YOUR CHANGING LIFE
Charting out your course
Welcome to week 35 of your pregnancy. Chances are, you've been marking off each date on your calendar with a big red "X" in preparation for your baby's arrival. Well, now that you're in week 35 – and what is, in truth, the home stretch of your pregnancy – the anticipation is really rising, and if you haven't been busy preparing for baby, it's time to put your energies into overdrive!
Your body is no longer changing just to cushion the growing baby you have inside you, but rather, it's preparing for delivery. Your uterus is now just below your rib cage and as opposed to amniotic fluid, your little one is filling up a huge part of that gap.
Your internal organs have also shifted to make room for this adjustment, so you may notice issues that never used to trouble you – like heartburn, frequent urination and gas – becoming a more common part of everyday life.
Right about now, your baby is positioning head-down in the womb – those who have their feet facing down are at risk of being born breach. What effect does this have on you? It's making those visits to the bathroom all the more regular, so don't be surprised if you have the path to your nearest restroom mapped out by the time you're through with your pregnancy!
Your nipples are likely leaking a clear or yellowish fluid, which is referred to as colostrum. This early leaking of breast milk is completely normal and features plenty of antibodies, which can nourish your baby once he or she is born.
Milk can actually change colors (who knew?) and during the next stage of development, it's creamy and more white in hue.
YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
From cantaloupe to honeydew melon
If you were cradling your baby in your arms right this instant, you'd be excited to realize that your little guy or gal is roughly the weight of a honeydew melon! Your baby officially weighs in at around 5 ¼ pounds, which means your belly's under quite the squeeze if you stop to think about it!
From head to heel, your baby is more than 18 inches and is sure to be kicking up a storm before the week is through. He or she won't be doing somersaults anymore though, because the womb doesn't have much free space anymore.
For your baby, week 35 is a significant milestone because his or her kidneys are fully developed and operational, and best of all, the liver's working just great too!
From this week forward, your baby won't be doing much by way of developing. Instead, your little bun in the oven is fully baked and just waiting to come out! The next few weeks are going to mostly be comprised of your baby putting on extra weight and gearing up for the big delivery ahead.
Brace yourself for Braxton Hicks contractions
Maybe you've heard a thing or two about Braxton Hicks contractions from your friends or family members – these sporadic contractions can actually occur throughout your pregnancy, beginning about six weeks or so into the experience. Despite this, you may not actually feel them until later on, when you're nearing delivery, and they may be what sends you to the emergency room!
For many women, distinguishing Braxton Hicks contractions from the real deal can be tricky, but with these helpful tips, you should be able to determine for yourself what the cause of your discomfort may be. You can also contact a healthcare provider directly, who can help you assess what you may be going through.
In the weeks leading up to delivery, Braxton Hicks contractions can become more intense, or even rhythmic. They can frequently be painful, and may lead you to believe that you're experiencing real labor. One major difference is that these contractions stay the same – they don't get closer together or become longer. You may also notice vaginal bleeding or spotting.
After the 35 or 36 week mark, if you experience abdominal pain, menstrual cramps or contractions that occur more than four times in an hour, these could be signs that you're going into preterm labor. If you feel pressure in your pelvic area or dull lower back pain and you didn't previously feel this, it could be a sign that you're not experiencing Braxton Hicks, but that your baby is on the way. You should make sure to contact your doula, midwife or doctor as soon as possible!