Welcome to Scary Mommy’s pregnancy week by week guide! We’re here to give you all the info about what to expect when you’re expecting: be it pregnancy week by week symptoms, your baby’s development, your changing body, or ultrasounds and appointments. Here’s everything you need to know about week 34.
Your Body at Week 34 Pregnant
Your Belly Button Is Poppin’
Your belly isn’t the only thing poppin’ right now! The top of your uterus can now be felt approximately 5 ½ inches above your belly button, which may have transformed from an innie (or innie outie) to a full-blown outie. Just think of it as your turkey timer telling you that the little baby bird in your belly is almost done cooking. A word of warning, though: Your newly-protruding belly button can be extremely sensitive. If it bothers you, use a band-aid to cushion it.
Things Are Getting Hairy
You’d heard your hair would feel thicker, grow faster, and look more lustrous during pregnancy. But you may not have realized that you’ll likely be sprouting hair, well, everywhere. Per Dr. Jacques Moritz, an OB-GYN at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, hair can pop out “around the nipples, more hair on the head and everywhere in general due to the hormones” (via Today).
Since your belly makes it hard to maneuver, shaving isn’t always a viable option. It goes without saying there’s nothing wrong with letting your hair do its thing during pregnancy, wherever it decides to do it. If it bothers you, though, ask your partner or a trusted friend to help you de-hair.
Your Baby at Week 34 Pregnant
Your Baby Is a Waxy Little Bag of Chips
You’ve probably been joking that it looks like you swallowed a melon, and you’re not too far from the truth. Currently, baby is somewhere around 17 ½ inches long and weighs between 5 to 5 ½ pounds — meaning they’re about the size of a family-sized bag of chips. Your little one is now covered in a waxy, cheese-like substance called vernix caseosa. This coating helps keep baby’s skin safe and well-moisturized until the great escape. Baby will be born with the sticky stuff, but it will wash off with their first bath.
The Great Testicle Migration Continues
If your baby’s sex is male, his testicles will continue to make their way down from the abdomen to the scrotum this week. Bilateral descent occurs in most male fetuses from 30 to 39 weeks, although around three to four percent of baby boys are born with undescended testicles — a condition called cryptorchidism. Most of the time, the testicles will drop down on their own before the baby is six months old.
Baby’s Getting Hiccups
As your baby continues to grow and their body prepares for birth, you might be feeling occasional spasms in your womb. Don’t panic, first-time mamas; your baby probably just has the hiccups! Your baby’s central nervous system is maturing, and hiccuping in utero is a good indication things are moving right along as planned. As your baby practices breathing, amniotic acid will flow through their lungs. This can make the diaphragm contract spontaneously, causing fetal hiccups.
Your Symptoms and Health at Week 34 Pregnant
You Know the Drill
In your third trimester, you might feel like a pro when it comes to pregnancy symptoms. So, we probably don’t have to tell you that 34 weeks pregnant symptoms echo the last few weeks. You might be experiencing increased fatigue, constipation (and pregnancy hemorrhoids, ugh), swelling, bloating and gas, Braxton Hicks, increased vaginal discharge, and backaches. As always, it’s important to talk to your OB if you have any concerns. Listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to speak up if any of your “routine” symptoms feel off.
Pressure, Pressing Down on You
In the immortal words of David Bowie, you’ve got that pressure, pressing down on you. And by you, we clearly mean your pelvis. As baby settles down lower in preparation for birth, you might feel a nagging sense of pressure in your pelvic area. You know what that means, right? Even more trips to the bathroom! At this point, someone should give you one of those reward punch cards where, for every tenth time you go to the bathroom, you get a free foot massage.
It’s All a Blur
Looking back, it might feel like pregnancy has flown by in a blur of baby books, birthing classes, body aches, and belly measurements. But, to be honest, you might find it blurry looking forward, too. Or any direction for that matter. Thanks to things like insomnia, hormones, and fluid buildup, your vision might actually be blurry. It’s annoying, sure, but this typically proves to be a temporary pregnancy symptom.
Having said that, if the blurry vision is accompanied by pronounced swelling in your body, a headache, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary, call your doctor. You could be exhibiting symptoms of preeclampsia.
Your twins are weighing in at around 5 pounds each, so nobody could blame you for wanting to lie down all the time. If you haven’t yet been put on bedrest, make sure you’re taking things easy at work or in your baby-planning.
On top of all the usual symptoms, swelling might be causing your feet to join the list of aches that your back, hips and pelvis are already on. Taking a nice long bath with Epsom salt might offer some relief. Elevating your feet can also help with swelling in the leg area, so when you’re home: put your feet up!
The contents of this article have been medically reviewed by Ruth A. Tessler, M.D. in July, 2019.
Written by Julie Sprankles.
Follow Preggo Nancy’s pregnancy journey week-by-week and share in her joy, her symptoms, and even her pregnancy cravings.