You deliver the baby early, or the doctor wants to deliver the baby for medical reasons. It's not uncommon for babies to be delivered at this stage. If the baby does come at this point, in most cases, babies at 34 weeks can survive outside the womb without extensive medical intervention.
They have lungs that can breathe, and if they've reached that 5-pound (2.27-kilogram) weight, they've reached a safe margin; most hospitals allow babies that weigh more than this to go home, barring any medical issues that need to be monitored.
The biggest reason the doctor may want to deliver the baby early is preeclampsia. This is a condition in which women with elevated blood pressure start showing excess protein in the urine. The condition can be fatal for mother and child, and the only cure is to deliver the child.
If your doctor suspects preeclampsia, you'll have plenty of time to get used to the idea of an early delivery. The chief medical test involves collecting your urine in a carton for a 24-hour period. After that, your doctor will decide whether it's time for you to have the baby.
For more pregnancy articles, check out the links below.
- Mayo Clinic. "Third trimester pregnancy: What to expect." (June 16, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy/PR00009
- Kids Health from Nemours. "Pregnancy Calendar: Week 34." (June 14, 2011) http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week34.html
- What to Expect. "Week 34 of Pregnancy." (June 14, 2011) http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-34.aspx