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What Happens at 35 Weeks of Pregnancy?

by
author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
What Happens at 35 Weeks of Pregnancy?
Talk to your doctor about changes in movement. Photo Credit g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images

Pregnancy causes your body to change and a variety of symptoms to emerge as your baby develops. The often severe symptoms of the first trimester give way to the comfort of the second trimester, which eventually leads to the contrasting discomfort of the third trimester. At 35 weeks, you're nearing the home stretch; your baby is almost completely developed and you may be stressed mentally, physically and emotionally. Knowing that you're fostering the growth and development of your baby can help you get through your last five weeks of pregnancy.

Growth and Size

At 35 weeks, your baby is over 5 lbs. and between 16 and 20 inches. As your baby grows, the room in your uterus diminishes and you may begin to feel a reduction in movement from your baby. While you should still feel powerful movements as your baby continues stretching and moving frequently, you likely won't feel the flips and rolls that are common in early pregnancy as your baby becomes larger and has less room to move. Talk to your doctor about a sudden decrease in movement or if you feel no movement at all for several hours.

Development

Your baby is almost fully developed by 35 weeks, even in her kidneys and liver. While the brain is still developing, your baby will likely survive outside the womb by 35 weeks. The fetus will mostly spend the time leading up to birth putting on more weight -- as much as 8 to 12 oz. per week. Your baby will be considered full term at 37 to 38 weeks.

Symptoms

While your baby is growing, putting on weight and finishing brain development, you may be feeling more and more uncomfortable. Your expanding belly can make you feel slow and cumbersome and you may have trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position at night. Your joints and muscles will begin to loosen in preparation for childbirth, so you may find yourself clumsier than usual. Ensure that you have proper support when using stairs or engaging in activities that require balance. Between 35 and 37 weeks, your doctor will administer a swab test for Group B streptococci, a virus that could cause infection in your baby. If you test positive, you'll simply be put on antibiotics during the labor and delivery to protect your baby.

Prematurity

If you're at risk for preterm labor, which involves early contractions, being pregnant with multiples or suffering from preeclampsia, membrane rupture or other ailments, there's a chance your baby could be born at 35 weeks. While a 35-week-old baby's brain is not yet fully developed, he has a good chance of healthy survival if born five weeks early. The preterm labor may result in a short stint in the neonatal intensive care unit as your baby learns to eat and as his lungs develop enough so that you can take him home.

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