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When you’re 34 weeks pregnant, your baby’s weight could range from 4.7 to 5 pounds and his length could be somewhere between 17 and 18 inches. It may seem as though he's moving less frequently as his growing body presses up against your uterus. This week, your baby’s brain is continuing to develop, and he may turn head-down in preparation for birth. Braxton Hicks or "practice" contractions are an early sign that the big day is getting closer. Between now and then, there’s a lot more in store, so catch up on what’s going on this week.

34 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

While parents-to-be are busy preparing for the new addition to the family, babies are also getting ready for the big day. Here are some of the ways in which your baby is developing:

  • Blue eyes. Even if your baby will be born with dark eyes, this week, his eyes are likely to be blue, due to the developing levels of pigment. Your baby’s eye color could change before birth and may continue to change until he’s about 1 or 2.

  • Developing brain. Your baby’s brain continues to develop in these late weeks of pregnancy.

  • Cramped quarters. Your baby is growing bigger now, which means that it’s starting to feel a little cramped in there. As a result, you may not feel your baby moving around so much, though you might feel (and sometimes see) an elbow, an arm, or a foot pushing against your uterus.

  • Head down. Your baby may also move into a head-down position in preparation for birth. Don’t worry, though, if this hasn’t happened yet – your doctors will be able to advise you on the next steps.

  • Baby nails. Your baby's fingernails are likely to have reached his fingertips.

  • Making the drop. If you’re expecting a little boy, his testicles are starting to drop from his abdomen into his scrotum. Sometimes, one or both of the testicles fail to move before birth; if that's the case, they’ll likely drop before your baby reaches his first birthday. Also, don’t worry if you notice your baby has a large scrotum immediately after birth. This swelling − due to extra fluid − will go away in a week or two.

pregnancy week 34 fetus

34 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Some of the pregnancy symptoms you might be experiencing now include:

  • Enlarged breasts. As you head toward the last few weeks of the third trimester, your breasts might become fuller, stretching the skin and becoming itchy. To stay comfortable, you'll want to wear the right-sized maternity bra. Make sure you get properly fitted by an expert – many specialty underwear shops and department stores have staff on hand who can help. Keep in mind that you might need a size or strap adjustment several times during your pregnancy.

  • Stretch marks. As your belly and breasts grow, your skin stretches, and you may notice stretch marks. You can't make them go away, but you can soothe your skin by applying a moisturizing lotion. This might also help reduce the itchiness you might be feeling.

  • Braxton Hicks contractions. At 34 weeks pregnant, you may sometimes feel a sensation like cramping or a contraction. If these contractions are irregular and go away when you move or change positions, then they may simply be practice contractions, which are called Braxton Hicks. These contractions are not the real deal; they simply help your body prepare for labor.

  • Back pain. You might feel some lower-back pain at 34 weeks from the extra weight you’re carrying and as a result of the pregnancy hormones that relax your ligaments, muscles, and joints in preparation for childbirth.

If you’re expecting twins, then the chances are higher (50 percent for twins and 90 percent for triplets) that you will go into preterm labor, so keep an eye out for any signs of labor, and contact your doctor if you think you’re going into labor prematurely.

Wondering what month of pregnancy you’re in? You’re in about the seventh month of pregnancy, and at 34 weeks pregnant you are in your third trimester.

FAQ at 34 Weeks

Should I make a birth plan?

Although having a birth plan may help you feel more prepared for the big day, it’s not a necessity. You can always discuss the options and your wishes with your healthcare provider and your partner. If you do have a birth plan, you may want to review it again with your provider as you approach “labor day.”

What should I pack in my hospital bag?

Make sure your hospital bag is packed nice and early and that it's filled with the must-haves and nice-to-haves for yourself, your partner, and your newborn baby. Follow our comprehensive hospital bag checklist to ensure you have everything you’ll need.

What essentials will I need for my newborn?

You still have time to get all the essential baby gear you’ll need, including items for the nursery, for bath time, and for when you’re out and about with your little one.

34 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Keep a close watch for the signs of labor. Although you may not be due for a few more weeks, if you notice regular contractions at increasingly short intervals, lower-back pain accompanied by menstrual-like cramps, water breaking, or a blood-tinged mucous discharge, contact your doctor immediately.

Consider taking a class in infant CPR, breastfeeding, or any other area of baby care you’d like to learn more about.

Plot and time your route to the hospital, and practice getting there.

Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips.

34 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Keep a close watch for the signs of labor. Although you may not be due for a few more weeks, if you notice regular contractions at increasingly short intervals, lower-back pain accompanied by menstrual-like cramps, water breaking, or a blood-tinged mucous discharge, contact your doctor immediately.

Consider taking a class in infant CPR, breastfeeding, or any other area of baby care you’d like to learn more about.

Plot and time your route to the hospital, and practice getting there.

Sign up to get weekly pregnancy tips