What's happening in week 35 of your pregnancy
Week 35, and your baby looks just like a little newborn – and it's only a few weeks until you meet them!
At a glance
- Your baby is now fully formed and gaining weight
- Make sure your hospital bag is packed and cupboards are well stocked
- Help get baby into position by moving around
How big is my baby at 35 weeks?
Your baby has only a few weeks left 'inside' and they are now almost ready for life outside the womb! They’ll probably weigh in at around 5.5lbs in week 35 and will be around 46.2cm in length.
They will be doing lots of practise sucking movements ready to latch on for that first post-birth feed, and will be starting to move further down your pelvis ready for D-day.
Don't be alarmed if you feel a little pain with the movements, this is normal as your baby grows stronger and has less room to move about, however if the pain is severe and lasts for a while be sure to talk to your midwife.
Although not all mums get them. Braxton hicks can be quite intense towards the end of your pregnancy. If your tummy remains constantly hard or the tightenings become regular and painful, contact your midwife or maternity unit for advice.
Facts to know about your baby in week 35
- Your baby may become engaged around now and as they move down into your pelvis, any breathlessness that you may have been feeling can ease. This is called ‘lightening.’
- Your baby will probably weigh about 5.5lbs in week 35 and will be around 46.2cm in length.
- Your baby looks much the same as a newborn now, although they will get a little bit heavier before they are born.
- Your baby is gaining about half a pound a week.
They currently have close to 15% fat on their body, but this will be closer to 30% by the time they’re born in a few weeks’ time.
You at 35 weeks pregnant
As only 5% of babies are born on their actual due date, you might already be wondering if every twitch and ache is a sign of impending labour! If your baby was to arrive now, they would still be considered moderately premature, but would most likely be absolutely fine with a little extra care.
If your baby has not yet got themselves into the optimum position for birth (head down) you could try and give them a helping hand by doing a bit of moving around yourself! Some mums swear by spending time on all fours and wriggling their hips to encourage their baby to turn, while others gently bounce on a birthing ball to help get the pelvis to open.
Research shows that massaging your perineum (the area of tissue between your vagina and anus) from around 35 weeks of pregnancy can reduce the chance of the area being damaged in birth (with a tear or bruising). This is said to be particularly beneficial if you are having your first baby.
Scrubbing floors and sitting backwards on a seat – so your bump is towards the backrest – are also tried and tested methods for getting stubborn babies to be where they are supposed to be!
Whilst it’s a normal bacterium carried by up to 25% of women there is a risk that it can pass to the baby during labour and cause a potentially fatal infection in babies.
If GBS is detected during your pregnancy, or if you have previously had a baby who has the GBS infection, or you go into labour before 37 weeks, then you should be offered antibiotics from the start of your labour. This has been shown to be highly effective at preventing the GBS infection in newborn babies.
GBS can be detected on urine tests and vaginal swabs and may be found accidentally on tests performed in the NHS, although these tests do not identify all carriers of GBS.
This is why privately paid for sensitivity tests (not widely available in the NHS) are becoming popular. They can give a predictive indicator of whether you may be carrying the bacteria for around £40, the suggested time to have the test is between 35-37 weeks. Called ECM tests, they have found to be a reliable predictor of your ‘carriage status’ for the following 5 weeks.
Facts to know about you in week 35
- A sweep is a vaginal examination and involves placing a finger inside the cervix and making circular, sweeping movement as a 'soft' way of inducing labour.
- The amount of fluid surrounding your baby gradually increases now by about 1.8 pints and this amount decreases to around half a litre (0.9 pints) by 40 weeks.
What to think about in week 35
With just a few weeks left, your likely to be in full 'nesting' mode, intent on cleaning every part of the house from top to bottom in preparation for your new arrival.
Now is a good time to make sure your hospital bag is good to go, that your freezer is full of lots of batch-baked meals, and the cupboards are well stocked.
It's also a good idea to have all your important phone numbers – and by that we mean for the maternity unit, GP etc – noted somewhere accessible (and not just to you!). Make sure everyone knows what they should be doing once you go into labour – this is particularly important if you have other children to arrange childcare or school run picks up and drop offs for.
With your due date just weeks away you may be feeling as if everything is organised and ready for your newborn. The nursery is nearly done, the car seat has been out of the box and ready for fitting to bring your baby home and you may even have the pushchair assembled. You may now be thinking about those little finishing touches, pram and car seat toys are a great way to entertain your baby when out and about. Initially your newborn may not be interested, but they soon will be.
Choose something that is light and portable that comes with clips, clamps or ties. It’s also handy to choose anything made from fabric that can be washed, or wipe-cleaned.
Another great ‘first toy’ is a play/baby gym. A baby gym is somewhere you can place your baby, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be comfortable and stimulated. Babies love colourful and black and white colours and a gym offers this and is a great early learning tool to teach them how to reach out and grasp dangling toys.
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Signs and symptoms at 35 weeks pregnant
It’s so important that if you are suffering with constipation in your pregnancy that you add more fibre to your diet. Choose wholegrain and wholewheat bread, pasta and cereals and add more vegetables to your diet including high fibre broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts. Fruits high in fibre include peaches, pears, apples and plums. Drinking plenty of water is also vitally important to help to ease constipation. If this is not effective speak to your healthcare professional who may recommend senna or Milk of Magnesia that is a stool softener containing docusate.
Dealing with pregnancy headaches can be tough particularly if paracetamol doesn’t help but drink plenty of water and there are other things can you try. Rest and reducing stress can help to avoid headaches in the first place, and if you keep a ‘headache diary’ it might help you pinpoint a specific trigger for them that could help you avoid in the future. To help naturally ease a headache you can try a warm compress or cold towel on your forehead. Treating yourself to a professional pregnancy massage can also help to relieve muscle tension. importantly, if headaches are ever accompanied by vision problems or sudden swelling on your face, feet, hands or stomach, seek advice from your midwife as these are possible signs of pre-eclampsia.
Watch our videos below:
Video 1: Pain relief options
Video 2: How to keep a sleeping baby safe
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