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Mother and Baby

35 Weeks Pregnant – What You Need to Know

35 weeks pregnant

It’s nearly time! Now you’ve reached 35 weeks, your baby is bigger than ever, and your body just keeps on changing. Find out what else you need to know at 35 weeks’ pregnant here. 

How big is my baby at 35 weeks?

Your baby’s now the size of a pineapple, measuring over 18 inches long, and weighing around five and a quarter pounds. She’ll keep gaining weight until the delivery day, meaning she’ll have that gorgeous, plump, squishy look that makes babies so adorable.

What’s my baby doing at 35 weeks?

Now there’s less room to move around, your little one might actually start to push rather than kick - and if she does, you may even be able to see a teeny weeny foot imprint through your bump. Now she’s so close to being a fully functioning little human being, she’ll spend most of the rest of your pregnancy putting on weight.

Your baby may not be somersaulting anymore due to taking up so much space in your womb, but the number of kicks should remain around the same, so make sure you’re monitoring this and checking in with your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.

Excitingly, most of your baby’s basic physical development is now complete, with fully developed kidneys, and her liver even processing some waste products. Her rapidly growing brain means her head weighs more - extra fun for you when there’s even more pressure than usual on your bladder!

What is my body doing at 35 weeks?

Your blood pressure will be checked regularly by your doctor or midwife. If they find it’s getting higher, they’ll advise you to rest a lot more and maybe even do more tests because they want to prevent pre-eclampsia. 

This is also the time when some women are advised they may need a Caesarean – in fact, one in five births in the UK are C-sections. It could be because of concerns about the position or safety of the baby - for instance, if it’s breech - or because your doctor thinks it’s safer for you both. But if you don’t feel sure, research it thoroughly, ask all the questions you need to, and if you’re not comfortable, seek another opinion.

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Constant peeing: If the toilet is the most frequently visited area of your home, you’re like most pregnant women at this stage, who just can’t stop peeing! This is because your growing uterus - which now reaches up under your rib cage - is crowding all your internal organs and putting pressure on the bladder. Your baby’s new position, head-down in preparation for delivery, puts even more pressure on the bladder, meaning you’ll need to urinate even more than usual. Rest assured, this will all be over soon! In the meantime, lean forward when you pee to make sure you’re emptying your bladder as much as possible, and practise your Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles and prevent incontinence. 
  • Feeling stuffy: Thanks to those good old pregnancy hormones, the mucus membranes in your nose often swell, leading to a stuffed nose. A box of nasal strips can help unclog those nostrils.
  • Bleeding gums: Yup, pregnancy hormones are to blame once again, and this time, they’re responsible for swollen, tender and bleeding gums. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly - don’t be put off by blood! - and make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C to boost gum strength. Who needs an excuse to grab another glass of orange juice? Make sure you visit your dentist for advice if the bleeding persists, as you don’t want to risk ending up with gingivitis or tooth decay.

What to do this week:

Talk to your partner, friends or family member if you’re feeling worried about giving birth. It’s absolutely normal to be nervous about what to expect when it comes to labour. In fact, some women have such an extreme reaction that they have panic attacks – there’s an actual condition called tokophobia which means ‘fear of childbirth’. If your anxieties are overwhelming you, then speak to your antenatal team who will do all they can to help and reassure you and can even offer counselling in extreme cases.

But rest assured that a lot of women are worried and self-conscious about things like pooing in labour (it happens all the time - your midwife will deal with it and you probably won’t even notice), screaming, shouting and swearing (they’ve heard it all before), and not looking your best (frankly you’ll be so busy giving birth that will be the least of your worries on the day). Also, don’t stress about the safety of your baby – it’s the job of your medical team and midwife to do everything they can to keep you both safe and healthy and make sure that you have the best possible birth experience.

Take me back to week 34

Take me to week 36

Read next: The early labour signs you need to look out for: 

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Your waters break

Otherwise known as the moment the sac of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby ruptures. This can happen as an all-in-one gush, or a slow trickle that lasts a few days.
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Heartburn relief

As your bump grows, your baby will push your stomach upwards. This forces acid in your stomach into your windpipe, causing heartburn. In the weeks before giving birth, your baby will drop down into your pelvis, which means you might finally get some relief. 
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You have backache

An ache in your lower back can mean your baby is rotating into the right position for labour. This can take a few days and might be painful. Put your feet up, ask your partner for a backrub and take a hot bath to relieve symptoms. 
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You have a ‘show’

A mucus plug covers your cervix in pregnancy and this may come loose up to a few days before labour starts. A brown, pink or red-tinged stringy or jelly-like discharge, it can come out either in one lump or more gradually over a few days. Find out all you need to know about the mucus plug here. 
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Your nipples leak

This can happen throughout the final few weeks of pregnancy, but you might notice it more in the last few weeks before your baby arrives. The milk you’re leaking is colostrum, a nutrient-rich liquid that will nourish your baby until your proper milk comes in a couple of days after the birth. 
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Diarrhoea

The hormones that help your uterus contract can also sometimes cause diarrhoea in the hours before birth.
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Swollen down below

As your baby moves down into your pelvis, usually around week 37, the increased blow flow to this area can leave your vagina feeling swollen. This is very normal and nothing to worry about, however if you are uncomfortable, try placing an ice pack in a tea towel and resting it on the area.
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Frequent toilet stops

One you're probably used to by now, as your growing bump has been pressing on your bladder for the last few months, but expect those toilet trips to increase in the last few weeks of pregnancy as your baby moves into your pelvis. 
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Sudden burst of energy

It's not one many women complain about, but it's usual to feel a sudden burst of energy those few days before labour stars. Make the most of it while you can! 
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Walking differently

As your pelvis widens to get ready for birth, this can often affect the way you walk. 
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Contractions

The first thing to be sure of is that these are not Braxton Hicks, which feel like period pains and will come and go, or contractions, where the pain will get more intense and for longer as time goes on. Remember you don't always have to go to hospital as soon as the contractions start - established labour is usually when you have three, one-minute contractions in the space of 10 minutes. That said, always ring your midwife if you are unsure. 

 
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