Your baby is now the size of a coconut in weight, measuring between eighteen and a half (18.5) and twenty (20) inches from head to heel and weighing about five and one-fourths (5.25) pounds. You are in your eighth month of pregnancy.
Between week 35 of pregnancy and the time that you give birth, your baby may grow slightly in height but will definitely pack on a few more pounds. The average height at birth is between nineteen (19) and twenty-one (21) inches; the average weight is about seven and a half (7.5) pounds. If born during week 35 of pregnancy, your baby would be considered late preterm but would have a very good chance of survival. Although there is less room in your uterus for your baby to somersault or flip flop much anymore, you should still be feeling about ten movements per hour when your baby is awake and active.
During week 35 of pregnancy, the lungs are almost fully mature. The kidneys are fully developed, and the liver can process some waste products. The brain also continues to develop and mature at an incredible pace. Most of the pounds that your baby will pack on over the next couple of weeks will come from the layers of fat depositing beneath the skin. All of that baby fat will keep your baby warm and will help your baby regulate his or her body temperature outside of the womb after birth. Your baby’s lanugo, downy soft body hair, continues to disappear. The bones in your baby’s skull are still soft and unfused to allow the head to more easily fit through your birth canal.
During week 35 of pregnancy, your uterus extends about six inches above your belly button and rests just under your rib cage. You should have gained between twenty-four and twenty-nine pounds by now. As your uterus and your baby take up more room inside your abdomen, you may find yourself needing to urinate even more often than usual and you may be suffering from heartburn, indigestion, constipation, and other digestive troubles. Other symptoms during week 35 of pregnancy include headaches, backaches, leg cramps, mild swelling of the feet and ankles, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, stretch marks, bleeding gums, nasal congestion, skin changes including PUPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), clumsiness, forgetfulness, nervousness or anxiety, and Braxton Hicks contractions.
Depending on your health care provider, you may begin weekly checkups beginning during week 35 of pregnancy. Between now and week 37 of pregnancy, you will be offered a GBS test, which checks your for Group B streptococci, more commonly referred to as just Group B strep. Using a small swab, your health care provider will take a vaginal and rectal culture to check for the bacteria. Although GBS is harmless in adults, your baby can pick up the bacteria during birth. In newborns, a GBS infection can cause serious complications such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. If you are GBS positive, you will be offered IV antibiotics during labor. IV antibiotics can greatly decrease your baby’s risk of infection but do come with risks, so discuss the decision with your health care provider. Around week 35 of pregnancy, you may also be given a non-stress test (NST) to monitor your baby’s heartbeat. Your health care provider may also perform a manual check to check for cervical effacement and dilation, although you are free to decline because effacement and dilation prior to labor are not an indicator that labor is approaching.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice of your health care provider.
35 weeks pregnant: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/35-weeks-pregnant_70897
Curtis, Glade B. & Judith Schuler. 2011. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th edn. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Stone, Joanne & Keith Eddleman, eds. 2003. The pregnancy bible: Your complete guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. Willowdale, Ontario: Firefly Books.
Your pregnancy: 35 weeks: http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-35-weeks_1124.bc
Your pregnancy week by week: Weeks 35-40: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-35-40
Baby Bump at 35 Weeks: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sheila_35_weeks.jpg