Week 34 of Your Pregnancy
From taking chicken essence to going for high tea, Singaporean mums have many ways of keeping inspired and energetic! This week, baby’s bones are continuing to harden. We share nutrition tips to support baby’s development during this time — and to prepare for breastfeeding.
With the big day looming around the corner, pregnancy must feel physically and emotionally challenging. By week 34, your growing baby weights about 2.2kg and measures 31cm1. Its body systems would already be functioning, though its immune system still has some developing to do². This system will continue to be developed even after birth, and will be supported by antibodies in your breast milk2.
Your little one is growing heavier because its bones are hardening and growing stronger. The bones in your baby’s head, though, will stay soft throughout pregnancy so that it can easily adapt to all that squeezing during birth2.
With your due date drawing closer, it’s now time to pack your hospital bag! For mummy, include comfy clothes, warm socks, hair ties and a lip balm. For daddy, pop in healthy snacks, a pillow and some coins for the hospital vending machine. (Asian Parent) However you’re preparing for childbirth, remember that a due date is really just a guide. Only 5% of babies arrive on time!
Establishing Healthy Habits for Breastfeeding
Once your baby is born, it will love feeling your warmth and nuzzling with you! To support its complete growth and development, your breast milk needs to provide your baby with all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
To ensure this, include the right balance of nutrients in your diet, such as:
- Vitamin D — supports normal bone development for your baby. Taking vitamin D supplements beyond pregnancy will ensure you get the recommended 10mcg each day
- Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly DHA — contributes to the development of your baby’s brain and eyes5. Include 2 portions of oily fish in your weekly diet
- Iron — supports your baby’s cognitive development6 and is vital for transporting oxygen around the body. Iron-rich foods include meat, oily fish, leafy, green vegetables and beans
Since your body would require a significant supply of water to produce breast milk, it is also important that you take an extra 700ml of water each day on top of the usual 2 litres a day. This comes up to around 10 to 11 glasses per day and may include coffee, milk, fruit juice, soups and smoothies. Make sure you drink lots of water in your final weeks of pregnancy too!
During your third trimester and while breastfeeding, check out these healthy snacks and light meals. Remember to limit your intake to 2 portions per week (due to their potential pollutant content)9:
- Sardines on toast with fresh tomatoes
- Mackerel on wholegrain crackers with cucumber sticks
- Fresh tuna steak with new potatoes and green beans
- Grilled salmon, with a green salad and wholegrain bread
1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 33-36 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2015.
Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-33-34-35-36.aspx [Accessed August 2016].
2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 46-9.
3. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 307.
4. Commission Regulation (EC) No 983/2009 of 21 October 2009 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on food and referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 277, 22.10.2009, pp. 3–12.
5. Commission Regulation (EU) No 440/2011 of 6 May 2011 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on foods and referring to children’s development and health. OJ L 119, 7.5.2011, pp. 4–9.
6. Commission Regulation (EU) No 957/2010 of 22 October 2010 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on foods and referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 279, 23.10.2010, pp. 13–17.
7. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136, 25.5.2012, pp. 1–40.
8. European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for water. EFSA Journal 2010; 8(3):1459 p. 48.
9. NHS UK. Foods to avoid in pregnancy [Online]. 2015.
Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx [Accessed August 2016].
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