Understanding your pregnancy: Week 35

Understanding your pregnancy: Week 35

A quick snapshot

You are getting close to the last month of your pregnancy now. Your last days of work may seem to go by so slowly and focusing on anything other than the baby is getting harder.

The last few weeks of your pregnancy are a time to reflect and enjoy the important work your body is doing in supporting your baby. Although you're bound to be feeling uncomfortable, there are some benefits too. Generally, people are more courteous and willing to offer help if they see you need it. The other benefit is that you don't need to offer too many excuses if you just want to have a little rest and opt out of a social function.

What’s changing in your body

  • If your baby has been lying in the breech position until now, hopefully this week it will turn to be head down. This may give you some relief if that hard and bony head has been sitting up under your ribs. Head first, or cephalic presentation is the best possible position for your baby to be delivered.
  • Colostrum may be leaking from your nipples this week. You may notice it has dried and crusted on your nipples when you take your bra off. Your breasts are even heavier and streaked with blue veins. Make sure you have been fitted correctly for comfortable maternity bras. These will alleviate the pressure of your heavy breasts on your chest and shoulders.
  • The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby is at its peak and will start to diminish from now on.
  • Your heart may feel as if it is missing beats or beating faster this week. Because of the displacement of your large blood vessels and the load on your heart, palpitations are very common. If you develop chest pain or problems breathing though, check with your doctor.

How your emotions are affected

  • A gnawing sense of impatience may start creeping over you this week. You've had enough time being pregnant to really know what the experience is and you may feel as if you've waited long enough. Your baby has formed an image in your mind and you're very keen to see how accurate it is. Have patience. Your baby is still maturing and will come when it is ready.
  • You may be a little weepy and prone to emotional meltdowns this week. Your aching legs and back just seem to sap your energy and you don't feel like doing much at all. Give in to your body's signals that it wants a break and go easy on yourself. Rest up for a couple of days if you can and nurture yourself until you feel better.
  • It may be getting hard to remember that pregnancy is a healthy, normal state in a woman's life. It can seem like an uncomfortable burden instead. Try to avoid seeing your pregnancy as unnatural or which needs to be medicalised.

How your baby is growing

Third Trimester: Week 3539

  • Intense brain growth is occurring for your baby this week. The neurons and early connections in their brain are developing even more so that at birth, they will be perfectly wired to receive stimulation. Remember to eat foods rich in DHA and Omega 3, such as salmon, sardines and tuna, to help support your baby's brain growth.
  • Your baby will still be gaining around 450g this week and laying down fat cells, which will help to insulate them when they are born.
  • Your baby is around 50cm long this week. The energy they have been putting into expanding their length will now be refocused on their weight gain. There won't be much of an increase in their length other than a couple of centimetres in the last few weeks before they’re born.
  • There’ll be less big rolling movements from your baby now. There simply isn't the space for it. If you feel there is a change in your baby's patterns of movements or it becomes unnaturally quiet, check with your obstetrician. You are the best judge when it comes to knowing your baby's activity so never feel as if you won't be taken seriously.

Tips for the week

  • If you are planning to breastfeed, attend a breastfeeding education class if you can. Reading about how to attach a baby correctly to the breast is very different from seeing it done. Most breastfeeding mothers have a few difficulties in the early stages of establishing feeding.
  • Invest in some plastic sheeting to place on your mattress, in case your water breaks while you're in bed. Keep a towel in the car as well. Depending on the position of your baby when your water breaks, you could experience a gush of fluid or just a slight trickle.
  • If you haven't already drawn up a birth plan, think about doing one now. Give some thought to the kind of birth you want to have and who you want to be with you when you deliver. Remember that there are no guarantees when it comes to childbirth and your priority always needs to be the health and wellbeing of you and your baby.
  • Look at your list of baby names and review what appeals to you. What you truly loved a couple of months ago may have been relegated to the "no way" column. If you and your partner cannot agree, just give it time. Don't underestimate the power of your baby in causing you to think of a name which hasn't even occurred to you yet.