35 weeks pregnant
How is your baby growing at 35 weeks?
Your baby is now about 47cm long and weighs around 2.7kg (5.5lb). Legs and arms will be looking round and chubby as the layers of fat continue to develop, but there still won't be enough fat to keep your baby warm if you give birth this week. A baby born in this week will need an incubator to stay warm.
Your baby's reflexes should now be relatively well coordinated as he or she responds to sound, light or music. There is now less amniotic fluid and more baby. You should continue to feel movements from your baby, but with space inside the womb being limited, kicks and punches won't be as forceful.
How are you changing in week 35?
You are still getting larger, and with the womb pushing up towards your ribcage, shortness of breath could be a problem until your baby engages – but that may be only about a week away. If you haven't had other common pregnancy problems yet, such as indigestion or swollen ankles and feet, they might appear this week.
As you are carrying more weight, and your joints become more lax due to pregnancy hormones, the combination doesn't bode well for graceful movements. It's completely normal to be a bit clumsy during the latter months of your pregnancy, especially as your centre of gravity will be changing with your increasingly larger baby and womb. Knowing that you are less coordinated will hopefully make you take greater care, especially when walking on slippery or uneven surfaces.
With the increase in weight and size during pregnancy, some women have chafing of the skin between their thighs and under their breasts. The skin may become red and inflamed and it may be moist, especially in folds of skin. If you notice an odour, it may indicate a form of thrush known as intertrigo. It is important this is treated before you give birth, because otherwise you can pass it on to your baby.
What you need to know in week 35
If you fall down, your baby should be protected by your womb and pelvic bones, but you can contact your midwife or doctor to ensure there's no reason for concern. However, if there is any bleeding, leaking or unusual contractions, call your doctor or midwife immediately or head straight to your closest accident and emergency department.
To avoid chafing of your skin, wear cotton clothes and avoid tights, and keep the areas susceptible to chafing as dry as possible.
Many women start their maternity leave this week. If you haven't done so already, now is a good time to finalise your birth plan. After your antenatal visit last week, you should have plenty of information available to help you make your decisions. Your birth plan should include where you want to give birth, who will be your birthing partner, your decisions about pain management during labour and how you feel about medical interventions such as the use of forceps. It should also include the types of birthing positions you prefer to use, birthing equipment you may want to use such as bean-bags or floor mats, and any special facilities you'd like to use such as a birthing pool. Try to remember that a birth plan is not set in stone – it's a guide and you may wish to change it as you go through labour or if there is need for medical intervention such as having a Caesarean section.