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Week 34 of Pregnancy

Written by Amina Hatia RM
Medically reviewed by Marley Hall BA RM Diphe
March 08, 2022

With 6 weeks (maybe a few less or more depending on when baby decides to arrive) left of your pregnancy, you should ideally start thinking about creating your birth plan and preparing for the labour and birth. 

The best way of preparing is being informed and organised.  If you haven’t already, this is a great time to start antenatal classes, such as our twice weekly course or one of our intensive weekend courses.  These classes which are live and interactive and run by our midwives who are all working in birth centres and maternity units across the UK, are there to provide you with all of the information you need to understand the labour and birthing process, the different ways you can give birth, what to expect, when you are in labour and what your options are at each stage.

This can then help you prepare your birth plan that is unique to you – and help you get organised with finding out what’s available locally, deciding on a birth partner, packing your labour and birth bag and even shopping for baby.  

You may also want to start thinking about preparing for the first few weeks with a baby – whilst you have the energy, plan ahead with a freezer of food that you can reheat when your arms are full as well as getting a regular food delivery or knowing who can help you with that too.  This will help you feel a little calmer, less stressed and readier for baby’s arrival.

How big is my baby at 34 weeks?

By the end of this week your baby will have grown to the size of a cantaloupe melon, weighing just over 2 kilograms and measuring around 44.5 centimetres from top to toe.

What happens in week 34 of pregnancy?

As your baby gets closer to 37 weeks which is considered a term pregnancy, they will continue to fill out and look chubbier. Around 34 weeks your baby will have also developed something called ‘brown fat’ which is a special type of fat that will help keep your baby warm straight after birth.  

Your baby will continue to find a comfy space inside you – most babies will be in a head down position by now and feeling lower down too.  Soon they will be getting ready to enter the bony pelvis, but some may already be very close and putting extra pressure on your pelvic area and bladder.

Week 34 pregnancy symptoms

Back Pain – As your pregnancy progresses and that lovely baby of yours continues to grow and get bigger, you may start to experience lower back pain.  This is caused by a combination of factors, the extra weight of your growing uterus and baby, how you are sitting and moving at this stage in your pregnancy and the release of relaxin – a hormone that causes the softening and loosening of your joints and the relaxing of ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. 

The position the baby is lying in can have an effect too – if your baby is lying with their back towards your back, there is some extra pressure there too causing lower back pain.

Back pain won’t cause your baby any distress, but can affect you with sitting, sleeping and moving around.  Speak to your midwife to find out what the cause is and get advice on what you can do to relieve the pressure too.

Week 34 pregnancy tips

  • If you have persistent lower back pain, search for some exercises on helping baby into a more comfortable position for you and an optimal position for birth.
  • Doing some stretches, moving around a bit more, trying out swimming or pregnancy yoga can also help relieve back pain.
  • Massage is a really great tool in helping you feel more relaxed and help with common pregnancy aches such as back pain.  Get your birth partner involved to apply gentle but firm pressure on your lower back, it can help at this stage in pregnancy and is good practice for labour too.