should not exert herself or stand for too long. It is important for the woman to save energy for the moment of delivery.

Pregnancy is a big change from a physical point of view. The whole organism adapts to this situation, but the cardiovascular and nervous systems may not be able to react correctly. For this reason, the woman may experience palpitations or feel dizzy if she makes sudden movements or exerts herself too much.

In the final stretch of pregnancy it is essential to pay attention to the formation of varicose veins in the legs. To prevent their appearance, it is advisable to massage the entire leg and feet to promote blood circulation. In addition, practicing exercises such as swimming or taking daily walks can be very beneficial.

What does the baby look like at 34 weeks gestation?

The fetus in the 34th week of pregnancy already has the appearance of a baby. In addition to having the head more proportionate to the rest of the body, it presents almost all the features of his little face. Many of the babies already have cheeks at 34 weeks gestation. Your skin is becoming pinker and is less wrinkled due to the accumulation of fat deposits.

It is able to distinguish between light and dark, it is bathed in a reddish clarity when you receive sunlight on the abdomen. Your baby can breathe and perform sucking and swallowing movements at the same time, which will allow him/her to feed on breast milk when he/she is born.

At the end of this week, the baby is about 44 cm long and weighs about 2,200-2,300 grams on average. If the baby's weight is between 1,750 and 2,900 grams, there is no need to be alarmed, as it is within the normal range.

On the other hand, the pregnant woman may not feel her baby's movements as much since she has less and less room in the uterus to move. In addition, the baby will be descending through the pelvis to prepare and come to the light.

Ultrasound at 34 weeks

Some specialists recommend performing the third trimester ultrasound when the 34th week of pregnancy is reached. Thanks to this ultrasound test, the baby's growth and the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby can be evaluated.

In addition, ultrasound of the third trimester of gestation makes it possible to observe how the placenta is and its degree of aging. This ultrasound will also make it possible to rule out certain anomalies and visualize structures that will provide information on the maturity of the fetus.

In the case of twin pregnancies, the 34th week ultrasound will establish whether there is going to be an earlier delivery time.

FAQs from users

Is it normal to have a lot of amniotic fluid in the 34th week of pregnancy?

By Marta Barranquero Gómez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

By the 34th week of pregnancy, the volume of amniotic fluid has usually increased. Normal amniotic fluid levels at this time of pregnancy are around 800 mL.

By the 41st week of pregnancy, for example, there is usually about 600 mL of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.

How is placental abruption treated before the 34th week of pregnancy?

By Marta Barranquero Gómez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

If the pregnant woman and baby are stable, it would be ideal to wait until 37-38 weeks of gestation to induce labour.

Otherwise, if any gestational complications are detected adjacent to placental abruption, such as fetal growth retardation, pre-eclampsia, abnormalities in the woman, etc., then it is advisable to induce labour.

If this situation occurs between the 23rd and 34th week, the pregnant woman will be given corticosteroids to help the baby's lungs mature. In addition, it is recommended that the woman remains in absolute rest.

Suggested for you

If you are 34 weeks pregnant, I'm sure you will find this article very useful in the near future: Pregnancy week 35: What does the baby look like and what are the symptoms?

On the other hand, ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy are essential. Therefore, we invite you to visit the following link to get all the details: How is fetal ultrasound in the first, second and third trimester?

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FAQs from users: 'Is it normal to have a lot of amniotic fluid in the 34th week of pregnancy?' and 'How is placental abruption treated before the 34th week of pregnancy?'.

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 Marta Barranquero Gómez
Marta Barranquero Gómez
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Graduated in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences by the University of Valencia (UV) and specialized in Assisted Reproduction by the University of Alcalá de Henares (UAH) in collaboration with Ginefiv and in Clinical Genetics by the University of Alcalá de Henares (UAH). More information about Marta Barranquero Gómez
License: 3316-CV

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