How time flies – it’s now the last week of Month 8. Your heavy belly is becoming more of a physical burden than before, and it is only normal to feel more stressed out than you’ve ever been. This is the last stage of growth for your baby, and you are also in the last leg of the race – the preparation for labor and delivery is now also in the final stages! It’s time to run through what you can expect this week and to mentally prepare yourself for the last month – let’s get started!
35 Weeks Pregnant: Belly and weight gain
Week 35 of pregnancy: The fundal height is now 11.4 to 14.6 in (29 to 37 cm), the uterus presses against the bottom of the pit of the stomach, and it might feel like your belly protrudes more each day. The uterus, in comparison to its pre-pregnancy state, is now 800 times bigger in terms of its volume, and 20 times heavier than before.
From Week 35 to Week 40, Baby will put on an additional 2 lbs in the last one month (1/2 pound a week) before labor, and mother’s weight might increase by another 2.2 lbs (1 kg) or so. For those who have already put on more than 22.0 lbs (10 kg) since the start of pregnancy, it would be wise to watch weight gain and what you eat from now on, as your weight will affect the ease of labor.
However, the last few weeks of pregnancy are very crucial to Baby, and restricting your own diet will strain your body physically, resulting in the decrease of nutrients sent to your fetus. Avoid dieting and aim to have a daily intake of 2,400 kcal.1Add in some light exercises to your daily regime, and all will be well.
35 Weeks Pregnant: Anemia in pregnancy
From Week 35 onward, the amount of blood in you is an astounding 1.5 times the usual amount of blood pre-pregnancy. This is because, during labor, the placenta peels away from the uterus and results in a large amount of blood loss.
However, the increase in blood loss does not mean there is a direct variation in terms of the number of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin – in other words, your blood volume increases, but the number of red blood cells remains about the same. This results in a fall in overall hemoglobin levels and there is a risk or you becoming anemic.
In addition, about one-sixth of the blood in your body is actually concentrated around or in the uterus itself, so not a lot of blood actually reaches your head. This can lead to fainting or dizziness when you stand up. Although you do not have to feel worried even if you wobble as long as your blood pressure is not at dangerous levels, there is still the risk of fainting, so sit and rest when you feel that something is amiss.
Foods like spinach which is high in iron and Vitamin K, high-calcium foods like yogurt or leafy greens, or fortified cereal which helps to promote the absorption of iron, might just help improve your condition. Apart from these foods, there are other foods that can give you the nutrients you need – so be diligent in taking care of yourself by eating what is beneficial to you.
Signs of labor or Braxton Hicks contractions?
As your Expected Delivery Date draws nearer and nearer, don’t you experience Braxton Hicks contractions more frequently? Braxton Hicks are “false” contractions that give your uterus the real-life practice it needs and gets it ready for true labor contractions. It might feel a little like the menstrual cramps and is accompanied by abdominal tightness.
From 10 days before the start of true labor contractions right up to the start of true labor contractions, you will lose your mucus plug, see signs of the bloody show, and your waters will also break.
Stay still and if the contractions are but Braxton Hicks contractions, you can now rest easy. However, if the contractions become regular, and if you feel abdominal tightness for more than 30 minutes, it is time to call your practitioner and get yourself checked.
35 Weeks Pregnant: Sonogram of fetus in belly
The final growth stage for baby is now – Week 35. Your fetus is around 16.9 to 18.1 in (43 to 46 cm) long and weighs in at about 4.2 to 6.0 lbs (1.9 to 2.7 kg). Subcutaneous fats accumulating under the skin makes the limbs fatter than before, and the wrist and ankle areas become slimmer in size. The internal organs in the baby’s body are developed and the stomach and intestines slowly start functioning.
Baby’s lungs also continue to develop and when born, Baby will be able to breathe. As there are independent factors affecting the weight of your baby, even if your baby is slightly bigger or smaller than the standard, as long as your baby is healthy, there is no need to worry too much.
- Limbs grow fatter as subcutaneous fats accumulate under the skin
- Percentage of body fat increases to 8%
Depressions appear where elbows and knees are
The ankles and the wrists become slender in size
With exception of the brain, eyes, and digestive system, almost all the other internal organs are more or less fully formed
Eyes are blue in color, and will change to other colors when exposed to sunlight and when pigmentation sets in
Fetus is able to breathe (for now, they are still breathing in amniotic fluid)
35 Weeks Pregnant: Hiccuping
You might have heard that fetal movement in the last month decreases. Thus, you might actually be feeling a little uneasy if your fetus moves as aggressively as before. However, when you feel some twitching around your navel area, that might just be your baby hiccuping. The fetus, like an ordinary adult, will also hiccup when their diaphragm convulses.
Although some moms might have felt some hiccuping movements very often, but as pregnancy for each and every mom is never exactly the same as the other pregnancies out there, some moms will not feel it at all. Nothing is wrong with your baby if they hiccup (nor is there anything wrong if they don’t!), so there is no need to pay the hiccuping any mind. Continue to keep watch over Baby’s growth!
35 Weeks Pregnant: Ask and support will be given to you
Week 35 of pregnancy is a week in which the physical pain, the sense of fatigue, stress and the feeling of being a little under the weather will continue. There might also be episodes of frustration when you try to cut your toenails or tie your shoelaces and find that you can’t even do small little things right or with as much ease as you thought you could. What you can do is this – open your heart a little wider, and learn to rely on others for their help.
When you rely on others around you, you might find that the level of trust goes a level deeper. In your hour of need, this might become you and your baby’s lifeline. Focus on the things you can do – preparing the hospital bag for your stay, getting postpartum items necessary for motherhood, preparing yourself mentally for motherhood – and hand the reins over what you cannot do to the people around you.