Pregnancy Week 35
You are about to enter in your last month of pregnancy. The countdown has begun. Working women must be winding up their work in office as their maternity leave entitlements start during last 4-5 weeks of gestation.
Now that you are so big, it has become difficult to focus on things other than your baby. It is good as it helps in preparing you for the most significant and wonderful event of your life.
Just revise whether you have already completed all the important tasks and have done all the baby preparations. Reserve these last few weeks for rest as your body needs it most.
Growth and Development of Baby
Your baby is getting taller and bigger day by day. By this week, he or she weighs around 2.4 kg and measures up to 46 cm in length. The baby will show steady weight gain and will gain around one pound till his delivery date which includes large amount of baby fat also. The fat proportion in the weight is increasing constantly and his once skinny arms and legs have now turned plump and soft. This fat layer would also help baby to stay warm in the world outside womb.
The soft fuzzy hairs that were covering the baby’s body are disappearing although few of them will be still be there at the time of birth.
The baby’s brain and brain power is developing at mind boggling pace these days. However, the skull still remains soft which is for some good as it allows easy passage for the baby’s head through the birth canal.
The baby has now got fully developed kidneys. Along with that, liver is also working great and is processing several waste products. The neurons and early connections in the brain are developing so that they are perfectly ready to receive outer stimulation. At this stage, you must necessarily include DHA and Omega-3 foods in your diet. The baby is building lots of red blood cells by absorbing plenty of iron from your body. So, mums-to-be are advised to intake lots of iron rich foods in the third trimester.
As compared to the baby’s size, there is quite lesser amount of amniotic fluid present. Therefore, there is lesser space for your baby to do somersaults. However, as the gap between the uterus wall and the belly becomes thinner leading to more pronounced movements. It may be possible that, at times, your baby’s elbows, feet or head protrude out from your stomach. As the skin has become thin, more light can pass through the stomach which causes baby to follow some particular cycle. Your belly button must have popped out and had gone bigger by now.
The hearing senses are completely developed now and your baby can best respond to high pitched voices. If it’s a boy, the testes must have descended completely.
The baby is busy practicing sucking so as to latch the first post-birth feed. The following weeks, baby will start moving down in the pelvis to get ready for the Delivery-day. Most of the babies will turn their down by this week. However, about 3-4 percent of babies still lie with their foot or legs first. This is known as breech position. Even at this stage, one cannot say that baby will remain in this condition as babies tend to change their position several times before birth. Your baby is fully developed now and will spend more weeks by gaining weight only.
Changes in the Mother’s Body
By this week, your uterus is around 6 inches above your navel and snuggling hard to fit under your ribcage. You have become so big that you may feel that it is easier to roll than to walk. Graceful walking has become a far distant memory. Your big uterus is crowding other internal organs which results in annoyances like heartburn, indigestion, urination, etc. If you are not grappling all these, you are one of the few lucky mothers-to-be.
- If by now, the baby was lying in breech position, he or she must be changing position to head down to prepare for the birth. Those lucky women who have this head down condition by this week may get some relief as the hard and bony head was sitting under the ribs making you uncomfortable. Head first or cephalic condition is the most favorable condition for the vaginal birth.
- GBS culture: From this week, you will have to visit your doctor once a week. Once in your visit, you will be examined for vaginal and rectal culture to check for the bacteria group B streptococci. The process is quite simple and important. If not done, it may pass to your baby during birth which can result in complications like Pneumonia, meningitis or blood infection. In case, your doctor finds you as GBS carrier, you will be given IV antibiotics during labor to reduce baby’s risk of infection.
- Urinary incontinence: A feeling of deja vu may be striking you due to frequent urination again triggering making you rushing to the bathroom too often. However, during first trimester, it was due to pregnancy hormones, while this time it’s your baby head that is pushing your bladder. Along with the urge to pee, you may at times feel urgency or lack of bladder control. This result in small urine leakage when you sneeze, cough or laugh. No matters, how intense is the problem, don’t cut back on your fluids. The only thing you can do to prevent this is emptying your bladder completely after every trip and doing kegal exercises which strengthen pelvic muscles, or wearing a panty liner to avoid any wet feeling.
- First milk: Most of you must be noticing colostrums or first breast milk by this week which appears as dried or crusted on your nipples after removing bras. The breasts as before are heavier and have blue lines. Wearing a comfortable maternity bra will alleviate any pressure of them on chest or shoulders.
- The amniotic fluid is becoming lesser day by day. The fluid is commonly known as “the waters” which is often leaked just before the labor. Sometimes women get confused between the urine and the waters. However, this fluid has got distinct smell which is quite different from urine. If you have any doubt regarding your leaking fluid, you may check it with your doctor and verify the same.
- As the internal organs get lesser space, the large blood vessels of heart become displaced and there is also increased load on heart which results in missing beats or fast beating. In case of chest pain, you must see your doctor.
- 35 weeks seems to be too long when you are pregnant. Now, the pregnancy is making you impatient causing you to desperately wait for your delivery and cute little baby. In these last 35 weeks, you have had all the good and bad experiences of pregnancy and now you may feel that you have waited enough. But, keep patience! Your baby is still maturing and growing and will be out once he is ready.
- Backaches, leg aches, fatigue, big body with big belly all seem to sap your energy. This may make you weepy and emotional melting down. However, listen to your body signals and give it as much rest as it demands.
Some Important Tips to Consider
- With every passing day, you and your belly is becoming bigger and bigger. You may feel short of breathe and tired all the time. Try getting down on your four and take deep breathes.
- Sudden and frequent dashes to the bathroom may cause you to cut back your liquids. But remember that your baby still needs much of water. However, you can avoid taking diuretics like tea and coffee which makes you wee more.
- Now is the time, when you should think about a doula or a woman’s servant. They can serve two purposes the first one is birth doula who will support you during labor by telling you all breathing and relaxation techniques while other one is postpartum doula who will help you after delivery with all your daily routine. A doula is a big emotional comfort for you in potentially frightening condition.
- The time has come when you should consider taking breastfeeding classes if you are planning to breastfeed. Watching a baby breastfeed and doing it on your own is altogether a complete experience. You must know how to correctly hold baby while breastfeeding. This helps you in avoiding early difficulties of breastfeeding.
- We have already suggested you for birth plan and baby names. If you have not yet started working on these things, it is high time now. Work on these ideas as soon as possible.
- Before it gets too late, invest in some plastic sheet for your mattress. Now when you can go into labor anytime, you must take precautions in case your waters break.
Dealing with Labor Pains
Labor pains are too intense. Some women feel every contraction while others want it to be easy and prefer for some pain relief medications. Pain medications have two options these days. They are either analgesic which works on entire body while others are anesthetics which work on the targeted parts only.
Which medications are given to you depends on varying factors like:
- What’s used in hospital
- Sage of labor
- What is available
- What you want
We can work on other condition, however, to help you decide what you want, let us know more about these medications:
Analgesics: These are systemic medications meaning affecting entire body. It affects the body by reaching you and your baby’s blood stream. These medications do not block the pain completely but make it less intense. Some commonly used analgesics are Demerol or Stadol. The potential side effects of these can be drowsiness, dizziness, queasiness or light headedness which can last for few days. Sometimes, these medications put heart rate at lower levels putting the baby’s heart rate at risk too. However this condition is treatable.
Anesthetics: These are injected in certain parts of the body to cause targeted pain relief. Epidural is the most popular in this category. With the epidural, the spine area is kept numb. The epidurals actually block the messages between brain and body. Though, they take few minutes to start their action but once triggered they will give you complete pain relief.
You are almost to an end! If possible call your family or friends to support you. There are some lucky women who have a close network of their friends and family to help in these bewildering days after giving birth. Time flies so fast! Remember to keep track of these memories to cherish them in future.