Your Baby is the size of a


This week, your baby might be starting to get into the head-down position and moving down into the pelvis - the big day is fast approaching! Are you feeling the urge to get everything clean and ready for your little one’s arrival? That’s called nesting, and it’s totally normal! It’s also time to consider perineal massages as these gently stretch your perineum and can help to reduce the chance of significant tearing during labour.

Week 34

Length : 44.9 cm

Weight : 2.13 kg

Week 34
Length : 44.9 cm
Weight : 2.13 kg

Your Baby is the size of a


This week, your baby might be starting to get into the head-down position and moving down into the pelvis - the big day is fast approaching! Are you feeling the urge to get everything clean and ready for your little one’s arrival? That’s called nesting, and it’s totally normal! It’s also time to consider perineal massages as these gently stretch your perineum and can help to reduce the chance of significant tearing during labour.

Starting to get ready for take-off, if you have an organised baby, they may be starting to get into the correct position and be moving lower down into the pelvis. This is called 'engagement' and results in you having more space in your abdomen and your lungs being less squished - you can finally breathe! You may even be able to put the heartburn tablets away as your heartburn settles a little.

Some of the growth your little one will have experienced this week, will be things such as having nearly complete fingernails and if it's a boy, his scrotum will now be fully formed, and his testicles are slowly making their way down to their final destination. Baby is now around 45cm long and nearly 2.2kg.


For your body, a somewhat more unwanted change may be underway, stretch marks! Unfortunately, it is estimated that at least 1 in 2 women get them, however, these marks do not stay as vivid as they start out, but fade over time. It may be worth keeping your skin moisturised morning and night, drink lots of water, and manage your eating habits to avoid rapid weight gain.

One thing you could consider starting at this stage in the pregnancy would be perineal massage. These massages gently stretch your perineum. By doing these massages, you can help in reducing the chances of significant tearing during labour.

Another thing you may be experiencing at this stage is some changes to your vision and should be reported immediately to your midwife. This is because of those annoying pregnancy hormones, and it can cause a variety of different changes to your sight. Some of these changes could include blurry vision, more near/farsighted than usual and less ability to tear up/cry.

These changes are only temporary; however, it may be more comfortable to wear glasses rather than contact lenses during this time. One thing to keep in mind, is that some more serious vision changes can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, so be sure to mention any changes to your doctor or midwife to make sure you are properly checked and okay.         

Below is a list of pregnancy symptoms commonly experienced during week 34.

Constipation and/or Haemorrhoids: In week 34, constipation might be getting worse again due to the pressure of the growing uterus on the intestines. This can lead to haemorrhoids, which are swollen blood vessels in the rectal area, causing discomfort and sometimes bleeding during bowel movements. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and try to get some more fibre into your diet if you’re suffering from this. Head here for more on constipation during pregnancy.

Increased Vaginal Discharge: As your body prepares for labour, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. This discharge, called leukorrhea, is usually thin and milky and helps to protect the birth canal from infection. Here’s everything to know about vaginal discharge.

Stretch Marks: By week 34, your abdomen has likely expanded significantly to accommodate your growing baby, resulting in stretch marks. These pink, red, or purple streaks on the skin occur due to the stretching of the underlying tissues. They’re completely normal, but keeping up with moisturising or using stretch mark cream can help reduce the appearance.

Nesting: As your due date approaches, you may experience bursts of energy and an overwhelming urge to prepare for your baby's arrival. This nesting instinct can involve organising the nursery, washing baby clothes, and tidying up the home in week 34. Don’t attempt anything too energy-intensive!

Sweating: Hormonal changes and increased blood flow can lead to excess sweating, particularly at night. This is your body's way of regulating its temperature during pregnancy. Consider having a cool flannel to hand by the side of the bed if you’re suffering from this. Here’s how to keep cool during pregnancy.

Heartburn: As your baby grows, the uterus puts pressure on your stomach, leading to heartburn. This uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus. Here’s more on heartburn during pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks: You may experience more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions in week 34, or experience them for the first time. These practice contractions help prepare your uterus for labour by toning the muscles, but they are typically irregular and less intense than real contractions. Here’s more on what to expect from contractions.

Interrupted Sleep: Discomfort from heartburn, backaches, and frequent bathroom trips, can disrupt your sleep patterns in week 34, leaving you feeling fatigued during the day. Try to limit your water intake before bed if bathroom trips are keeping you up.

Swelling or Bloating: Swelling, especially in the feet and ankles, is common in the third trimester due to increased fluid retention. Bloating may also persist as the uterus continues to expand, putting pressure on the digestive organs. Be easy on yourself, and try elevating your feet in the evenings to ease the swelling. Here’s how to reduce ankle swelling.

Crazy Dreams: Hormonal changes and subconscious anxieties about labour and motherhood may contribute to vivid and sometimes bizarre dreams during pregnancy, especially during these weeks. Here’s a guide to pregnancy dreams.

Remember, every pregnancy is different, and not everyone will experience the same symptoms. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to your midwife or GP.

Install the car seat this week! Since a lot of new parents install their car seat incorrectly, be sure to review the car seat instruction manual and your car’s owner's manual and correctly follow both. 

Head here for our guide to car seat safety.

Are you thinking of breastfeeding? Though breast milk is naturally good for your baby, breastfeeding your baby may not come so naturally. Your breastmilk contains the perfect amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein needed in order for your little one to grow and develop. Your breast milk even protects your baby from bacteria and viruses, as it is rich in antibodies.

Preparing for Birth

Over the course of your pregnancy, you've probably imagined your labour and delivery going many different ways. Or maybe you've avoided thinking about the fact that this baby, who keeps getting bigger, will have to get out of your body somehow or another. Either way, you're getting close to the time where things start to happen.

Most women will progress through each stage of labour and experience a vaginal delivery successfully. But for some women, progress through the stages of labour doesn’t naturally occur. This, and other factors, determine a necessity for a caesarean. Be prepared because labor can change in an instant. The medication-free, natural labor you envisioned might become an emergency c-section, with you under general anaesthetic. No matter what turns may come, your midwife is there to assist you in reaching the desired outcome, which is a healthy baby and mother.

Some women feel guilty if they don't see childbirth as the magical experience they imagined. Instead, they are just glad to have it over with and want to go to sleep. Other mothers may feel guilty because their labour didn't progress, and they had a c-section. They feel as if their body has failed them, and they mourn the delivery they thought they would have. Women who deliver premie babies often wonder if there was something that they could have done differently to avoid an early birth, and the accompanying NICU time. It can be difficult to let go of this guilt.

As you prepare for delivery, try to keep an open mind about the experience. It is wonderful to envision what will take place, to stay involved and make a birth plan. But you should try to give yourself an allowance for what might happen. You might find that labouring without an epidural is much more painful than you ever imagined and opt for the pain medication. You may find that after 24 hours of labor, with no progress, you are ready to discuss a c-section.

Be ready to let things happen. A don't forget to write in your pregnancy journal.

At a Glance

  • Getting into position: Baby might be moving down into the pelvis this week. This is called ‘engagement’.
  • Finishing touches: Final parts, like their tiny fingernails, are forming this week!
  • Setting the stage: Consider getting the car seat installed and baby’s sleeping environment ready this week.
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Louise Broadbridge

Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a registered senior midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby antenatal classes and the face behind instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have taught over 100,000 expectant parents since starting my antenatal classes which have 5* reviews.

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The information on the Your Baby Club website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always discuss any health concerns with a qualified healthcare provider and carefully review all guidance that comes with any medications or supplements before taking.