35 weeks pregnant: What’s going on in there
Your baby weighs nearly 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) and is almost 47 centimetres (18.5 inches) long. From now on, she won’t get much longer, but this is when she starts to gain weight rapidly—she’ll add up to 227 grams (1/2 pound) of adorable baby chub each week until you give birth. By 35 weeks pregnant, her arms and legs, in particular, are plumping up. Her overall layer of fat helps to keep her warm once she is born. In baby boys, the testicles have fully descended by now.
35 weeks pregnant symptoms
Growing another human being means that you can experience a range of weird and amazing sensations (“I swear he’s wiggling his toes!”). In the final stretch (literally!), when accommodations are getting really crowded, your discomfort is starting to ramp up, too.
Back and pelvic pain are common issues, partly because of the weight of your growing belly (a changing centre of gravity puts stress on your spine) and partly because you’re producing all that relaxin (the hormone that’s helping your body’s joints loosen in preparation for delivery). To cope for the remainder of your pregnancy, try the following: Make sure that you bend with your knees if you’re lifting something, walk or swim for 30 minutes a day, avoid long stretches of standing, try rolling like a log rather than twisting awkwardly to get out of bed, and sleep with a body pillow or a bolster or firm pillow between your legs for support.
Have you been avoiding pregnancy heartburn until now? Thanks to your quickly growing baby, your uterus is pushing on your stomach. The result? Stomach acid may move up into your esophagus, causing heartburn (a burning sensation in the upper chest and throat). To prevent your stomach from getting too full, try eating smaller meals every few hours rather than three large meals. Avoid triggers like spicy and greasy foods, fizzy drinks and acidic foods like coffee (sorry!). Sleep slightly upright (try layering some thick blankets at the head of your bed) so that stomach acid is less likely to rise. Check with your midwife or doctor about over-the-counter and prescription meds, too.
What’s on your mind when you’re 35 weeks pregnant
Truth: Family harmony is often about managing expectations. Have an honest talk with your partner about what you both want when it comes to visitors during those first early weeks and make sure that your loved ones are clear on your wishes before the baby arrives. Do you want it to be just your own little family while you figure out breastfeeding and recover from the delivery? (If you’re nursing, you might be pretty much topless for a solid week or two!) Or would you rather have the grandparents at your house for an extended stay, pitching in with anything that needs doing? (Be warned that the all-hands-on-deck help from well-meaning relatives sometimes comes with a side of commentary or unsolicited parenting advice at a time when you’re feeling sleep deprived and sensitive. It really depends on your personal preferences (and sometimes on how birth and breastfeeding go). Some new parents feel very social and eager to introduce their little ones, in which case an open-door policy with friends and neighbours dropping by with gifts, casseroles and cigars can be great. Talk now—and make your expectations clear—to avoid hassles and family tensions later.
Did your latest doctor’s appointment suggest that that your baby is a breech position? This means that your baby could be bum first, or feet first over your cervix, instead of being positioned head down. Your healthcare provider might order another ultrasound to confirm. Most babies in the breech position move to the head-down position on their own, so don’t panic. Around the 34- to 36-week mark, there are natural things you can do to encourage your little one to shift: About 15 minutes before bed, rock gently on your hands and knees or in child’s pose to help relax the pelvic muscles and let gravity go to work. You can also do a pelvic tilt, lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor and raising your hips. (Alternatively, prop an ironing board—yes, really!—or something similar between the couch and the floor to create a slope and lie down for 20 minutes with your feet up and your head near the floor, cushioned with a pillow. But please don’t attempt this technique alone.) You might also hear about alternative medicinal treatments for turning a baby, such as acupuncture and moxibustion, or a medical procedure called external cephalic version (ECV). We explain the ways to turn a breech baby here.
Just for kicks
You probably have quite the collection of belly pics by now, with more to come in the next few weeks as your bump reaches epic new proportions. And, of course, there will be nine million pictures and posts about your new baby. Investigate some of the no-stress apps, programs and tools to capture the sweet, silly moments in digital baby books. You might even consider backing up your home computer, buying an external hard drive or setting up automatic uploads to the cloud—any way to free up space on your smartphone before your baby arrives. (You don’t want to be bothered with tech problems when you’re low on sleep or bouncing a fussy baby.) If you’re not planning to post about your baby on social media, come up with a plan for sharing images privately with faraway friends and relatives.
If your main criteria for a baby name is knowing for sure that no other cubby in the preschool room will be labelled with the same moniker as your child’s—and no other parent will be shouting it on the playground—take a hint from these celebrities who chose super-unusual names for their kids.
Daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
No, Apple wasn’t named after the computer company or because she’s “the apple of their eye.” In an interview, Gwyneth says that Chris had suggested the name, and she “loved it straightaway…I thought it was so unique and sounded cool.” The actress went on to say she liked how the name sounded “clean” and “wholesome,” which seems fitting for the Goop founder.
Pregnancy to-do list: Week 35
Think about how you’re going to streamline some household stuff in the early days after your baby arrives. Maybe this means test-driving some new easy one-pot or slow cooker recipes, making and freezing some favourite meals with your partner, signing up for a meal delivery service or looking into hiring a short-term helper (like a neighbourhood high school student who can conquer the laundry mountain or help walk the dog). Find out if your local grocery store delivers and try an order. Personally, we like this make-ahead bolognese recipe that turns into three different dinners.