You are in week 35 and that is a long way into your pregnancy. There are 5 more weeks left for your delivery date and it must be feeling like this is it and you cannot get any bigger. Your baby is approximately 18 ¼ inches and weighs 5 ¼ pounds. It is not going to get a lot taller from this stage but it will definitely add on weight. Your baby is almost the size of a honeydew melon now.
By now you are preparing the specifics of your delivery. There are a number of options available for you and also many types of birthing processes. Have you decided on which one is right for you? You may be thinking of home birth or may want to deliver at the birthing center. You may either be thinking of vaginal birth at the hospital or c- section delivery. There is plenty to think about now but what is important is that you should not just think of what you feel. Make it a point to discuss with your partner and also take into account your medical situation. You are already at Week 35 so decide on your birthing plan fast and talk to your healthcare provider about it.
Every week has been exciting and there were new developments happening in your baby. At 35 weeks even though there are some systems that are left to get matured, but still everything is now in place. If your baby were born today there is a 90% chance that it would survive. Now all that is left for your baby is to pack on some more of that cute baby fat and be ready for the D-day that is arriving soon.
You’re Baby in Week Thirty-Five
Your baby is now 5 pounds and is more than 18 inches long. It is now competing for some space for itself and it feels like all the organs are pressed into your torso. Your abdomen is stretched now so much that you may start to worry that your baby is very big. But it is surprising how nature manages to match the babies and the mommies. It is hard to access the baby’s weight at this point because as the baby grows, the amniotic fluid level also rises and the placenta also grows.
You may feel that your baby’s behavior is getting very structured with definite sleep and wake cycles. You may notice that your baby is increasing its movements which may last 20 minutes.
Your baby’s air sacs in its lungs are not getting lined with the attractant. This is a chemical substance that lets the lungs expand after every breath. It lets the baby breathe by itself inside your uterus.
Even without doing an ultrasound your doctor would be capable of telling you how the baby is positioned. The doctor will let you know if your baby is in the upside down position. This means that the baby’s head will come out first. The doctor may tell you that the baby is in the breech position which means that its bottom will come out first. This is because the skull of your baby which was pliable and soft once is hardening as calcium is getting deposited there. Your baby’s brain is still not closed completely with bone. Its head has soft spots called fontanels and this is where the skull bones do not join together. The largest one is shaped like a diamond and is placed towards the front of the head. This is the anterior fontanel and it is the soft spot that everyone will be mentioning to you. You will also be able to notice another fontanel placed at the back of your baby’s head.
There are many subtle changes happening in your baby that is preparing it for delivery.
Its lanugo or the soft thin hairs that cover your baby’s body is starting to fall off. You may notice these on your baby’s back and shoulders after birth and this is normal. The vernix caseosa, which is a thick and cheese like coating, is building up in place of the lanugo. The coating helps to insulate the baby’s body and also helps the baby to maintain the temperature inside the uterus. It also protects the baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. The vernix has an important function too which is to help your baby glide through the birth canal easily.
Your baby’s digestive system is preparing for it to function independently. It is also preparing the baby to separate from the umbilical cord. Your baby has been swallowing the amniotic fluid for weeks and then expelling it through urine. Your baby’s digestive system was absorbing the nutrients from the amniotic fluid but was relying on the umbilical cord for most of the nutrients and nourishment. As the amniotic fluid content works through its small intestine, the waste goes out into its bowel. Meconium is the first stool of the unborn baby in its large intestine. This it does not pass till it is born. Some babies will excrete the Meconium before birth. In case your baby passes bowel before or during delivery, then the health care provider will monitor its response to ensure that the baby develops no complications because of that.