You are 34 weeks pregnant!
It is reassuring to know that if your baby were to be born now she would have a 95 per cent chance of surviving without medical help.
Your developing baby
At week 34, your baby is busy weeing (sometimes up to a pint) into the amniotic fluid as her digestive and intestinal systems are fully-functioning, her first meconium stool (your baby’s first poo) is waiting in her intestines ready to be passed once she is born. If you are having a boy, his testicles have probably ended their journey downwards from the groin and now sit in his scrotum.
Some babies' testicles don't descend till after they are born and they may need medical help to encourage them downwards. Your midwife will check your baby as soon as he is born. At 34 weeks the placenta reaches maturity and starts to age, but it will still support your baby until she is born. The placenta only starts to decrease its ability to work if you go way past your due date, which is why women are generally induced if they go over by ten days to two weeks depending on their circumstances.
Your developing body
Even though at 34 weeks you are getting bigger and bigger and feel less like exercising, now is a great time to be doing gentle pregnancy yoga, swimming and a 20-minute walk every day. Walking will help to encourage your baby into a better position for birth, keep you fit and help to loosen the ligaments around your pelvis. As well as exercise, make sure you are getting plenty of rest to give your legs and back a break from supporting the weight of your baby. Remember to lie on your left hand side and avoid sleeping on your back, as the pressure of your uterus on a major vein called the inferior vena cava, that returns blood from your lower body to your heart may cause you too feel light headed and puts pressure on your back and intestines.
If you have not packed your labour bag yet, do it now! It may surprise many women that plenty of babies born to first time mums do come early and you can be caught short.
If you are thinking of using a TENS machine, especially in early labour while you are home, it is a good idea to hire one now. Ask your midwife or GP about where to hire one. Have you thought about your birth plan yet? Now is a good time to do some research and think about how you want your labour to be. Not all labours turn out how they are planned, but the more prepared you are, the better.
If you haven't ready thought about your baby's nursery, now might also be a good time to start looking at cots or moses baskets.