Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 34

Your Baby will Arrive in 6 Weeks! Are You Ready?

At week 34 of pregnancy, you should begin preparations for labor including toning exercises and perineal massage. Your baby weighs about 2200 grams.

With only 6 weeks left to your pregnancy, this is no doubt a time that you might be trying to wind down from the busy-ness of last minute preparations. Be sure you take the time to get plenty of rest as you prepare for your baby’s arrival. Let’s take a peak at what is happening with you and your baby this week.

What is happening with Your Baby?At week 34 of pregnancy, your baby weighs about 2200 grams (about 4 1/2 pounds) and is approximately 33 cm (almost 13 inches) in length.

As your baby begins to get bigger, he will start to get into position for labor. If this is your first baby, he is likely be head down and in your pelvis already. This is a great time to start to identify the position of your baby and if she is favoring certain positions in your pelvis. You may even be able to tell if your baby’s head is down but also if she is lying face up (occiput posterior) or if her head is in a sideways position (also known as occiput transverse.) If your baby is in a less than optimal position, it can be great to learn ways of turning or rotating a posterior baby before your your due date arrives.

If your provider has identified that your baby is in a breech position, this is a good stage of pregnancy to turn your baby into a head down (vertex) position.

What is happening with You?Your body’s production of extra blood volume to sustain your pregnancy and nourish your baby finally reaches its peak levels in week 34 of pregnancy.

In your last 6 weeks of pregnancy, you can begin to add some toning exercises to your daily activities to get your body ready for the physical demands of labor.

Part of the physical preparation for labor should include doing perineal massage. This massage should begin at Week 34 of pregnancy and continue daily until your baby is born. Research shows that primips (first time mothers) can increase their chance of an intact perineum by doing prenatal perineal massage in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Many expectant mothers find that this is most comfortable while in the shower.

In addition to performing perineal massage, you can talk to your provider about things your birth team can do to help you avoid an episiotomy or reduce the amount of tearing during your labor.

To Do List:

  1. Continue reading to prepare for birth and postpartum.
  2. Begin daily prenatal perineal massage.
  3. Add toning exercises for labor to your labor preparations.
  4. Missed out on childbirth classes? Try online classes.

Take a look at Week 35 just around the corner!