You’re now in the home stretch and in only a few short weeks will be holding your newborn baby.
But what is happening to your baby in those final important weeks of pregnancy?
Well at 35 weeks pregnant your baby will have very little room to manoeuvre and somersaults should be a thing of the past. Kicking, however, remains quite common!
Your baby is now about 18.5 inches (47cm) in length and weighs over 5.5 lbs (2.7kg)
The nervous and immune systems are still finishing off their development but everything else is fully formed from the hair on the head to the tiny toenails. The kidneys are fully functional and the liver is now processing some waste products. The next few weeks are mainly about putting on weight but if born now your baby has a ninety nine per cent chance of survival. In male babies the testes have finished their descent into the scrotum.
At 35 weeks pregnant your uterus is crowding your internal organs and this explains why you need to visit the loo more frequently. Heartburn and other gastric troubles could also be causing some discomfort.
Most pregnant women will have to endure these annoying problems towards the end of pregnancy as the uterus expands into the ribcage. Your baby is almost filling the uterus and there is now more baby than amniotic fluid.
At 36 weeks pregnant and with only one more month to go your baby weighs around 6 lbs (2.7 kg) and is about 19 inches (48 cm) long. Between five and ten per cent of mothers report that their baby’s movement slows down considerably at this stage as space becomes tight.
The downy hair that has been covering you baby’s skin until now is being shed and the waxy vernix caseosa, which has protected the skin, is also disappearing.
These substances are swallowed by your baby in the amniotic fluid and result in the dark first bowel movement after birth called meconium.
After this week your baby will be considered full-term and should be waiting in the head-down birth position.
At 36 weeks pregnant small, more frequent, meals may be easier to manage as your stomach is being squashed by your growing offspring. Hopefully, the heartburn has eased and your breathing is easier now that the baby has moved down into your pelvis. If your baby has dropped down you may feel extra pressure in the pelvic area.
Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent now in preparation for the real thing. These last few weeks should be a straightforward waiting game but if you experience any vaginal bleeding or if you think that the amniotic fluid is leaking you must seek out medical help. Other warning signs to be aware of are constant abdominal pain, persistent or severe headache and blurred vision. Contact your practitioner if you experience any of these symptoms.