35 weeks pregnant
35 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development
By this week, your baby’s arms and legs are growing chubbier, and her skin is becoming pink and smooth. She’s getting ready for your cuddles!
Vernix, a coating on your baby’s skin that protects it from the amniotic fluid, continues to become thicker than in previous weeks. However, the fine hair called lanugo that once covered her body is almost gone around this time.
Your baby’s lungs continue to develop and are producing surfactant. Surfactant is a substance that helps your baby’s lungs function properly and be able to take in air when she’s outside of your uterus. Your baby’s brain and nervous system are still developing. At this time, your baby’s brain is about two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39 or 40 weeks, when your baby is considered full term. At 35 weeks, the circulatory system and musculoskeletal system are both fully developed, and she's probably shifting into a head-down position in preparation for birth.
At 35 weeks pregnant with twins or other multiples, it’s a good idea to know the signs of preterm labour because, with twins, there is about a 50 percent greater chance of going into preterm labour. There’s about a 90 percent greater chance of going in to preterm labour if you are pregnant with triplets. Some signs of preterm labour include menstrual-like cramping, lower-back pressure, diarrhea, and increased vaginal discharge. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you notice any of the signs of preterm labour.
How Big Is Your Baby at 35 Weeks?
At 35 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a honeydew melon.
Mom’s Body at 35 Weeks Pregnant
Are you wondering how many weeks of pregnancy you have left? At 35 weeks, you have about 4 or 5 weeks to go until your baby is considered full term. Full term pregnancy is from 39 to 40 weeks. You’re getting closer to the big day!
As you near your due date, you might be curious about the possibility of needing a cesarean delivery. A cesarean delivery is when a baby is delivered through incisions in the mother’s abdomen. Although most babies are born vaginally, cesarean deliveries aren’t uncommon. There are some conditions for which a cesarean delivery may be considered a safer choice than a vaginal delivery for either the mother or the baby. One is when labour either slows down or stops. This can occur, for example, if contractions are too weak or infrequent to dilate the cervix enough for the baby to pass through. Another condition would be an abnormal heart rate for the baby, or a pinched or compressed umbilical cord, which may prevent the baby from getting enough oxygen.
A scheduled cesarean delivery may be recommended by your healthcare provider before you go into labour. Some of the reasons a planned cesarean delivery is advised include:
Your baby is in breech presentation or in an abnormal position.
You have placenta previa, which is a condition where the placenta blocks the baby from safely exiting the uterus.
Your baby is potentially too large to pass through your pelvis and vagina.
You’ve had a previous cesarean section, which may mean having another cesarean section is safer.
During an upcoming appointment with your healthcare provider, you might ask about the chances of needing a cesarean section or what will happen if you end up having one.
35 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Frequent urination. One of the symptoms of your baby dropping lower into your pelvis in preparation for birth is that you may leak a bit of urine when you laugh, cough, or sneeze, or even just when you bend over. This can happen because your baby is now pressing on your bladder. One way to manage this is to go to the bathroom more often and wear a panty liner. Another way to help prevent those “oops” moments is to do Kegel exercises regularly to help strengthen the muscles in the area surrounding the opening of the vagina. This may help improve your bladder control by enabling you to clench those muscles more tightly if needed! Learn more about how to do Kegel exercises and their great benefits.
Trouble sleeping. It’s not unusual to experience insomnia in the last few weeks of pregnancy because finding a comfortable sleeping position to accommodate your baby belly is difficult! Don’t let this stress you too much. It might help to make your bedroom as comfortable as you can. Also, sleeping on your side with pillows between your knees could help. Experiment with pillows to see how they might give you the best support. Or, take over the recliner in the living room if that’s more comfortable! Whatever it takes, rest whenever you can, even if it means trying to get in some daytime naps.
Leg swelling and pain. The majority of pregnant women experience swelling in their legs and feet. Swelling might occur because your body retains more fluid when you’re pregnant. What’s more, your uterus puts pressure on your veins, which impairs the return of blood to your heart and that causes swelling. Changes in hormone levels also trigger swelling. To help reduce swelling, try to avoid standing for long periods. When you’re sitting, prop up your legs on a footrest or pillows. Wearing loose clothing and supportive shoes can also help.
Numbness in hands and feet. Sometimes swelling in your body presses on nerves and can cause numbness or tingling in your hands and feet. Don’t hesitate to mention this to your healthcare provider if it bothers you often or causes pain. Wrist splints might help reduce the tingling in your hands. Resting in positions that take the pressure off your hands and feet, such as propping up your arms and legs on pillows, could help. The good news is that the numbness and tingling typically goes away after you give birth and the swelling subsides.
Heartburn. Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest and throat. Hormones during pregnancy relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus. This allows stomach acid to come up into your esophagus, which, in turn, causes heartburn. To help prevent heartburn, try to avoid fried or spicy foods, citrus fruits, and chocolate. (Sorry about that chocolate part!) It might also help to frequently eat small meals rather than getting overly full on large meals.
35 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
You’ve spent a lot of time with your baby as she grows inside your belly, but your bond will grow even stronger once you hold her in your arms. Keep in mind that bonding isn’t a one-time, big event. It develops slowly over time as you get to know your little one. This connection may not feel as strong as you had expected immediately after your baby is born. You have a lot on your mind, and adjusting to parenthood isn’t always easy. In time, bonding between you and your baby will help build your baby’s sense of security and will make you want to protect her and surround her with love and affection. If you have questions about how you’re feeling, either now or after the birth of your baby, chat with your healthcare provider and trusted loved ones.
At this phase in your pregnancy, you’re probably having healthcare appointments every other week. Your healthcare provider will check the usual things but, sometime between now and week 37, your healthcare provider may also test you for the group B streptococcus (GBS) bacterium. GBS is usually harmless to adults, but can cause illness in a small number of newborn babies if they get infected during delivery. To test you for GBS, your provider will use a swab to take samples from your vagina and rectum. If you test positive for GBS, you'll probably be given antibiotics during labour to decrease the chance of your baby becoming infected during delivery.
Preeclampsia is a serious blood pressure disorder that can occur after week 20 of your pregnancy, or in the third trimester, or after childbirth. Some of the signs of preeclampsia are a headache that won’t go away, changes in eyesight or seeing spots, difficulty breathing, or pain in the upper abdomen or shoulders. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia to find out if you need to contact your healthcare provider.
If you’re planning to give birth vaginally, now is a good time to start thinking about the positions you might like to try during labour and childbirth. For some positions you only need a chair or stool. Others require extras like a birthing ball or pool. Ask your healthcare provider what will be available for you to use and whether it needs to be reserved in advance. Take some time to think about your options and what you might prefer. Keep in mind that it’s OK to change your mind once you get to the birthing centre or hospital, or even once labour is in full swing. The key at this stage is to know what your options are.
35 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor
What are my pain relief options during labour?
I have inverted nipples. Can I still breastfeed?
I’m having “oops” moments where a little urine comes out if I cough, sneeze, or even laugh. When I go to the bathroom, are there ways I can sit to help fully empty my bladder to reduce the chance of these “oops” moments?
Under what circumstances might I need a cesarean delivery? If I do need one, what should I expect?
Prep for postpartum care by stocking up on sanitary pads if you’re having a vaginal birth, or, in the case of a cesarean delivery, plenty of incision dressings such as gauze pads. Your healthcare provider can tell you exactly what you’ll need. Read more about postpartum care and healing to find out about how to prepare and what will happen.
Prop up your feet, relax in your favorite comfortable chair, and write those baby shower thank you notes!
Find out if your healthcare provider, hospital, or birth centre can help you with a lactation consultant.
If you took a childbirth class, review your notes and practice your breathing techniques.
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