Your growing baby now measures up to 46cm from crown to heel and weighs approximately 2.5kg. Your baby should be consistently moving 10 times a day.
Ultrasound image of fetus at 35 weeks gestation.
By this stage of pregnancy, the fetus weighs approximately 2.5kg and measures around 46cm in length from crown to heel. A steady weight gain will continue now, until birth although growing in terms of length tends to level out around this time. The amount of amniotic fluid within the amniotic sac is beginning to decrease to accommodate the ever-growing fetus. Body fat has now accumulated sufficiently that the lanugo – the hair that covered the entire body – is no longer needed to help control body temperature and is usually completely shed by this stage. In addition to body fat, the vernix – the greasy coating that covers the skin – provides a further method of temperature control.
The kidneys are now fully matured and are functioning, processing waste products. The fully developed liver is also now able to process some waste products. Brain development also continues during this week, with more and more neural connections forming and neural networks becoming evermore complex. Daily activity cycles, featuring periods of sleep and wakefulness become more refined as, due to the uterus becoming stretched, more light is visible and the fetus may respond to this by sleeping more during darkness.
Fetal movements are likely to be less ‘dramatic’ now, as space in the uterus is becoming more limited. The fetus will tend to ‘squirm’ or wriggle now, rather than kick or turn.
Many women feel breathless from time to time during pregnancy, and this is especially common during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Although your reduced lung capacity may feel uncomfortable for you, your baby’s oxygen supply will not be affected as the baby receives its oxygen through the placenta. If your baby has turned, and is head-down with the head pressed against your cervix, you may find breathing easier as there is more room for your lungs to expand. If this is the case, you may also find an increased pressure on your bladder. This may mean that you are needing to urinate more frequently and can also mean that you leak urine if you cough, sneeze or laugh. Ensuring that you keep up a regime of pelvic floor exercises will help to strengthen the muscles in your pelvis and help to prevent pregnancy-related stress incontinence.
Some women find that a bumpy, itchy rash appears on their stomach during the later stages of pregnancy. Although this is uncomfortable and unpleasant, it is not harmful to you or your baby. Aloe-vera lotion can help to sooth the itching, especially if it is applied after having a bath or shower. You should avoid using antihistamines during pregnancy but you should consult your Doctor or midwife if you are finding the itching difficult to cope with. You may also find that your gums are bleeding more, or are more tender or sensitive.This is a common occurrence during all stages of pregnancy and may be helped by ensuring that you are getting enough vitamin C in your diet. Your midwife or Doctor can recommend additional vitamin C supplements if you feel that you need them. During pregnancy, you are also more prone to gum disease so if may be worth speaking to your dentist or hygienist to make sure that you are taking good care of your gums.
You will now be having regular routine check-ups with your midwife. During these appointments your blood pressure will be monitored. If your blood pressure is elevated, you will probably be told to rest. Blood pressure is monitored throughout pregnancy, but particularly in the latter stages as it can be a sign of pre-eclampsia. Your midwife will explain any risks that are causing you concern during your appointments.
The baby should have ten or more episodes of movement per day and this movement may be more rolling and squirming rather than vigorous kicking. This change is a gradual and progressive progress. Headaches, changes of vision, excessive swelling of the feet and face and upper abdominal pain could be symptoms of pre-eclampsia. Itching of the soles of the hands or feet suggest cholestasis. The vaginal discharge may become more as the cervix stretches ready for labour. The Braxton Hicks contractions may become more pronounced. You may feel more pressure on the pelvis especially when upright and may find walking more difficult.
There will be more visits to the midwife and an antenatal preparation class. Discussion will take place about issues around birth itself. As well as practical issue like what to bring to hospital and issues around recognising the signs of labour and what to expect.
In a private self referral clinic additional blood tests and ultrasound scans can be done at short notice with rapid reporting of results. This is important if the baby is smaller than it should be or not moving enough. The woman and her partner can see a consultant for opinion and advice. This is done at a convenient time and with plenty time for discussion.
Pregnancy Osteopathy is available, which may be useful for the later stages of pregnancy.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
Great Portland Street