Fetal development in pregnancy week 35:
Your baby weighs about 5 ½ pounds now and measures about 18.9 inches long. As you know each baby has a different weight and length at birth, so these measurements are just an average. Now your baby will start it’s most rapid weight gain, adding ½ to ¾ of a pound every week until they are born.
You may be able to distinguish body parts such as a head, hand or foot now that your baby is getting larger and your uterus is getting thinner. Baby’s hearing has completely developed now and the lungs are very close to being complete and ready for birth.
The kidneys are fully developed and the liver is able to process waste products. Fat is continues to accumulate at a rapid pace now, which will help your baby stay warm after they are born.
When you visit your health practitioner now they may begin to exam your cervix to see how ready it is for delivery. If you are not having a home birth, have your overnight bag packed and ready so that when your labor starts you have everything you want and need ready to go to the hospital or birthing center.
Many women have extreme mood swings from about pregnancy week 35 on. Ok, many women have mood swings their entire pregnancy, but you may find them particularly dramatic around this time. Don’t worry incessantly however about the little things in life during this time. Now should be a time where you sit back and relax and try to enjoy the final weeks of your pregnancy.
It’s easy to find things to worry about during this time. As your pregnancy continues week to week you may for example feel more anxious about delivery. Your best bet however is to take some time and relax. Talk to other mothers who have had good labor and delivery experiences. This will help relax you. There are some studies that actually show a mother’s anxiety about labor and delivery may actually delay labor, and that is something you probably want to avoid as you reach the final weeks of your pregnancy.
Keep in mind that women have been giving birth since the beginning on time. No matter what your worries you are bound to do a spectacular job. Even if you have no siblings and no experience parenting trust us, after a few weeks you will get into the swing of things. Your natural parenting instincts are bound to kick in and you will do a fine job of raising your little baby.
You might start thinking about who you want to accompany you in the delivery room around 35 weeks pregnant. Some women prefer to have many family members present, while others prefer a quiet delivery with just their partner. The decision should be yours entirely. You should feel comfortable and safe in the environment you give birth in. This will help you relax during your labor and delivery.
Be sure you share your concerns, worries and excitement about delivery and the birth of your baby with your partner. Now more than ever it is important you keep the lines of communication open. You may find that you share many of the same worries and concerns, and can laugh together and support each other together from here until the delivery.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy you should definitely consider a prenatal massage or two, particularly if you haven’t already. Pregnancy massage is wonderful for relieving minor discomforts including pain and swelling. You may also find during a massage you are better able to calm your fears and settle your anxiety. You will also appreciate the hour to yourself. Prenatal massages provide exceptional health benefits for expectant mothers, whether delivering for their first time or third. Many centers offer prenatal massage include wellness centers, spas and chiropractic centers. If you reach pregnancy week 40 some even offer acupressure to help stimulate labor and delivery! If someone asks what they can do for you suggest a prenatal massage. You’ll be glad you did!
If you haven’t enjoyed playing the “kicking game” with your baby do so now. Typically when you hold your hand on mom’s belly you’ll feel the baby kick. Try tapping back and see how your baby responds.
Nothing feels worse that wearing ill-fitting clothing during your pregnancy. This is the case whether you are wearing tops or bottoms. One thing you must invest in during your pregnancy is one or more elegantly designed maternity shirts. Maternity Shirts from Destination Maternity, are crafted with pregnant mothers in mind. They offer the much needed extra space to allow your newborn baby to grow without looking overly bulky or out of style.
In fact, today’s maternity shirts and blouses are much classier and stylish than some versions offered in the past. Not sure what to look for? Keep in mind that your skin might be overly sensitive during your pregnancy. You may want to look for clothes that are made of a cotton/lycra blend, so they are comfortable, breathe, AND stretch a little as your growing belly expands!
Pregnancy Health Tips
By this point in time, your healthcare practitioner might start paying close attention to the position your baby is in. There are several positions your baby may be in, the most common of which include head down, breech and transverse.
Most babies will settle into a head down position near term, or from about 35-36 weeks on. Head down is the safest position for delivery.
Breech birth occurs when your baby is presenting with the buttocks rather than the head first. Three to four percent of babies will actually start labor in this position. A breech position can be more dangerous than a head down position. Usually sometime between weeks 34 to 36, the baby settles into a position that is hard to get out of, as movement becomes more and more restricted as the pregnancy progresses. Typically, by about 36 to 37 weeks, whatever position the baby settles into is likely to be the position they present at during labor. Most babies will settle into a head down position.
The most common breech position is the frank breech. In a frank breech, the buttocks are positioned to come out first and the legs are folded in front of the body. A breech position may increase the likelihood for a cesarean delivery.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may decide to perform a procedure referred to as an external version. This procedure is only performed in a hospital, and it involves your doctor pressing down on your belly to push the baby into the correct position. If your physician must perform a version, he will monitor your baby both before and after the procedure using both an ultrasound machine and fetal heart monitor. A version can sometimes be a painful procedure. Typically, your healthcare provider will perform a version after 36 weeks gestation. This allows enough time to move the baby before actual labor begins.
Breech is the most common alternative position that babies present in prior to labor. A footling breech, when one leg is lowered over the cervix is less common than a frank breech position. Some women are more at risk for breech delivery than others, including:
- Women who go into labor prematurely.
- Women who have had two babies close together, which lends itself to excess laxity of the uterus.
- Women who have excessive amniotic fluid.
- Women carrying multiples, where one or more of the babies is in a breech position.
- Women with placenta previa.
When a baby is in the transverse position, they present sideways. Typically a baby in this position lies with her shoulder or her back over the cervix. This position is much less common, typically occurring in 1 out of every 2,500 births. A transverse position close to the time of delivery may necessitate a cesarean delivery.
The risks for having a baby in a transverse position, increases when women go into labor prematurely, if you have given birth to four or more children, or if you have placenta previa.
You should keep in mind that some babies defy all odds. Some babies will turn at the last minute and still present in a head down position for a natural delivery. If your baby is in an ‘abnormal’ position, keep in mind that your healthcare provider will be paying close attention to the situation. Your doctor can discuss with you the safety of a vaginal birth if your baby stays in a breech position, and he will also discuss with you a cesarean delivery if your circumstances warrant one.
About 35% of twins will be born by this point, 80% of triplets, compared to 5% of singletons. Have you read the multiple birth stories.