34 Weeks Pregnant

Here's what's happening during Week 34 of your pregnancy.

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Your Growing Baby:

The fetus is taking deep breaths. The eyes can blink and are open when it's awake and closed when asleep, and the pupils dilate and constrict in reaction to light. Length: about 18 inches; weight: about 5 pounds.

Your baby's brain is forming trillions of connections, making it possible for her to learn in the womb. All of this brain development may be the reason that your baby sleeps frequently at this stage. She may even be dreaming—her eyes dart around rapidly just as an adult's might in REM sleep. Your child's development is in no way complete at birth. In the first year after birth, a baby's brain triples in size and becomes three-quarters of its adult size.

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Your Growing Belly:

The volume of your uterus is five hundred to one thousand times larger than before you got pregnant, so it's safe to say you're feeling huge and slow. You're still running to the bathroom frequently and probably will from here on out. Try to drink a lot of water early in the day, so you don't get thirsty at night and make things worse.

Tips & To-Do's:

Delivery Room Drama

We all know that giving birth rarely happens like it does on TV shows: Your water breaks; you gasp, exclaim, "She's coming!" Then, lipstick refreshed, you cradle your newborn as your handsome husband looks on. Alternatively, we hope your experience isn't going to be fodder for reality TV: A swarm of doctors sprints into the delivery room, shouting, "Get the NICU team, STAT! We've got a quadruple nuchal and need a cold-knife section!" Many labor complications sound worse than they are. We explain six of the most common and how your doctor will manage them.

Things to think about this week

If you haven't purchased your baby's car seat and installed it, do it now. You'll also want to start thinking about what you want to pack in your hospital bag.

NEW:  Listen to Our Week-by-Week Podcast All About Your Pregnancy 

Each episode of the new Pregnancy Confidential podcast, hosted by our editors, walks listeners through the physical, emotional and all-round quirks of each week of pregnancy. This is real-talk, girlfriend-to-girlfriend stuff—no hard-to-understand medical information here—taking you through the real feelings of pregnancy so you're never alone. And it'll have you chuckling all along the way. All episodes available now!