34 Weeks Along and Contracting

Updated on February 01, 2010
A.K. asks from West Bend, WI
18 answers

I am currently 34 weeks pregnant and I found out on Tuesday 1/26/10 that I was contracting every 2-3 minutes without even knowing it. I also was told that I was dilated to 3cm. The doctor then put me on medicine to stop/slow down the contractions that I am currently taking every 4 hours. I was also given 2 steriod injections to help the babys lungs develop faster. On top of that I found out that I have a bacterial infection that I am also taking meds for now. Today is Friday and so far the meds are working wonderful, no more contractions. I am currently off of work and at home relaxing. Hoping to make it to at least 35 weeks, so I can deliver at my home town hospital otherwise I would have to go about 45 minutes away. I am looking for other moms who have had babys around the 34-36 weeks range and how the health of the baby was, or if there was any long term delays. My first child I had at just over 37 weeks and my doctors doesn't think that I will be able to last that long.

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answers from Minneapolis on

The 9 year old boy who is impatiently waiting for the computer and soooo annoyed with his mom right now was born at 34 weeks. He weighed 6 pounds (!) and was very healthy. No problems other than that I couldn't make breastfeeding work. He didn't know how to suckle properly and I wasn't producing enough milk, anyway.

Other than that, no problems at all! He is above grade level in reading and in math, great social skills, skateboards and snowboards, and all is well. So it can work out just fine.

Hang in there, this is a scary time.

Message me privately if you want to talk more -- my first child was born at 30 weeks, and I remember the whole preemie thing well.



answers from Minneapolis on

I had my first born just under 36 weeks & she was just fine. 7 pounds 5 oz. I was on bed rest for about a month before she was born. Every pregnancy is different. Best wishes!

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answers from Duluth on

some women just give birth early, that shouldnt be a huge issue.
i was apparently contracting and i dialated starting around the same time as you. by the time i was 38 weeks along or just before then, i had dialated to 4 1/2 cms and i had no clue i was even contracting. they could detect them on the thing, but i couldnt feel anything. you have to remember that one thing thats screwed up about estimated due dates is that they are estimates! every woman is going to be different, each woman's cycle is different and that means that some are going to be early and some are going to be late. i would think that its best to just let your body do what it needs to do, but i understand the caution at 34 weeks. your first was already early, so chances are your cycle runs in a way that your babies will come early. nothing wrong with that as long as they are ready right? so good luck, and take it really really easy.



answers from Dallas on

Hello, sweetie
I was dilated to 3cm for a montha nd a half and contrated ooff and on for 3 weeks. Had a big 9lbs 6.5oz boy. He is healthy, 13 years old and also in all Pre AP classes. We know! Just breath and thank God for what you are about to receive and have Faith! God already knows the outcome! Take care and smile....



answers from Fargo on

I've had two preemies (one at 33 weeks and the other at 34). My babies were pretty healthy for a preemie. They were bigger than a normal baby at their age (5lbs 10oz and 6lbs where normally 4-5lbs). Both of mine were in the NICU for 3 weeks, on the ventilator for 3-4 days because of underdeveloped lungs, and all the other wonderful wires they have to have on. With my son (34 weeks) I had gotten the steroid shots, bedrest, and meds to keep me from contracting which helped. Preemies will tend to be behind developmentally, but they will catch up. Your baby will probably not seem as "behind" because he/she will be trying to keep up with your first. :) We have not had any long term delays in either of our preemies. That said, the NICU stays were a rollercoaster. It's always scary when your baby is in the hospital, but the doctors and nurses are wonderful! Best of luck keeping that baby inside a little while longer, so you won't have to have the NICU experience! Congratulations on baby #2!!



answers from Sheboygan on

My twins were born at 32 weeks, and though they were small, there were no major complications. Vince, the smaller of the two, was on a C-Pap machine for almost 2 weeks because his lungs were a bit underdeveloped, but the Surfactin shots helped a lot, and things would have been much worse if I hadn't had those. My boys are just over 1 year old now, and there have been no long lasting effects from them being born early - they're even ahead on a lot of their developmental tests!
Good luck to you!



answers from Boston on

Hi, there~

All will be fine. I was 32 weeks pregnant with twins when I started having contractions. I was considered high risk because I was 35yo and it was twins. I was put on modified bed rest, given the steroid shots and a prescription for Terbutaline pills to stop the contractions, and told to drink lots of water. This was a very scary time for me. My contractions seemed to come back at the end of the day, just about the time the doctor's office was closing, and I was always worrying about whether I should or shouldn't go to the hospital. If I drank too much water, a full bladder would stimulate contractions. If I didn't drink enough water, I would get contractions. So here's what I learned the hard way and wish someone would have told me so I didn't have to worry so much...

1. Drink about a gallon of water a day, but space it out throughout the day.

2. Stay off your feet as much as possible, especially towards the end of the day (5pm on). Have everything you'll need for the day with you in the room so you don't have to get up much. Consider crawling around the house, even to the bathroom.

The babies are considered full-term at 36 weeks so that's when they told me to stop taking the Terbutaline. I went into labor the next day and delivered 2 healthy boys. One weighed 7 lbs. and the other weighed 4lb 13oz. We stayed in the hospital for 4 days only because I'd had a C-section. (The C-section was due to the babies' positions and not because of pre-term labor.) Unlike many babies that are born early, they never went to the NICU and we all went home at the regular time. We've never had any developmental issues other than one has a speech impediment but I doubt that has anything to do with his birth.

Best wishes!



answers from Washington DC on

My 3rd child was delivered at 34 weeks (due to appendix rupturing and not being in labour). She was 6lb 1oz so big for how early she was. She stayed in NICU for 9 days and then was sent home. As for dealys , all we noticed was for the first 2 weeks after coming home she literally slept all the time , she wasn't even awake properly when being fed , and milestones like rolling over , sitting up , crawling she was behind approx 2 months. She is now 19 months and just like any other toddler her age , she weighs 24lb , she runs , climbs and says some words , once she started walking (17 months) she pretty much caught up with where she should be.



answers from Minneapolis on


I understand your concern, our daughter was actually born at 25 weeks and 5 days and is doing great. She had some minor health issues when we left the hospital but everything has been okayed since. She did spend 3 months in the NICU but again this is due to her being so extremely premature. At 34 weeks you are in good shape, that is actually the mark we were aiming for when my water broke at 23 weeks and 5 days. Just keep relaxing and taking things in stride. Congratulations on #2 and remember you can only house and feed the baby, everything else is up to God.



answers from Chicago on

I had triplets at 34 weeks and 2 days. They were kind of small, about 4 pounds give or take a couple of ounces each. They had not problems at all with breathing etc. One girl had a little trouble keeping her body temp up so she was kept in the incubator/bed a little longer ( I was told no danger there), one girl was jaundiced after the first week--totally normal for a newborn, and my son was totally fine. The only thing they had to have otherwise was a feeding tube for a few days because they did not quite have the sucking reflex down yet. Nothing alarming at all. They are going to be 11 soon. When they were born I was told that they would be totally up to speed with other kids their age in regards to developement and size by the time they reached 4 or 5 yrs of age. They beat other kids out before they were 2 so you never know what can happen. They have never been behind their peers and always about the 50th % in size and such.



answers from Eau Claire on

I went through exactly what you went through. I got the steroid shots and the meds to stop my contractions. I was on bed rest from 32 weeks to 36 weeks. As soon as I was taken off bed rest and meds, I went right back into labor which was full fledged, hard contractions within 36 hours or so.

So my son was born just over the 36 week mark and was perfectly healthy. He was 6lbs, 10 oz, and lungs and everything else were fine. The only issue we dealt with at all was jaundice a few days after his birth. He had to be on a Bilibed for a few days when we first took him home. He is now 4 1/2 years old and he is completely healthy and normal.

I understand your fears as I was pretty freaked when I went through the same thing, but as long as you rest and keep taking your meds to make it as long as you can, I think everything will be fine. If it helps, I do have a friend who had a baby at around 32 weeks and while things were a little more complicated, everything was fine with him also. He is now 7 and very healthy and rambunctious.

Good Luck to you!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A.!
I had my baby at 34 weeks in August. It was a sudden thing - I got a fever and it caused fetal distress, and they had to take him by C that night. We did not have any time for steroid shots or anything. He was 7 lbs when he was born, if you can believe it, so he never had any problems keeping his temperature up. (That's one of the things you have to worry about). He did, however, have difficulty keeping his oxygen saturation up, so he had to be on oxygen for about 2 weeks. He contracted the same virus that caused my fever and got pretty sick when he was 9 days old, but that wasn't really related to being a preemie. Otherwise, eating was difficult for him at first. He had to be fed through an NG tube (through the nose to the stomach) for about a week and a half. He only got my breastmilk, though, because I started pumping right away. Once I started using a nipple shield, he was better able to get milk out of my breast and figured out the breastfeeding thing. I would suggest trying the nipple shield if BF is hard for your baby at first - it was a Godsend!!! We were able to get rid of the nipple shield shortly after we came home too. Liam is now 5 months old and is in the 90th percentile for height and weight on the NORMAL baby scale, so it took him no time to catch up. He is also right where he should be developmentally.

Best of luck to you. It is hard to have them early, but you are so lucky to have those steroid shots. You might not have to worry about oxygen at all. The nurses in the NICU or Special Care Nursery will be awesome. Rest rest rest!!! Every day you can keep that baby in there will move him/her forward by leaps and bounds.



answers from St. Cloud on

I have had two preemie babies that did great. My first daughter was a 31 weeker but my second daughter made it to 34 weeks. We did steroid shots and everything but she still had to be on CPAP (oxygen mask with pressure) until her lungs dried out. Because she was breech and premature we had to do a csection and I think she inhaled some amniotic fluid on her way out. She weighed 5lbs and was 18inches long and then lost a bunch of weight- down to 4lbs 5oz. So we brought her home at 17days and weighing 5lbs 4oz. She at 5weeks is close to 7lbs and is 19 1/2 inches long (so about 39wks adjusted) and has no breathing problems at home. Just at higher risk for infections right now esp. in the lungs. I do hope you make it to 35 3/7 though just to give you the best chance of avoiding a NICU. Baby will have to eat, overcome temperature control, jaundice risks, and grow to come home with you. If you have an under 36week or under 6lb baby you generally have to have them take a car seat test also to make sure they breathe well enough while in that upright position. Both my girls came home on monitors because they failed 3x. But in truth that's not a big deal. Good luck! You must be inching closer to 35 unless you are already a mommy in which case congrats!


answers from Houston on

I'm 34 weeks as well and went into preterm labor at 32 weeks. My doctor put me on meds and bedrest.This combination has helped me as well. I have 2 other children one that is 17mon old and he was born at early 36 weeks and my daughter that is 5yrs old now and she was also born at 36 weeks. I delivered by c-section on both my daughter had aspirated fluid when she was born and jaudice in which she had to spend 7 days in the NICU this was due to her beeing breach. My son did great the was little jaudice when we left but were still able to take him home when I was discharged. I hope this helps a little. Take it easy and do as the doctor says and things will work out.



answers from Lincoln on

I had my first baby at 35 weeks. Labor came on suddenly and he was delivered within 4 hours. I didn't have any steroid shots or other medications to develop the lungs and he was perfectly fine. He weighed 5 pounds 4 oz. but didn't spend any time in the NICU and was able to come home when I was discharged from the hospital 2 days after delivery. My second baby was born at 36 weeks and also did fine with no complications. Hope this helps.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A..
Chances are if your contractions are stopping from the medication--once your infection subsides so will they and you'll go to term. It sounds like that is the cause of the stress induced contractions-- protecting your baby. Great they gave steroids for the lungs JIC.
I had the same with my twins at 23 weeks-- talk about a scare-- and when they put me in the hospital for my bladder infection-- they wouldn't release me when even the nurses said it was ridiculous to keep me there the entire 5 days on Mag.sulfate which made me vomit. It stopped the contractions until the pyridium and meds could kick in. So- once that was done-- no more-- home until 35 weeks when I did go into partial labor-- delivered at 36.5 weeks.
My Docs said once you clear the 34 week mark-- you're usually safe. He's covered his bases helping the lungs even if you do go early. Most multiples are delivered anywhere from 34- 38 weeks and most do not have issues to ease your mind. It more depends on the size of your baby.
Breathe-- relax-- heal and enjoy the calm before the storm.

About me: 49 yo perfusionist, wellness coach also doing a nationwide biggest loser online for $$$, wife, mom to 8 yo twin girls

B. J



answers from Milwaukee on

The only person I know who had a baby that early is my Mother in law, one of her sons (my brother in law) was born at 34 weeks and this was in the early 70's. He was only 3 lbs and was at Childrens Hosptial of Milwaukee for a month and well today he is a 6 foot tall Healthy guy, married and no delays of any kind. So if you baby were born today I would have to believe your child would grow up with no mental/physical handicaps. I know my brother in law was sick much more than his brothers, ear infections, cold, flus, etc. So that is something premmies deal with, higher chance of asthma but most things they grow out of as they get older.
Best wishes,


answers from Dallas on

I had my oldest son at 35 weeks. He is now 12 years old, in all pre-AP classes, and is doing very well. He came home from the hospital with me, and was very healthy. One thing I wonder about is that he is very susceptible to upper-respiratory problems. He gets infections every fall and winter, and has had pneumonia twice. He had a hard time getting over pneumonia when he had it each time. Other than that, he has been very strong and healthy.

My youngest son was born at 36 weeks, and he is now 5 years old. He is also very bright, strong, and healthy.

I had many complications with both pregnancies, and was on bedrest for about 2 months with each because of preterm labor and other complications. The boys were both fine. Most babies in our family are early.

Try to relax this last week or so of your pregnancy, and congratulations on your upcoming birth!

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