35 Weeks Pregnant Baby Size

35 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

By this week, your baby’s arms and legs are growing chubbier, and her skin is becoming pink and smooth. She’s getting ready for your cuddles! Vernix, a coating on your baby’s skin that protects it from the amniotic fluid, continues to become thicker than in previous weeks. However, the fine hair called lanugo that once covered her body is almost gone around this time. Your baby’s lungs continue to develop and are producing surfactant. Surfactant is a substance that helps your baby’s lungs function properly and be able to take in air when she’s outside of your uterus. Your baby’s brain and nervous system are still developing. At this time, your baby’s brain is about two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39 or 40 weeks, when your baby is considered full term. At 35 weeks, the circulatory system and musculoskeletal system are both fully developed, and she's probably shifting into a head-down position in preparation for birth. If you’re 35 weeks pregnant with twins or other multiples, it’s a good idea to know the signs of preterm labor because, with twins, there is about a 50 percent greater chance of going into preterm labor. There’s about a 90 percent greater chance of going into preterm labor if you are pregnant with triplets. Some signs of preterm labor include menstrual-like cramping, lower-back pressure, diarrhea, and increased vaginal discharge. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you notice any of the signs of preterm labor.

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The Size of the Fetus at 35 Weeks Pregnant

At 35 weeks, the average fetus is about the size of a honeydew melon. It’s natural to wonder how exactly your growing little one is positioned inside your belly. Although the below is just a general illustration, it might help you get a rough idea of what your little one might look like and how your baby may be positioned at 35 weeks.

35 Weeks Pregnant

Mom’s Body at 35 Weeks Pregnant

Are you wondering how many weeks of pregnancy you have left? At 35 weeks, you have about 4 or 5 weeks to go until your pregnancy is considered full term. A pregnancy is considered full term from the start of 39 weeks to the end of 40 weeks. You’re getting closer to the big day! In terms of how many months along you are, you are now about at the start of being nine months pregnant. Just keep in mind, the weeks of pregnancy don’t split equally into nine months, so you could also say you are at the tail-end of being eight months pregnant. As you near your due date, you might be curious about the possibility of needing a cesarean delivery. This is when a baby is delivered through incisions in the mother’s abdomen. Although most babies are born vaginally, cesarean deliveries aren’t uncommon. There are some conditions for which a cesarean delivery may be considered a safer choice than a vaginal delivery for either the mother or the baby. One is when labor either slows down or stops. This can occur, for example, if contractions are too weak or infrequent to dilate the cervix enough for the baby to pass through. Another condition would be an abnormal heart rate for the baby, or a pinched or compressed umbilical cord, which may prevent the baby from getting enough oxygen. A scheduled cesarean delivery may be recommended by your healthcare provider before you go into labor. Some of the reasons a planned cesarean delivery may be advised include:

  • Your baby is in breech presentation or in an abnormal position

  • You have placenta previa, which is a condition where the placenta blocks the baby from safely exiting the uterus

  • Your baby is potentially too large to pass through your pelvis and vagina

  • You’ve had a previous cesarean section, which may mean having another cesarean section is safer. Keep in mind, a vaginal birth after a cesarean is often be possible. Read more about VBAC here.

During an upcoming appointment with your healthcare provider, you might ask about the chances of needing a cesarean section or what to expect if you end up having one.

35 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At 35 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Frequent urination. One of the symptoms of your baby dropping lower into your pelvis in preparation for birth is that you may leak a bit of urine when you laugh, cough, or sneeze, or even just when you bend over. This can happen because your baby is now pressing on your bladder. One way to manage this is to go to the bathroom more often and wear a panty liner. Another way to help prevent those “oops” moments is to do Kegel exercises regularly to help strengthen the muscles in the area surrounding the opening of the vagina. This may help improve your bladder control by enabling you to clench those muscles more tightly if needed! Learn more about how to do Kegel exercises and their great benefits.

  • Trouble sleeping. It’s not unusual to experience insomnia in the last few weeks of pregnancy because finding a comfortable sleeping position to accommodate your baby belly is difficult! Don’t let this stress you too much. It might help to make your bedroom as comfortable as you can. Also, sleeping on your side with pillows between your knees could help. Experiment with pillows to see how they might give you the best support. Or, take over the recliner in the living room if that’s more comfortable! Whatever it takes, rest whenever you can, even if it means trying to get in some daytime naps.

  • Leg swelling and pain. The majority of pregnant women experience swelling in their legs and feet. Swelling might occur because your body retains more fluid when you’re pregnant. What’s more, your uterus puts pressure on your veins, which impairs the return of blood to your heart and that causes swelling. Changes in hormone levels also trigger swelling. To help reduce swelling, try to avoid standing for long periods. When you’re sitting, prop up your legs on a footrest or pillows. Wearing loose clothing and supportive shoes can also help.

  • Numbness in hands and feet. Sometimes swelling in your body presses on nerves and can cause numbness or tingling in your hands and feet. Don’t hesitate to mention this to your healthcare provider if it bothers you often or causes pain. Wrist splints might help reduce the tingling in your hands. Resting in positions that take the pressure off your hands and feet, such as propping up your arms and legs on pillows, could help. The good news is that the numbness and tingling typically goes away after you give birth and the swelling subsides.

  • Heartburn. Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest and throat. Hormones during pregnancy relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus. This allows stomach acid to come up into your esophagus, which, in turn, causes heartburn. To help prevent heartburn, try to avoid fried or spicy foods, citrus fruits, and chocolate. (Sorry about that chocolate part!) It might also help to frequently eat small meals rather than getting overly full on large meals.

35 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • You’ve spent a lot of time with your baby as she grows inside your belly, but your bond will grow even stronger once you hold her in your arms. Keep in mind that bonding isn’t a one-time, big event. It develops slowly over time as you get to know your little one. This connection may not feel as strong as you had expected immediately after your baby is born. You have a lot on your mind, and adjusting to parenthood isn’t always easy. In time, bonding between you and your baby will help build your baby’s sense of security and will make you want to protect her and surround her with love and affection. If you have questions about how you’re feeling, either now or after the birth of your baby, chat with your healthcare provider and trusted loved ones.

  • At this phase in your pregnancy, you’re probably having healthcare appointments every other week. Your healthcare provider will check the usual things but, sometime between now and 37 weeks, your healthcare provider may also test you for the group B streptococcus (GBS) bacterium. GBS is usually harmless to adults, but can cause illness in a small number of newborn babies if they get infected during delivery. To test you for GBS, your provider will use a swab to take samples from your vagina and rectum. If you test positive for GBS, you'll probably be given antibiotics during labor to decrease the chance of your baby becoming infected during delivery.

  • Preeclampsia is a serious blood pressure disorder that can occur after week 20 of your pregnancy, or in the third trimester, or after childbirth. Some of the signs of preeclampsia are a headache that won’t go away, changes in eyesight or seeing spots, difficulty breathing, or pain in the upper abdomen or shoulders. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia to find out if you need to contact your healthcare provider.

  • If you’re planning to give birth vaginally, now is a good time to start thinking about the positions you might like to try during labor and childbirth. For some positions you only need a chair or stool. Others require extras like a birthing ball or pool. Ask your healthcare provider what will be available for you to use and whether it needs to be reserved in advance. Take some time to think about your options and what you might prefer. Keep in mind that it’s OK to change your mind once you get to the birthing center or hospital, or even once labor is in full swing. The key at this stage is to know what your options are.

  • With just weeks to go until the birth of your baby, this might be your last chance to enjoy some “me time” for some time. Use this opportunity to enjoy doing whatever it is that will help you feel positive and rejuvenated. It could be having some time to yourself, a special date night with your partner, or catching up with friends.

  • If you haven’t already, take the time now to find a pediatrician for your little one. Ask your healthcare provider or midwife for advice on how to go about finding a good pediatrician. Other parents in your area may also be able to recommend one.

35 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • What are your pain relief options during labor?

  • Can you still breastfeed if you have inverted nipples?

  • If you’re having “oops” moments where a little urine comes out when you cough, sneeze, or even laugh, you might like to ask: When you go to the bathroom, are there ways you can sit to help fully empty your bladder to reduce the chance of these “oops” moments?

  • Under what circumstances might you need a cesarean delivery? If you do need one, what should you expect?

  • Would a photographer or videographer be allowed in with you during labor and delivery?

  • What is likely to happen during your hospital stay after your baby is born? How long can you expect the hospital stay to be?

35 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Prep for postpartum care by stocking up on sanitary pads if you’re having a vaginal birth, or, in the case of a cesarean delivery, plenty of incision dressings such as gauze pads. Your healthcare provider can tell you exactly what you’ll need. Read more about postpartum care and healing to find out about how to prepare and what to expect.

  • Prop up your feet, relax in your favorite comfortable chair, and write those baby shower thank you notes!

  • Find out if your healthcare provider, hospital, or birth center can help you with a lactation consultant.

  • If you took a childbirth class, review your notes and practice your breathing techniques. If you have a little time you might even like to check out our nine-part childbirth education videos.

  • Unbox and assemble any baby gear you already have. Wash and sanitize all of the items your little one will come into contact with.

  • As your due date nears you may be looking at what items of baby gear you still need to get before your baby’s arrival. Check out our compilations of the best baby products as voted and reviewed by thousands of Pampers Parents. Although you might have lots of the bigger ticket items, like a stroller and a car seat picked out, don’t forget those smaller essentials like the best baby bathtubs and the best diaper rash creams.

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How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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