35th – Thirty-fifth week of pregnancy

35 week of pregnancy

Getting to week 35 means you’ve almost completed the eighth month of your pregnancy and are about to enter your ninth and final month.

Just a few more weeks and you can finally meet your little one.

Your baby’s chances of survival had already gone up considerably by week 34 of your pregnancy, now they’re over 98%.

At this point you should already have the suitcase ready for birth, and also the bedroom with the accessories necessary for the newborn .

The baby makes itself felt more and more, and you will (rightly) also be a little tired from the enormous “mobile” weight that you are carrying around 24 hours a day.

Now the movements of the fetus become slower and more infrequent, but also stronger.

The development of the child at the 35th week of pregnancy

The development of internal organs

Fetal lungs are almost finished developing, and are ready to inhale air once your baby is born.

At the moment, however, they are producing surfactant, the substance that prevents them from collapsing during breathing.

Her kidneys are also fully matured, while her liver continues to grow, and “process” fetal waste materials

Brain development

These final weeks of gestation are of great importance and are vital to the development of the fetal brain, with neurons forming the connections that will enable the baby to receive stimuli immediately after its birth.

The outward appearance

The baby looks just about as it will on day of delivery, with fully developed facial features and extremities.

His nails have already reached his fingertips: he could even make small scratches on his skin by touching his face.

The growth of his fat

The subcutaneous fat deposit continues to grow, preparing to keep the baby warm after birth.

With the -basic- development almost complete of organs and systems, the child will still have a considerable increase in weight, an increase of which the layer of fat constitutes a significant part.

It is normal that in the first week after birth, newborns lose some weight due to the increased energy requirement necessary for their vital functions.

They will regain the lost weight within the next 2-3 weeks.

The development of bones and skull

Bone development continues, and the bones of different parts of the body are gradually hardening.

The skull still remains soft and cartilaginous in order to allow for proper brain development, and also to make it easier for her head to pass through the birth canal.

How big is the fetus

In this week, the fetus is about the size of a melon. It is approximately 46 centimeters long and weighs approximately 2.4 kilograms.

From now on, you will measure your growth in terms of weight gain, rather than length, as weight gain allows you to track your growth more accurately.

Fetal movements – the breech baby

The fetus is still practicing perfecting the sucking activity and this will help it feed after birth.

Now you can also identify his sleep rhythms, rhythms characterized by precise sleep and wake cycles which, however, often do not coincide with night and day.

At the thirty-fifth week, your future baby has a rather limited space at his disposal to move around and do somersaults. However, the number of kicks you feel in a day should always stay the same.

Many fetuses, in preparation for delivery (lightening) during the 35th week, place themselves in the “heads down” position lower in the pelvis.

Fetuses that are still in the breech (feet down) or transverse (lying sideways) position are usually turned manually by the midwife who applies pressure to specific points on the mother’s belly.

This process is known as the external cephalic version, and has an approximately 65% ​​chance of success.

The body changes in the woman at the 35th week

The top of your uterus should be approximately 15 centimeters above your belly button, while your weight gain should be between 11 and 13 kilograms (19) .

The uterus, which is still growing, continues to put pressure on your lungs and rib cage, and also pushes other internal organs aside.

The same is also responsible for the urgency in the urge to urinate and urinary incontinence (urine leakage when laughing, sneezing or coughing) 20 ) .

Tests and ultrasound at 35 weeks

Ultrasounds done this week show the fetus yawning, sucking its thumb and moving its limbs.

They show it very similar to what the day of birth will be like.

Ultrasound may also be needed by your doctor to try to turn a breech baby into the correct position to be born.

From now on (if you’re not already doing so) it’s a good idea to have a prenatal checkup every week, so that your doctor can monitor you properly to rule out any late pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, or any infections.

Between 35 and 37 weeks, rectal and vaginal cultures will also be performed to check for pathogens including group B streptococcus (GBS).

These bacteria aren’t dangerous to you, but if they get to the baby during delivery, they could cause complications, such as septicemia, meningitis, or pneumonia.

Screening for GBS is essential at this stage, as even without knowing it, 10-30% of pregnant women are carriers of these bacteria.

Women who test positive for GBS will be given antibiotics after labor begins to reduce the baby’s risk of infection.

Symptoms of the 35th week of pregnancy

The most common symptoms consist of,

  • shortness of breath, with occasional chest pain or tightness;
  • indigestion and heartburn ;
  • constipation;
  • pelvic pain and numbness;
  • pain in the round ligament of the uterus;
  • coccyx pain;
  • joint pain and back pain;
  • edema or swelling of the hands and feet;
  • leg cramps;
  • carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers);
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • chills and hot flashes;
  • varicose veins and hemorrhoids;
  • itchy skin, with or without a rash, especially around the belly, breasts, and thighs;
  • stretch marks;
  • epistaxis and nasal congestion;
  • stress, depression and mood swings;
  • restless legs syndrome and insomnia.

When to call the doctor

Consult your doctor in the following cases:

  • reduced fetal movements detected during the daily kick count,
  • detecting any major changes in the child’s regular activity pattern;
  • frequent contractions, together with dull back pain, feeling of pressure in the pelvic area, menstrual-like cramps, vaginal bleeding, increased vaginal discharge, pink or bloody mucous discharge (loss of mucus plug), amniotic fluid leakage, diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea (these could be signs of a premature birth);
  • constant headaches , extreme tiredness and sudden changes in vision, accompanied by pain in the upper abdomen, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and sudden swelling of the hands and face (may indicate hypertension);
  • severe itching, especially of the palms and feet, with no visible rash, which does not go away with any treatment (this could indicate a rare liver disease called cholestasis of pregnancy);
  • burning sensation when urinating, pain in the lower back or abdomen, yellowish/greenish or thick white jelly-like discharge, pain after intercourse (could indicate urinary tract infections, kidney infections, or candidiasis;
  • extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, dry mouth, extreme thirst and an urgent need to urinate (may indicate gestational diabetes )</sup>;
  • pain in the lower back, left or right (around the kidney), which tends to radiate to the abdomen and groin, nausea, vomiting, dark or cloudy, foul-smelling urine, and pain when urinating (may indicate kidney stones);
  • one-sided swelling in one foot or one ankle (could indicate a blood clotting disorder).

Some useful tips for a healthy pregnancy and baby

Some useful tips for you who are at the end of pregnancy:

  • drink plenty of water, despite the increased urge to urinate;
  • follow a healthy diet recommended by your doctor. Include in your daily diet foods and possibly supplements rich in DHA (docosahexaenoic acids, a kind of omega-3 fats) such as, for example, salmon, tuna and fortified eggs) which promote the correct development of the child’s brain and eyesight ;
  • avoid drinking diuretic drinks such as tea and coffee, as they could lead to more frequent urination;
  • compile your “birth plan” (a written and signed agreement between the mother and the facility where she has decided to give birth) taking into account the different methods of pain management during labor,
  • discuss with your doctor together with your partner how you would like to give birth;
  • always keep your suitcase ready, close at hand, especially if you are expecting twins;
  • keep your feet elevated, using a pillow, when you sleep at night in order to minimize swelling in the legs;
  • attend prenatal yoga classes , or do regular light physical exercises (such as swimming or short walks), because this helps reduce the most common pains in pregnancy, as well as raise energy levels;

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

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