Your baby is now the size of a honeydew melon, measuring over 18 inches long and weighing around five and a quarter pounds. They will keep gaining weight until the delivery day, meaning they will 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 they do, you may even be able to see a teeny weeny foot imprint through your bump. Now they are so close to being a fully functioning little human being, they will 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 their liver even processing some waste products. The rapidly growing brain means their head weighs more - extra fun for you when there’s even more pressure than usual on your bladder!
Common symptoms to look out for at 35 weeks pregnant:
This pesky symptom probably won't go away until birth. If you have tried all of the natural solutions (drinking water, soluble fibrous foods, prunes etc) then ask your doctor if you can take a fibre supplement.
2) Pelvic, back or abdominal pain
Discomfort is very common in every part of your body so close to the birth. It means your body is getting ready for delivery. Your ligaments are loosening so that it is easy for your new bundle of joy to enter the world.
3) Frequent urination
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.
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.
5) Stuffed up nose
Thanks to those good old pregnancy hormones, the mucous membranes in your nose often swell, leading to a stuffed nose. A box of nasal strips can help unclog those nostrils.
6) Braxton hicks
At 35 weeks pregnant, braxton hicks contractions are likely to increase. Your body is preparing itself for labour and your stomach might feel hard and tight. Keep an eye on them incase it is the real thing! Rest up and say hydrated.
7) Panic attacks
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.
What is my body doing at 35 weeks pregnant?
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 breach - 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.
Things to do this week:
Talk to your partner, friends or family if you’re feeling worried about giving birth. It’s absolutely normal to be nervous about what to expect when it comes to labour.
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.
Now might be a good time to start thinking about pain relief and your birth plan if you haven't already, espcially if you're feeling anxious about your birthing experience. There are so many forms of pain relief and birth options available to new mums, it might be worth chatting with your midwife to find out what options are available to you.
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