Baby development at 35 weeks pregnant
Pregnancy is likely becoming increasingly uncomfortable. But with just a few weeks to go, take comfort in knowing that the end is in sight! Your little one’s doing a lot during their short time left before birth. They’ll spend the next few weeks gaining weight, adding brain mass and preparing for life outside the womb.
Your 35 week baby measures between 17 and 18 inches and weighs 5.3 pounds. This is about the same size as a honeydew melon!
This week begins your little one’s most rapid period of weight gain in the womb. They’ll gain approximately half a pound a week. This extra weight serves the same purpose as packing peanuts (but looks more adorable). A significant amount of fat is added to their shoulders to cushion them for delivery.
Your baby’s musculoskeletal and circulatory systems are now fully developed. Their brain is still growing; it’s about two-thirds the size it will be once your pregnancy reaches full term at week 39.
Their kidneys are fully developed, and their liver is mature enough to process some waste products. Their kidneys now produce sterile urine, which combines with the amniotic fluid.
Week 35 pregnant belly
By week 35, there’s a lot of variation in fundal height. Your uterus will continue to grow. In fact, it’s now 1,000 times larger than its pre-pregnancy size. It will reach the base of your sternum in a week or two, and there won’t be space for the baby to move any farther up your torso. This will make the fundal height measurement less relevant.
Common pregnancy symptoms at 35 weeks
The most common complication during pregnancy and the postpartum period is preeclampsia, which affects 5% to 8% of pregnant women in the United States. Although most cases are mild, identified in a routine appointment and manageable with treatment, preeclampsia can lead to serious complications for you and/or your baby if not monitored.
Contact your obstetrician immediately if you develop a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher. It’s also a cause for concern if the upper number (systolic pressure) rises 30 points or more and the lower number (diastolic pressure) rises by 15 points or more.
Although you may experience nothing else, other symptoms include excessive puffiness in your face or hands, an unrelenting headache, nausea and/or vomiting, pain in your stomach and/or right shoulder, vision changes and weight gain of more than 3 pounds in one week.
- Shortness of breath: As your uterus moves up your torso, your lungs won’t have space to fully expand. You may find yourself stopping to catch your breath more often.
- Facial hair: Coarser hairs may sprout up on your face, arms or legs due to increased hormone stimulation of your hair follicles.
- Varicose veins: As the weight of your baby presses on the vena cava, the blood vessel for blood returning to the heart from your lower body, varicose veins may appear down your legs, over your groin and in your rectum. Although they’re not avoidable in every case and hereditary factors play a part in some, you can encourage the blood to return to your heart by wearing compression stockings, keeping your feet elevated, avoiding sitting with your crossed legs and regularly moving around.
- Fatigue: It’s typical to experience exhaustion throughout the third trimester. There may be a lot to do before your new arrival, but nap or rest when you’re able.
Pregnancy checklist at 35 weeks pregnant
As you head to your doctor’s office this week or next, there are a few things to consider.
- Check your baby’s position. At your prenatal visit, your obstetrician will determine your baby’s position and estimated weight in your womb by feeling your abdomen and using a technique called Leopold’s maneuvers.
- Determine if a cesarean section may be necessary. If an ultrasound confirms that your baby’s in the breech position or might otherwise have difficulty coming down the birth canal, your obstetrician may determine that a C-section is necessary. Other factors that may require a C-section include placenta previa (a condition in which the placenta blocks your baby’s exit route) or having had a C-section before.
- Get screened for GBS. Between this week and 38 weeks, your obstetrician will screen you for group B strep (GBS), a bacterium found in the genital tracts of about a quarter of all healthy women. While it may not make you ill, without IV antibiotics administered during birth, your baby could contract GBS in the course of delivery and become ill.
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