Your Body at 34 Weeks Pregnant
At this point, your big belly and softer joints (thank you, relaxin) will often make you waddle more when you walk. Be careful, as you are now more prone to fall and bump into things. To lighten your mood, read about the laughable embarrassing pregnancy moments other moms have experienced, here.
Your Baby at 34 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is now about 18 inches (46 cm) in size, about the length of a branch of celery, and weighs about five pounds (2.25 kg). He continues to gain weight. His lungs are developing; they still are not completely functional. His fingernails have fully grown and reach the end of the fingertips. At this stage, if he’s born early, your baby will usually do very well.
Checklist at 34 Weeks Pregnant
Group B Strep Test: At 35-36 weeks, your rectum and vaginal area will be swabbed with a special cotton swab to look for the presence of a common bacteria called Group B Strep (GBS). If you have this bacteria, you’ll be given intravenous antibiotics during labor to prevent the transmission to your newborn.
Perineal massage: If you’re choosing to do perineal massage, it’s time to begin.
Hospital Registration: It’s also time to register at the hospital or birth center where you will be delivering. Take a tour; you’ll feel more comfortable when you arrive on the big day.
Birth Plan: Finish your birth plan and remember that no birth goes exactly according to plan. The most important plan you can have is to be kind to yourself however your birth experience turns out. Remember: you are one amazing woman: you’ve created a baby.
Pack Your Hospital Bag: Here are ideas from other moms. Don’t forget the champagne, bubbly cider or sparkling water!
Choose a Pediatrician: Your baby should have a pediatrician prior to delivery, so ask for recommendations and make sure that the pediatrician you choose is accepting new patients. Your pediatrician should not only be someone with great credentials, but someone you’ll feel comfortable talking to about your child in the years to come. For five things moms say to look for in a pediatrician, read our article, here.
Install your infant car seat: Contact your local police station, fire station, or hospital to see if any of these locations can provide someone to check the installation of your infant car seat. The installation is harder than it seems and it’s worth a double check. Remember, the hospital won’t let you leave without an infant car seat for your baby.
WIC: Sign up for the U.S. Government Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program if you’re planning to use it.
Maternity Leave: If you’re working, it’s time to think about your maternity leave, if you haven’t already. Make sure to check in with your human resources department. Your health care provider will need to fill out some of the forms, so be sure to give her office plenty of time. Here’s advice from other moms about how to prepare for maternity leave gracefully as well as what to expect and plan for when you decide to go back to work.
Umbilical Cord Blood Storage: Now would be a good time to talk with your partner and your doctor about the option of umbilical cord blood storage.
Circumcision: If you’re having a boy, decide if you are going to have him circumcised and let your health care provider know.
Tubal Ligation and Birth Control: If you’re planning to have a tubal ligation, let your health care provider know and sign the necessary forms. Otherwise, think about which type of birth control might be right for you after delivering. Here’s a list of safe birth control for nursing moms.