Week 35 of Your Pregnancy
There are twinges and pains everywhere in the 35th week of pregnancy: the abdomen is tense, the back hurts, and various contractions give a foretaste of the birth. From the 35th week of gestation, it gets tighter and tighter for your baby in your belly.
Your baby is no longer swimming in the amniotic fluid but is lying close to your uterus. Slowly, it is time for your baby to move into the birth position.
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Development of the baby
Even if your baby can already coordinate its movements very well in the 35th week of gestation, it, unfortunately, has less and less room to do so. With small and finely directed efforts, it sometimes grabs its nose, reaches for the umbilical cord, or sucks its thumb.
Meanwhile, your baby’s reflexes continue to mature. Your child in the womb clearly turns to any light source that presents itself. The sucking and grasping reflex is now very well-developed. The breathing reflex is present and developed, but will not be able to prove itself until the first breath is taken after birth.
Digestive organs, such as kidneys and liver, have already begun to function. The two paired kidneys contribute to the detoxification of the body and excrete metabolic products through the urine. The liver also performs an important detoxification function and stores proteins and vitamins in its cells that are not essential at the time of ingestion. Sugar is converted to glucose, or dextrose, in the liver and released into the circulation. This process is extremely important for its nutrition outside the womb. Likewise, viscous bile secretion is formed in the liver, which is an important component of human metabolism. This fluid is temporarily stored in the gallbladder until it is released into the intestines, giving the stool its typical coloration.
A substance called “puerperal feces” (meconium) begins to form in your baby’s intestines. It typically consists of swallowed amniotic fluid, cheese goo, and hair – the dissolving lanugo hair. In addition, there is the thick bile that gives the infant’s meconium its consistency. In the first few days after birth, your baby will excrete the puerperal bile.
Your baby’s immune system is now already functioning independently of your circulation. Your child has received antibodies from you, with which it could train its own immune-protective system. Thus, after birth, the newborn is protected against the usual environmental influences.
However, the immune system continues to develop over the following years and needs repeated exposure to harmful influences in order to grow and protect the little body. Therefore, babies and children are particularly susceptible to pathogens in the first year of life. Through the mother’s milk, which contains antibodies, the baby is well-equipped and develops a strong immune defense. Especially, the colostrum of the first days is of outstanding importance for your baby.
A baby in the 35th week of gestation would have a very good chance as a premature baby to adapt to the world outside the womb and to continue its development normally.
Your baby now absorbs iron from your body and builds up its own reserves. The majority of these iron reserves are created in the last months before birth. However, the additional intake of iron is not only important for your baby, but also for yourself. You may also notice that you have been feeling stronger and more exhausted lately.
This may also be due to the extra weight of your baby, but often it is also due to the increased need for iron.
Ideally, by the 35th week, there should be enough iron-rich foods on the menu that not only taste good but also do you good. Iron is found, for example, in legumes, fennel, and spinach. Your body absorbs iron particularly well if you also take plenty of vitamin C, for example in a glass of fresh orange juice or a salad with peppers.
- Pulling in the abdomen. In the 35th week of pregnancy, some pregnant women like to have a pulling sensation in their abdomen. This is caused by the so-called uterine ligaments. These hold the uterus in place and are now strained by the constant weight gain of your baby.
- Hard belly. It is also possible that you will be constantly experiencing contractions in the 35th week of pregnancy. Sinking pains are not necessarily clearly felt. Therefore, you may not have felt any of these contractions yet, which are now pushing your baby further and further towards the birth canal. If your abdomen feels tense and hard again and again, this can also be a sign that your baby is making its way deeper into the pelvis in the 35th week.
- Shortness of breath. Are you quickly out of breath this week? This usually doesn’t last that long. After your baby has moved deeper into the pelvis, your lungs and diaphragm will have more room. And with that, you’ll be able to breathe better, too.
- Heartburn. There is also more pressure on the stomach, which can lead to uncomfortable heartburn.
What types of contractions are there?
The pregnant woman has already had some experience with contractions in the past weeks and months. She has probably been familiar with preterm or practice contractions – the so-called Braxton-Hicks contractions – since the beginning of the sixth month, and in the last two weeks, she has probably already felt the first low contractions. Hopefully, she has been spared real early labor. In the 35th week of gestation, the actual labor pains are coming closer and closer.
Preterm contractions prepare the uterus for the birth process over several months. In late pregnancy, there are also contractions, which ensure that the baby’s head is lowered into the small pelvis of the pregnant woman. In terms of pain intensity, both types of contractions resemble somewhat stronger menstrual cramps. They are also accompanied by back and groin pain, as well as hardening of the abdomen. They appear at irregular intervals, weaken with time, and eventually stop completely.
Early contractions can appear at any stage of pregnancy. They are often difficult to distinguish from preterm and pre-term contractions, especially by women who are expecting their first child.
If contractions are felt more than three times an hour before 36 weeks, become more regular, and are accompanied by a watery or bloody discharge, a midwife or doctor should be notified immediately. Early contractions may result in a miscarriage or premature birth, but they may also indicate that the expectant mother has overdone it physically and should take it easy for the rest of the pregnancy.
In opening contractions, the uterus contracts at regular intervals that gradually become shorter. The first contractions are timed about ten minutes apart, and later they follow each other at intervals of about two minutes or at even shorter intervals.
Each contraction increases to a peak, then subside. The pain resembles severe menstrual cramps at first and gradually increases. Opening contractions widen the cervix, which had been closed until then, to about ten centimeters in diameter.
Pressor contractions push the baby out through the birth canal. As soon as the baby’s head has passed the narrowest point – the exit of the vagina – the most difficult phase of the birth is over, and the rest of the body usually “slips” into place without any problems.
Postpartum contractions expel the placenta. They usually last only ten to 15 minutes. Compared to labor pains, they are weaker and much less painful. When the mother lays her baby down to nurse immediately afterward, the uterus contracts further to prevent more severe postpartum bleeding.
Although your baby will probably not see the light of day for almost a month, it is advisable to slowly prepare for the birth during the 35th week of pregnancy:
- Place of birth: In the 35th week, you should have decided on a place for the birth. Most hospitals and birth centers offer information evenings for expectant parents, where you can meet the hospital staff and possibly visit a delivery room.
- Transportation: If you already know where you will be going on your big day and want to travel in your own car, feel free to drive the route there again with your birth companion to see which way is the fastest or cheapest. On the day itself, however, you should not be behind the wheel.
- Clinic bag: Not all babies set out around their due date, so you can start packing your clinic bag in the last month of pregnancy. Match your baby’s things to the time of year, and don’t forget to get a baby carrier to take back from the hospital or birth center.
- Birth companion: Determine who will accompany you to the delivery room. You may also want to make a plan B, in case your preferred candidate cannot be there on time for unforeseen reasons. Also, discuss with him or her what assistance you expect on the day of the birth
- Birth plan: For many women, it is a comforting feeling to make a birth plan. This contains your wishes and ideas about the birth process. Often this is done during the registration interview at the hospital or birth center.
Related post: What to pack in hospital bag for dad
- Sibling(s): If you already have a child, he or she must be cared for during birth. Together with your relatives, friends and, if necessary, your babysitter, draw up a kind of timetable so that care is assured – no matter when and at what time you go into labor.
- Important phone numbers: Make a list of all important phone numbers, such as the ambulance service or your midwife’s number. You may prefer to leave calls to others when you go into labor.
- Postpartum: With all the preparations, don’t forget the time after the birth. The so-called postpartum period is meant for recovery. Think about who can help you during this time.
In the 35th week of pregnancy, however, one thing is especially important: relaxation and rest. Allow yourself enough breaks and do something good for yourself regularly. This is the best preparation for the upcoming birth!
FAQ - 35 weeks of Pregnancy
At 35 weeks, baby is the size of a honeydew melon. In preparation for birth, he is now upside down in your uterus. Baby’s Length: 18.19in. Baby’s Weight: 5.25lb.
Late preterm babies (babies who are born between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation) are less mature and developed than full-term babies. Hence, babies born at 35 weeks are at a higher risk of developing complications than full-term babies. One of the best ways to prevent preterm birth is with high-quality prenatal care.
If you’re 35 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 8 of your pregnancy. Only 1 month left to go!