35 weeks pregnant
Your baby at 35 weeks
- She is looking more like a picture book baby with every day that passes. Her hair may be a few centimetres long and she will be laying down fat, most recently around her shoulders.
- She weighs about 2.5kg, is getting closer to 50cm and produces an impressive 500ml of urine a day.
- She has lungs that are nearly ready to breathe in air.
- She has a bowel full of meconium - the name of a thick sticky green/black (impossible to get off) first bowel movement. She will usually wait until she is born and has her first babygro on to open her bowels, but sometimes, if she is a bit stressed during labour, she may do so on the way out.
- At 35 weeks her nervous system has more connections between nerve cells and muscles, and her reflexes are stronger. She can grasp, search with her mouth for a nipple and suck like a vampire. She responds to light and sound.
- She is likely to be head down. Head down is called cephalic and head up is called breech - when your baby is buttocks or feet down instead of head down in the pelvis. You are more likely to have a breech baby if you have a lot of amniotic fluid or your placenta is lying low in your womb, or you have more than one baby. About 4% of babies are breech at 37 weeks. Your doctor may suggest trying to turn your baby by manipulating her through your abdomen. Her heart is monitored before and after the procedure to make sure she is OK. If there is any doubt about your baby, she may have to be delivered sooner rather than later, so bring your hospital bag. Some breech babies are born vaginally but most are done by caesarean section because, on balance, it is safer for your baby.
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Countdown to giving birth
Fear of labour Now is a good time to get worried about having your baby. What mother-to-be isn't anxious about labour, even if they've done it before? You can be anything from mildly anxious to in a state of panic and if you feel more anxious than most people you should talk to your antenatal team. They may be able to reassure you or to refer you to a psychologist. It's worth getting help.
Research shows that if you are scared of childbirth you're more likely to have a longer labour. A study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, of 2,206 women, found that those who were most scared took on average an hour and a half longer in labour as well as being more likely to have an emergency caesarean section.
Women worry about being in control in labour and being able to smile and thank the midwife and not abuse their partner. There is nothing the labour team will not have seen before and lots of women shout and scream in labour. You may also worry about doing a poo but, in reality, although some often leaks out there isn't a whole heap up there because the baby is pushing on your rectum and it is likely to be pretty empty. If there is any mess the midwife will wipe it away (and not shout about it).
You may worry about your waters breaking in public or not getting to the hospital in time. Both are rare. Talk to your partner about being contactable from now on and talk about what you will do it he cannot get there quickly (is there anyone nearer you can get to stand in?) and what you should do with any other children. Make sure there are people to look after them.
You may worry that you and your baby will be OK - the vast majority of babies and mothers are fine. Learn about labour and what happens. Antenatal classes in which a midwife usually shows the passage of a doll through a plastic pelvis are surprisingly helpful. You can also talk to other women who may be as anxious as you.
It's a good idea to write down your questions before you go. Believe, because it is true, that there is no right way to have a baby. Learn about pain relief, plan when you might ask for some and decide with your partner when he or she may negotiate pain relief for you, as you may be not assertive enough to ask for pain relief when you need it.
Nesting People may tease you about nesting but it must be normal because even the untidiest woman is strangely drawn to cleaning kitchen cupboards or repainting the hall. Maybe we need to be sure that before a big life event the rest of our world is in good order.
It is a real phenomenon, a compulsion that, if it gets too bad, should be resisted. Don't climb ladders to paint the corner of the ceiling. Nesting is part of getting emotionally ready and may make you more ready and relaxed for the birth.
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Disclaimer: The information in the pregnancy calendar is for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or antenatal team. Not all babies develop at the same time and in the same way, so this week-by-week guide may not always match your own experience. If you have any worries, consult your antenatal team or GP.