35 weeks—it is that time of your pregnancy when you are just a few weeks away from meeting the baby growing inside you. At this point in your pregnancy, your belly is a testament to the incredible journey of the past eight months. You have ridden the waves of morning sickness, navigated through cravings, and marvelled at the tiny flutters that have since turned into full-blown kicks. 

As the due date nears, there will be some changes that your body and baby will be facing, all aimed at making the labour easier. It is also time to start preparing for the baby to come home, so all the loose ends need to be tied up. So, let’s take a look at these changes and what you can do to prepare at this time. 

What Your Baby Looks Like At 35 Weeks

At 35 weeks pregnant, you are in month 8 of your pregnancy. Your baby is around the size of a honeydew melon at this time and steadily increasing. So, there are some pretty big changes happening at this time!

  • Getting the lungs and surfactant sorted

When your baby’s lungs are being formed, the tiny air sacs need to stay open to ensure that your baby can breathe easily once it comes out. This is where the surfactant comes in. It will keep these air sacs open for the baby. 

  • The brain is getting bigger 

By this time, the brain is no longer just a little bundle of potential - it has evolved into a powerhouse of development! Neural connections are forming quickly, opening doors for development and learning. 

  • Those reflexes are going to get stronger

The little flutters you felt in the previous weeks will now be upgraded into kicks that will let you know that your baby is getting ready. A baby is simply practising sucking, swallowing, and even blinking, so there will be some tiny movements that may tickle you a little. 

Of course, your baby’s changes are not limited to just changes in their body. There is also a change in their senses! 

  • Their taste buds will be developing right about now, and your baby will be getting acquainted with different flavours from the amniotic fluid.  
  • Sight will still be a work in progress, but they will be able to distinguish between light and dark. If you were to shine a flashlight on your belly, you might be blessed with a playful kick in response. 
  • Sound will also be developing at its own pace. Your baby will be able to recognise the soothing cadence of your voice, the comforting rhythm of your heartbeat, and sometimes even the lullabies you’ve been singing!

What Your Body Looks Like At 35 Weeks

At 35 weeks, you will still have about 4 to 5 weeks to go until your pregnancy is considered full-term. You’re getting closer and closer to the big day! Your body will be experiencing a lot of changes, so let’s take a look at them. 

  • Weight gain 

Your body will have gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, but those extra pounds are not just about cravings and midnight snacks! Your baby is gaining weight, and so are you! So, embrace those curves.

  • Back pain and swelling

Every mother has done the dance of discomfort! Back pain and swelling will join the party at this time, but don’t worry about it. It is very common at this point in your pregnancy. Since your belly is expanding to accommodate your growing baby, your spine is trying its best to keep up. 

Combat this pain with pillows, gentle stretches, and perhaps a back rub from your partner. For the swelling, you can elevate your feet, sip on herbal teas, and just relax. 

  • The womb’s preferred position

At this point in your pregnancy, your baby would have moved and settled into the head-down position. This is the easiest way for them to leave your body. However, if your little one seems to be feeling a bit adventurous and decides to do some somersaults, you don’t have to worry. There is still enough time for it to settle down in the right spot before the big day. 

What Your Health Should Look Like

Now that we are more familiar with the changes both your baby and your body are going through, let’s take a look at how you can handle those changes. It is also important to note what type of care you will need to receive during this time, so let’s dive right in!

  • Prenatal Care:

  • Regular check-ups

These check-ups are akin to pit stops for a car - essential for ensuring a smooth journey. At 35 weeks, regular check-ups become more important than ever. Your doctor will monitor your baby’s growth, check your blood pressure, and keep an eye on any signs of complications. These appointments also double up as an opportunity to ask about any concerns, doubts, or issues you have. 

  • Monitoring blood sugar levels

It is not just enough that the bay is healthy - you should be healthy, too. High blood pressure and gestational diabetes can sneak into the picture. This is where your doctor comes in. Regular monitoring of your blood pressure and blood sugar levels ensures that any deviations are caught early, allowing for timely interventions and a healthier journey for both you and your little one. 

  • Nutrition

  • Nutritional requirements during the 35th week

Your body is essentially a restaurant for your baby. As you come closer to the birth date, your baby will demand a lot more. Load up on iron-rich foods for an extra boost of energy, and incorporate calcium for strong bones and fibre to keep things moving smoothly.

Fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are an absolute must. However, the main focus should be on water. Staying hydrated is an important part of nutrition.

  • Highlight the importance of a balanced diet

The secret to a successful and healthy pregnancy is a well-balanced diet. From proteins that aid in the baby’s growth to vitamins that support your immune system, each nutrient plays a crucial role. 

  • Exercise

  • Safe and Recommended Exercises

Some might think that exercising when you are this close to your due date should be avoided, but that cannot be more false! At 35 weeks, safe and gentle exercises are like a tune-up for your body. Prenatal yoga, swimming, and brisk walks - activities that keep your blood flowing without putting unnecessary strain on your joints. These exercises not only maintain your stamina but also prepare your body for the marathon of labour ahead. 

  • Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises, a.k.a. Kegels, are like a mini-workout for your muscles that support your bladder, uterus, and bowels. Strengthening these muscles not only helps prevent incontinence but can also make the pushing stage of labour more efficient. 

What Common Symptoms You Might Face

Once you have hit the milestone of 35 weeks, there are some symptoms that you might be facing:

  • Frequent Urination

At this point, the baby is right on your pelvis and pressing into your bladder. So, every time you laugh, cough, sneeze, or even if you just bend over, you might leak a bit of urine. Peeing every five minutes is also not something to be surprised about. 

The best way to combat this issue is to go to the bathroom more frequently and to wear panty liners. The pelvic exercises we recommended before will also come in handy here since they strengthen your muscles. 

  • Indigestion and Heartburn

Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest and throat and is a very common issue all mothers face at 35 weeks pregnant. Some hormones relax the valve between your stomach and oesophagus, allowing stomach acid to come up into your throat. This only comes up because the position of the baby now presses into your stomach, pushing it up. 

To prevent this from happening, try to avoid fried or spicy foods, citrus fruits, and chocolate. It will also help to eat small meals more frequently instead of three large meals a day.

  • Trouble Sleeping

Your growing stomach will make sleeping a much more arduous task than it needs to be. Tossing and turning in an attempt to find a comfortable position is something very common. We recommend investing in a pillow fortress to combat this problem. 

Support your belly and knees, and experiment with different sleep positions. Many moms-to-be find solace in the left-side position, which not only aids digestion but also ensures optimal blood flow to the baby. Don’t be shy, embrace your inner child, and build the pillow fort of your dreams for better sleep. 

Preparing For Labour

Since you are so close to the finish line, your body will be preparing for the final labour. These are some signs that labour is coming:

  • Braxton Hicks Contractions

These contractions are similar to a dress rehearsal. They will come more frequently from 35 weeks on. The key is to make sure not to mistake them for the real deal, and vice versa. 

Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular, often painless, contractions that come and go. Hydration, changing positions, and a bit of rest usually ease them. However, if they start becoming more rhythmic or intense, it is time. 

  • Dropping and Lightening

When your baby decides that it is time for it to make its first grand entrance, it will take a nice, slow descent into your pelvis. This is called dropping or lightening. When you feel this, it is a very good sign that your baby is ready to come out. While this is a sign of relief, it also means that there is more pressure on your bladder. It is like your body is gearing up for the final show. 

  • Keeping a Hospital Bag Ready

It is important that you keep a hospital bag ready with everything you might need for your stay in the hospital. Comfy clothes, toiletries, essentials like bras, and more should also be packed. Some clothes for the baby as well, and many ways to keep yourself entertained.

Don’t forget to pack up all the necessary documents for your stay.

Of course, it is also important to keep your house ready for when you come back home with your baby! Stock up on nappies, baby food, baby clothes, and some toys! Put together all the baby furniture at this time, since you will still be able to move about a bit. 

Bottom Line

Each symptom you face is just a stepping stone in the weeks leading up to labour. The important part is to embrace the journey and breathe. Enjoy it fully while it lasts! If you want to learn more about life after a baby, you can visit Little & Brave! Prepare for a sustainable life for your family with Little & Brave.