What Are the Labor Signs at 34-Week Pregnancy?

Preterm labor is defined as labor prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature labor needs to be evaluated in a medical facility. If you are 34 weeks pregnant, signs of labor can include cervical dilation that means your baby may be on the way early. If you are having false labor, these are known as “Braxton-Hicks” contractions and do not dilate the cervix.This article will outline some of the signs of early labor that can happen in preterm births.

34 Weeks Pregnant Signs of Labor

Here are some signs of labor:

  • Contractions (five or more for one hour)
  • Leaking watery fluid from the vagina which may indicate water breaking
  • Abdominal cramping (sometimes diarrhea may occur)
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Pelvic cramping that feels like a period
  • Lower backache that is dull felt at the waistline, either constant or come and go
  • Vaginal discharge (may have streaks of blood or pink tint)

How do contractions feel? Labor contractions tend to happen every 5-10 minutes and get closer together and more frequent in numbers. But Braxton-Hicks usually go away if you get up and walk around. Contractions make your feel your lower abdomen hardens and forms a ball. Then it relaxes and softens. Watch to make sure that you don’t have any more than five in a one-hour period and that they don’t last longer than an hour.

What if I think my water broke? A large gush from your vagina is most likely a sure sign that your water broke. If you are leaking fluid, you will need to go to the nearest labor and delivery to get checked. They have ways of testing the fluid to see if it is water or urine. Amniotic fluid has a clear or pink tint.

Here are more preterm labor symptoms which help you understand more about 34 weeks pregnant signs of labor:

What to Do If You Have Signs of Early Labor

Here are some reasons you should either pick up the phone and call your doc or go to labor and delivery:

Contractions

Lie down (preferably on the left side) and rest or walk around to see if they worsen. Make sure you time them so you can give your doctor an idea of how frequent they are. They can give you a shot to help stop the contractions in labor and delivery.

Leakage of Amniotic Fluid

Place a pad in your underwear. This will help you see the color. Do not get into the bathtub if you think you are leaking amniotic fluid as this can predispose you to a serious infection. The doctor will put you on antibiotics intravenously if your water did break early to prevent infection.

Bleeding

Place a pad in your underwear. Do not have intercourse or insert anything into your vagina as this can cause infection. Get to the labor and delivery center immediately. They will assess you for a ruptured placenta. If so, they will most likely deliver the baby as quickly as possible.

Back or Pelvic Pain

Rest and place a warm compress on your lower back. Have someone rub it gently for you and use pressure. If it doesn’t go away, call your doctor. They will assess you for labor and give you medications to stop any contractions you may be having.

Babies Born at 34 Weeks

If you are 34 weeks pregnant signs of labor may mean your baby is on the way early and there may be no stopping it. It is most likely going to be just fine as long as your baby weighs enough and is healthy. They will give you shots of steroids to help mature the baby’s lungs, so he or she can breathe easier early on.

Babies born at 34 to 36 weeks tend to do very well with little extra care if they are breathing and feeding well. They may keep you and your baby in the hospital a few extra days, but at this age they often are discharged with mom if everything is going well.  HERE are more details about complications of babies born at 34 weeks and how you should take care you him/her.

Experiences of Other Moms

Learn from other moms who have been 34 weeks pregnant; signs of labor may differ from each individual:

“My water broke at 34 weeks so I called my doctor and they had me go to the hospital. It was a sudden gush of fluid that I couldn’t hold back so I knew it was my water. They put me on antibiotics intravenously and gave me a shot of steroids to help develop the baby’s lungs. My son was born at 34 weeks 5 days. He had to spend a few days in the NICU and was given more antibiotics intravenously for an infection from my water breaking early. My advice is if your water breaks too soon, get to the hospital. He is fine now and growing normally at 6 months old.” ---Marie

“I went to labor and delivery around 34 weeks and I was having contractions about two minutes apart. They were slightly painful. They gave me a shot to stop them and they went away. I had my baby a week after my due date. They said I was just prone to very powerful Braxton-Hicks. I also found that I was doing too much at the end of my pregnancy and not getting enough rest.” ---Jane

“I was admitted last week at 34 weeks because I felt the baby drop and had constant pressure down low. It felt like I had a watermelon between my legs. They checked me and I had dilated one centimeter. The contractions weren’t regular, so they sent me home. The pressure is still bad, but I have no other symptoms of early labor.”  ---Cynthia

More expert explanation of 34 weeks labor and what the chances for preterm labor:

What About Babies Born Prior to 34 Weeks?

27 Weeks or Before

This is an extremely premature baby, but they can survive outside the womb after 24 weeks. Babies born this early will be kept in the NICU or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit until he or she weighs enough can breathe without assistance. They also have to be kept very warm because they cannot regulate their body temperature without help. They are usually discharged from the hospital around their original due date.

28 to 31 Weeks

These babies are still considered premature and will be placed in a higher level nursery for care. They still need to be kept very warm and watched for breathing problems, feeding problems, and signs of infection. They can also be transferred to an NICU if they start having problems. These babies are also usually kept until their original due date.

32 to 33 Weeks

For reasons unknown, babies in this range tend to have more breathing issues than 28 week babies. They are watched very carefully for breathing issues, along with feeding issues. If they do not have respiratory issues and weigh over 5 pounds, they may be discharged within the first week or two of life.