In pregnancy week 34, your little one is 17.7" long and weighs 4.7 pounds. Your baby will usually be having the head down and engaged in the pelvis nicely, and if not, will be getting into the right position. If your baby is not in a good position, you can learn to maneuver your little one to turn the head facing down. Your baby behaves like a newborn and can open the eyes when awake and close it when asleep. The fingernails have grown long and may need trimming soon after birth. If the baby is born in pregnancy week 34, there is a 95% probability of survival.
Your little one is not changing in anyway except putting on extra weight, which is necessary for survival outside the womb. The weight and the length given are only approximations of the average weight. Some babies are much heavier when born and some are much smaller. Usually by using an ultrasound, you can get a more precise weight for the baby. All other means of measurement can only give estimates that are off by nearly a pound.
At pregnancy week 34, the fundus is anywhere from five to six inches from the belly button. However, as you near labour, maybe a few days before, your little one's head will drop into the birth canal. Your tummy seems to have dropped too. It will ease your breathlessness, as you can breathe easy as the baby and uterus is not compressing your lungs anymore, because now there is more space in the upper regions of your tummy. However, when this happens you are going to feel pressure on your vagina, if the pressure is a lot, visit your doctor, so that he can check to see how low the head is.
You can discuss with your doctor whether you need an episiotomy that is an incision made from the vagina to the anus, to prevent the vagina from tearing when the baby is born. If the baby is big, this may be a good idea, but if a baby is small it may be able to make it through the expanded cervix, without this procedure. Episiotomies can create symptoms such as a higher risk of infection; an increase in blood loss during delivery; incontinence; lack of sexual sensation after delivery; pelvic muscles becoming weaker after delivery; an increase in the risk of a bad tear during delivery; and it takes much longer to heal.
Episiotomies are useful when the baby is in distress and needs to be delivered fast. To avoid episiotomy, gently massage the perineum and vagina. This is called the perineal massage and can be used to deliver your little one with minimal tearing of your perineum and vagina. The perineum is the region between the vagina and the anus. The health professional will be able to teach you how to do a perineal massage. This massage can be done by yourself or with the help of your partner.