Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 35
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Welcome to week 35.
 The Baby
Your baby is now about 20 inches long and weighs about 5 ½ lbs. This week he enters a period of rapid weight gain, increasing 8 to 12 ounces each week as fat is deposited all over his body, especially around the shoulders, and his arms and legs are looking nice and plump. He probably won’t gain much in height over these final weeks as they are mainly concerned with bulking him out: the bulk of the work in making him has now been done. In the middle of your pregnancy, baby was about 2% fat, now he is more like 15% and by full term he will be 30% fat meaning he will be irresistibly squeezable once he is born. His brain is still developing rapidly and will continue to do so once he is born and begins taking in the wonderful world he has been brought into. You will be happy to know that a baby born now has a 99% chance of survival.
It is getting very cramped for him in your uterus now, though don’t worry about him being uncomfortable: he’s just nice and snuggly! This may mean you notice a decrease in foetal movement, although what you do notice will be stronger and more forceful, and probably quite uncomfortable for you at times. You will really feel like there’s just no more room! If you are at all concerned about the lack of movement you should perform a kick count, and call your doctor if the results are unsatisfactory. He is probably now in a head-down position and is nestled comfortably against your bladder which probably means you need the toilet even more than normally!
 The Mommy
Around now your doctor may start to perform cervical examinations to check for signs of effacement and dilatation and to see what position your baby is in. Labour involves the stretching, thinning (effacement) and dilation (opening) of the cervix so that the baby can be pushed through it, and this process can begin weeks before labour starts, although is it often referred to as early labour. Active labour is considered to have started when you are 4cm dilated, and you are ready to push when you are 10cm dilated. You could find that your cervix remains completely closed until the moment labour starts, or you could be 1 or 2cm dilated for weeks. Either way you should not be worried that things are moving too soon, or disappointed at a perceived lack of progress as neither is an indicator as to when labour will commence.
Some other things to keep an eye out for are the Bloody Show and your waters breaking. The Bloody Show sounds rather dramatic but is in fact often missed by mothers to be. Your cervix is currently plugged up with mucus, and at some point the mucous plug will dislodge as the cervix dilates. It is normally passed in the urine and is sometimes tinged with blood. Your waters breaking could be a slightly more dramatic affair; before Week 37 this is technically known as Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM). The amniotic sac usually ruptures during the second stage of labour, though in 10% of pregnancies it happens before Week 37. Everyone has heard horror stories of a friend of a friend whose waters broke in the supermarket, but in fact this is very rare. If it does happen to you, it will feel like a sudden gush or trickle of liquid, often mistaken for urine. If you think your waters have broken it is important that you make your way to the hospital to avoid risk of infection.
With baby being head down you may feel like you have taken a step back to those first trimester days of two trips to the bathroom an hour, except now you have an enormous belly to contend with too! You may also find that you experience a mild loss of bladder control when you sneeze, cough or laugh. Whatever you do, don’t avoid drinking liquids as you really need your fluids right now. Make sure you are doing your Kegel exercises and wear a panty liner if you need one.
 The Daddy
Although the chances of an emergency backseat delivery are slim, there’s no harm in being prepared. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to plan how you are going to get to the hospital. If you are going to drive, make sure there is petrol in the care, and work out the best route to take, making sure to take things like rush hour traffic into account. It might even be worth you taking a test drive of the route, just to be sure. Keep some supplies on the back seat of the car just in case, such as water, clean towels and a blanket. Make sure you have planned for all eventualities: what to do if you are at work and your partner is at home; what to do if you are out of the house and away from the car. It might seem like you are over-preparing, but it’s better to be on the safe side!
 For more information
Track your pregnancy week by week using the pregnancy calendar at our sister site, 3Dpregnancy.com. Take a look at how your baby develops from every perspective using their rotatable 3D images. Read all there is to know about every week of your amazing pregnancy, including info on your baby, you as the mother, the father and siblings! Click here: 3Dpregnancy.com to go!