Week 34

Baby’s lungs are still maturing, but most babies born now don't need special care to survive. Your baby can focus now, and sense changes of light outside your body.
Hearing is now fully developed, and your baby can recognise your voice (and probably your partner’s too) – so go ahead and have a chat to your bump! We won't tell.

Wondering what your labour will be like?

It’s getting closer, and you probably can’t help wondering what labour will be like. It's not unusual for your inner fears to express themselves in dreams - that is if you can get any sleep! If you're nervous,you can read our run-down of what really happens during labour. Or try talking to some of the experienced mums on the HiPP Facebook page about your worries – they'll be able to give you the straight scoop.

Have you packed your bags yet?

To avoid any last-minute panic, it's best to get organised well in advance. It's hard to know what you'll need, but our handy checklist will help make sure you don't forget anything important.

Arrangements for the birth

In these last few weeks, you'll want to think about how you plan to get to the hospital or birthing centre and ensure there’s always enough petrol in the car. Make a list of the phone numbers you'll need - from the midwife and hospital numbers to details of the friends and family you’ll want to phone after the birth. Can you use your mobile in the hospital? If not, keep a supply of loose change or a phone card. Change might also come in handy for your partner to use in the hospital canteen - labour can be a long business sometimes!

If your birth partner plans to stay with you throughout, think about taking a sleeping bag and pillow in the car just in case - plus a supply of snacks for sustenance.

If you haven’t already done so, preparing a birth plan might help you to feel more settled, and will help you to think about all those last-minute arrangements and decisions. Download our handy birth plan.

TENS machines

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and it's a great way to help relieve the pain of labour without medication. It's a small box, connected to adhesive pads that you place on your spine. During labour, small electrical impulses from the pads help to block your body's pain signals, and also encourage your body to release endorphins (the “feel-good” chemicals).

If you are planning on using a TENS machine for pain relief during labour, it's a good idea to order it now, so that you have it in time for the birth. Lots of companies hire TENS machines for reasonable prices; a quick internet search will give you multiple options. Once it arrives, make sure that you and your birth partner are both familiar with how the machine works.