34 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your third trimester

    34 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your third trimester
    Updated 25 August 2023 |
    Published 24 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Dr. Charlsie Celestine
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Charlsie Celestine, Obstetrician and gynecologist, New Jersey, US
    Written by Kate Hollowood
    Edited by Sarah Biddlecombe
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    From breast changes to birth terms, here’s the lowdown on being 34 weeks pregnant.

    At 34 weeks pregnant, you may be getting used to life in your third trimester. But you’re probably also wondering what to expect this week and in the important weeks ahead. Scroll down to learn about the possible pregnancy symptoms you might experience at 34 weeks, with advice from a Flo expert, as well as the exciting new milestones your baby is reaching. 

    Your baby at 34 weeks pregnant

    Getting stronger bones

    At 34 weeks, your baby’s bones are continuing to harden. Their skull will remain softer, though, to make birth easier. In fact, your baby will be born with two soft spots in the skull to help the birthing process. The smaller spot will close by the time your little one is two to three months old, and the larger spot will close around the time they’re 18 months.  

    Baby may have descending testicles

    This week your baby may also have descending testicles — if they’re a boy, that is! Most male baby’s testicles will have fully descended by the time they’re three to six months old.

    How big is a baby at 34 weeks?

    Length (crown to heel): 45.2 cm or 17.8  in.

    Weight: 2.4 kg or 5.2 lbs.

    Equivalent to a butternut squash 

    ​​All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.

    Your body at 34 weeks pregnant

    Breast changes

    Your breasts may feel sore at 34 weeks pregnant, though this symptom is not unique to this week (they may also feel enormous to you at this stage, too). In fact, breast changes can happen throughout pregnancy - as you may already know! 


    Frustrating but true: constipation is a symptom that can occur throughout your pregnancy. Our Flo expert explains more. “Constipation during pregnancy is likely related to increased progesterone levels, which can lead to decreased bowel motility,” explains Dr. Jenna Beckham, Obstetrician and gynecologist, WakeMed, North Carolina, US.

    Dr. Beckham continues: “Constipation may also result from decreased physical activity, diets low in fiber, decreased water consumption, or taking iron supplementation. Pregnant people who experience constipation should increase dietary fiber and fluid intake and can use stool softeners or laxatives.”

    It’s best to speak to your doctor if constipation is bothering you, especially before taking any medications. They’ll be able to confirm the best way to treat it.

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    Your questions answered

    How many months is 34 weeks pregnant?

    It can be confusing trying to calculate 34 weeks of pregnancy in months, so we’ll save you the headache (you’ve got enough on your plate, after all). At this stage, you’re considered to be nine months pregnant. Your 10th month will start in a few weeks, from 37 weeks pregnant, and during this final month you could go into labor at any time!  

    Is 34 weeks safe for delivery?

    “If there is a medical reason for delivery at 34 weeks, these babies will often do well and survive,” says Dr. Beckham. “This is still considered preterm, and babies born at 34 weeks need to be delivered in a hospital that has a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) where they will likely need to stay for several weeks after birth.”

    The thought of your baby being in intensive care can be understandably distressing, but know that doing so will give them the extra care and support they need during this time. 

    What should I expect at 34 weeks pregnant?

    You may well be feeling so tired at the moment that you’re finding work more difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help if you need it, or to work from home and avoid a tiring commute if you can. 

    At the same time, some women experience relief from other pregnancy symptoms around this time. This is because your baby might be starting to move down into your pelvis to get in position for birth, in a gradual process called “engagement”. The baby’s new position can free up space in your belly, which can ease symptoms like breathlessness and heartburn. While not everyone experiences this relief, it can make for a welcome change if you do. 

    34 weeks pregnant checklist

    Get phosphorous

    Phosphorus is an important mineral for all adults, not just when you’re pregnant]. Not only is phosphorous vital for bone health, but it also supports your nerves and muscles. So to keep you and your baby in optimum health, make sure you’re getting the recommended 700 mg a day.  

    You can get phosphorus from foods, with the richest sources including: 

    • Dairy
    • Red meat
    • Poultry
    • Seafood
    • Legumes
    • Nuts

    You can also take phosphorous as a supplement. Just remember to always chat to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement or medication when you’re pregnant. 

    Understand labor and birth terms

    This is a great time to embrace your inner science nerd and learn about the various labor and birth terms. From an epidural (a pain relief injection) to a tocometry (external monitoring of contractions), learning some of the medical terms surrounding birth can help you feel as prepared as possible for what’s to come. Don’t worry if the thought of this feels too daunting though — your health care provider will be with you to explain all the important terms along the way. 

    When to consult a doctor at 34 weeks pregnant

    Right now, you may be having a prenatal checkup with your doctor every two weeks. In the final month of your pregnancy, from 36 weeks onwards, this may increase to every week. However, how often you see your doctor will depend on where you live, as well as what you and your doctor decide is right for you and your baby. 

    You don’t need to wait until your appointment if you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy. However, at 33 weeks pregnant, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience: 

    This isn’t an exhaustive list and just an example of some of the changes you should look out for. Some of these can be a sign of health complications, so it’s essential that you speak to your doctor about the best next step for you. And if you’re ever worried about any other symptoms you experience during pregnancy, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider. 

    Preeclampsia symptoms

    One of the conditions to be mindful of is preeclampsia, which can appear as early as 20 weeks into your pregnancy. First of all, know that severe preeclampsia is very rare, and affects just 1–2% of pregnancies, while mild preeclampsia affects just 6%. But as it can be serious and even life threatening, it’s important to know the signs of preeclampsia, just in case. 

    High blood pressure is thought to be one of the defining features of preeclampsia, and your doctor will test you for this. The other preeclampsia symptoms for you to look out for include: 

    • Severe headaches
    • Changes in vision
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Shortness of breath, due to fluid in the lungs 
    • Pain in the upper belly
    • Sudden swelling, specifically of your face and hands

    Many of these preeclampsia symptoms mirror other normal symptoms at this stage, so it can be hard to know the difference. The best thing to do is to contact your health care provider immediately if you have any of the symptoms listed above, and to keep reaching out to them if you have concerns about your pregnancy. 

    Your health care provider may also discover the following signs of preeclampsia via routine tests: 

    • Excess protein in your urine, or other signs of kidney problems
    • Fewer platelets in your blood
    • A great number of liver enzymes, indicating liver problems

    As scary as it can be to discover that you have preeclampsia, most cases can be managed safely by your doctor and the condition improves soon after birth. So if you are diagnosed with it, try not to panic. Your health care provider will monitor you carefully and may give you medication to treat any complications. If your preeclampsia isn’t that severe, your health care provider may decide to deliver your baby after 37 weeks. If you do have severe preeclampsia, they may want to deliver your baby earlier, before 37 weeks. So stay vigilant for the signs of preeclampsia, but remember that the likelihood is that everything will be absolutely fine. 

    34 weeks pregnant: The takeaway

    Being 34 weeks pregnant can not only be physically tiring, but you may feel emotionally exhausted too. It’s natural to be anxious as you head into the final weeks of your pregnancy, or overwhelmed about what’s in store for the weeks ahead. Remember to go easy on yourself, and that soon it will all be worth it when you get to finally meet your little one. 


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    History of updates
    Current version (25 August 2023)
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Charlsie Celestine, Obstetrician and gynecologist, New Jersey, US
    Written by Kate Hollowood
    Edited by Sarah Biddlecombe
    Published (24 February 2019)
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