35 weeks pregnant: baby’s lungs are ready to roar
Baby’s little lungs are now fully developed, so they’re ready to breathe all that fresh air in the big wide world.
At a glance
If baby was born this week they’d be able to breathe just fine
Load up on omega-3-rich foods which contribute to your baby’s brain and eye development
Breathlessness and indigestion may ease off as your body prepares for birth
There is no better milk than breast milk for your newborn – it naturally adjusts to meet their needs
Baby's development at 35 weeks pregnant
The size of your baby at 35 weeks is similar to a bunch of bananas and they’re gaining weight nicely. They’re padding up with fat now and could put on anything between a half to two kilogrammes between now and delivery day. Your baby’s lung development is now complete and they’re ready to breathe in the outside world. Their skull is still a little soft, which will help when it comes to moving through the birth canal. Your amniotic fluid has reached peak levels and when baby is ready to be born your waters might break, but sometimes this doesn’t happen until much later on during labour. If they do break seemingly out of nowhere, then it’s time to get on the phone to the hospital as they may need you to come in to be seen.
Changes in you and your body at 35 weeks
Your ankles may have completely disappeared by now (remember drinking water helps beat water retention) and heartburn and reflux could still be playing havoc. On the plus side you could find breathing easier and your indigestion might be easing off a little.
That’s because by now your baby has most likely moved their head downwards into your pelvis, pressing your uterus down, giving your lungs and stomach a bit more space. As they get ready for birth this may cause you to feel some slight pain and discomfort in your abdominal area.
With all these pains and twinges going on, you’ll definitely get the feeling that your body is preparing for birth.
If some of those pains are really intense, especially under your ribs, it’s a good idea to let the hospital know. This symptom can be linked to a condition called pre-eclampsia. Hopefully it just turns out to be baby doing a bit of football training.
Pregnancy nutrition at 35 weeks
Even though you’re on the home stretch and baby is fully developed, they’re still growing fast so it’s really important to stick to healthy eating. Here’s a guide on what to eat when breastfeeding, if you’re thinking of doing so.
They’ve had a bad name in the past, but fats are necessary for our bodies. Especially those fats our bodies can’t produce on their own. The essential fatty acids come from either the omega-3 or the omega-6 families and we need a balance of both to survive and thrive. So, it’s important for you and baby to eat foods with the correct amounts of these two essential fatty acids. Omega-3 tends to get missed off menus more, so if you’re thinking about correcting the balance, it might be worth adding a few ingredients from the list below to your weekly shop.
While omega-3 is important, if you’re pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, you should eat no more than two portions of oily fish per week. So, eating when pregnant is a fine art, but one you’re sure to master with a little bit of planning. Due to high levels of mercury, you should avoid shark, marlin and swordfish completely. There’s plenty more fish in the sea (and rivers), as you can see below.
For omega-3 fats:
For omega-6 fats:
hulled sesame seeds
many fruit and vegetable oils like blackcurrant seed, linseed and sunflower seed oils
Foods like yoghurts, fruit and vegetables – especially green veg – are essential to ensure you don’t develop a nutrient deficiency like anaemia.
Your diet during the first 1000 days of baby’s life will be vital to give your little one the best possible start. Everything you eat while pregnant affects baby’s development, and a good diet can have life-long benefits.
During the last stages of pregnancy it’s common to have questions and concerns about breastfeeding, especially if you’ve never done it before. But it’s worth remembering that breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world. Baby has practiced sucking in the womb and you’ll soon see they know what to do instinctively. If you have any troubles or questions, there’s lots of help around: from midwives, to local support groups to your peers, many of whom may have done this before.
Your breast milk is the best thing you can give your baby because you’ve tailor-made it just for them. If all is growing well, from around week two after birth, babies start to put on about 30g a day.
What‘s more, your breast milk automatically adjusts to your baby’s needs. At the start of a feed, the milk is thin and watery to quench thirst. Then it gets thicker and more nutrient-rich to satisfy baby’s appetite. When your child develops a bigger appetite your body will adjust and produce more milk within two days. Almost like magic, the more they feed, the more you make.
You can discover more about the ins and outs of breastfeeding and caring for your newborn in our guide to breastfeeding.