Only two weeks left to go until your baby is full-term and ready for life outside the womb. At pregnancy week 35, your baby probably weighs over 5.3 pounds, and he/she may be 18.2 inches long from head to heel. (But remember that some babies will weigh more or less than this average, and some are longer, or shorter.)
Most of your baby’s physical development is complete by pregnancy week 35. From now until you deliver, your baby is working diligently on gaining more fat to plump him/her up.
Your baby’s suckle reflexes are well developed now. So if your baby was born premature this week, he/she will be able to breastfeed with little trouble.
Room is becoming limited in the womb, so your baby is no longer doing somersaults, flips, or flops. But the number of the times he/she kicks should remain the same. (Call your doctor if you notice a decrease in your baby’s kicks.)
Your baby’s kidneys are fully developed at 35 weeks, and his/her liver can process waste products. The lungs continue to mature, and they won’t be ready for life outside the womb for a couple more weeks. Since week 32, your baby’s lungs have been producing “surfactant,” a substance that coats the surface of the air sacs and keeps them open. Surfactant helps your baby breathe after birth.
If your baby were born this week, he/she has over a 99 percent chance of survival with very mild health problems. Your baby would only require a short hospital stay to monitor his/her growth and oxygen intake.
Research suggests that a girl’s lungs mature more quickly than a boy’s. It’s possible that this is the reason that premature girl babies tend to have fewer respiratory problems than boys of the same gestational age.
At 35 weeks pregnant, your belly is a whopping six inches above your navel. You may have gained up to 30 pounds by now. In the next five weeks, you should expect to gain another pound or two with each week that passes. It won’t be long now. Your baby will be full-term in just two weeks!
If you haven’t packed your hospital bag, you should start this week. You will want to be packed and ready to go at a second’s notice. There’s nothing worse than rushing around when you’re having painful contractions. Pregnancy week 35 is also a great time to finish your baby’s nursery and get stocked up on newborn essentials, such as diapers and baby wipes.
During week 35 of pregnancy, if you have been putting these chores off, you may have a sudden burst of energy and want to get your house prepared for your baby’s arrival. You may have an irresistible urge “nest.” The nesting instinct is common in the third trimester, and every woman experiences it differently. You may have an uncontrollable need to clean or organize, while another pregnant woman may prefer to tackle on bigger projects, such as cleaning out the attic or garage.
Nesting is one of the more pleasant changes to expect at pregnancy week 35. Some of the annoyances that you be experiencing this week include the frequent need to urinate, heartburn and gastrointestinal distress, backaches, and mood swings.
Since you are probably feeling quite uncomfortable at 35 weeks pregnant, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to indulge in a full body massage. Massage can be extremely helpful in relieving your pain, swelling, discomfort, and fatigue. There are a number of spas that offer prenatal massage for pregnant women. You might even be able to find a chiropractic clinic or a wellness center that offers prenatal massage at a reasonable rate.
Try to take it easy from here on out. Communicate with your partner and share with him how you are feeling.
At some point between 35 weeks and 37 weeks, you will be screened for a Group B streptococcus (GBS) infection. Group B strep is a bacterium that lives your digestive, urinary, and reproductive tract. It is usually harmless in adults, and you often show no signs of illness. But if you are infected and you pass it to your baby during childbirth, it can cause dangerous, and even life threatening complications, such as lung infections, meningitis, and blood infections.
Between 10 and 30 percent of all pregnant women have the bacteria and don’t know it, so that’s why it’s important that you are screened for Group B Strep. If you are infected, you will receive antibiotics during labor to kill some of the strep bacteria. This greatly reduces your baby’s risk of infection.
Unfortunately, you can’t take antibiotics before you deliver, because the bacteria can grow back. If you are having a cesarean section, you will not need to be treated for Group B Strep.