As you enter week 35 of your pregnancy you may notice you are more anxious about the impending birth of your baby. One minute you could be excited and the next minute you may be scared to death; especially if you are a first time mum. Your baby is probably not frightened, but he surely is anxious to meet you and see his new world!
Your Baby this Week
Your baby is now around the size of an honeydew melon.
At 35 weeks, your baby now weighs about 2 ½ kilos (5 ½ pounds) and measures around 33cm (13 inches) from rump to crown. His legs are stronger now as well as his arms. You probably can tell by the strength he has in his kicks and punches! Your baby’s eyes are more than likely blue in colour as most newborns have blue eyes, but they may well change colour after birth.
By week 35, your little boy’s testes have now completed their decent into the scrotum. He has a full head of hair, or at least he has as much as he is supposed to have. Some babies are born with only fuzz while others almost need a trim at birth!
The fat that has been developing for several months now has filled out most of the wrinkles in your baby’s skin, which is now pink instead of red. The lanugo (the fine hair covering the body) continues to fall off and should be completely gone by birth. His lungs are much more mature now that just a couple of weeks ago. In fact, a baby born at 35 weeks would be considered pre-term, instead of premature. This is because most babies that are 35 weeks gestation can breathe without the need of medical help.
Your baby has now found his way to the proper birth position as well. His head is down against the pubic bone and he will stay this way until delivery. Occasionally, a baby will not turn to the head down position. This is called ‘breech’ and usually occurs in premature births of 32 weeks gestation or less.
When a mum is in labour, an ultrasound or the doctor feeling the uterus can determine if the baby is in the breech position. If this is the case, there are methods that are used to actually turn the baby in the womb, before he starts to enter the birth canal. If not successful, a caesarean section will usually be required.
Your Body this Week
During week 35 of your pregnancy, you will notice that you have gained about 24 to 29 pounds and have an overall feeling of being physically uncomfortable. Not to worry… This is expected. The last few weeks are the most difficult time.
Your symptoms in the 35th week continue; fatigue, moodiness, backache, indigestion, etc. However, there may be a new symptom at this time. Anxiety my rear its ugly head. This is natural. As you get closer to your delivery date, you are going to be anxious. Take some deep breaths and talk to your partner or a friend.
You also could be experiencing more difficulty with haemorrhoids now. As your pregnancy progresses and your uterus grows, the pressure on your intestines increases. Combine that with the high level of progesterone in your body causing your food to digest slower, and you have constipation. So, in addition to the weight of the baby causing pressure on the veins of the rectum, the constipation causes you strain during bowel movements, making haemorrhoids even worse.
To avoid constipation make sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and fruits. Getting some daily exercise also helps. If you must use a stool softener or laxative, talk to your doctor first to find out what is safe to take during pregnancy.
Another issue you could be having this week has to do with your sex drive. If you remember, in your first trimester, you were more than likely not interested in sex at all. You were having morning sickness and odd feelings. Then, as if lightning struck, your libido was in full swing in your second trimester. That was understandable.
Your nausea was gone and you had more energy. Now that you are this close to your delivery date, you may find that your sex drive has again went into hiding. These changes are entirely normal and just part of a typical pregnancy.
As you gain weight and get closer to your delivery date, you may notice that the hot flushes you experienced early on in your pregnancy are back. If you are bothered by pregnancy hot flushes, dress in layers of comfortable clothing. It’s easier to remove a sweater than it is to try to cool down when you are wearing too many clothes.
And, if you can, make sure that you clothing is cotton so it can breathe. Keep a fan close by and if you have access to a swimming pool, take advantage of it.