Pregnancy Calendar: 35 Weeks Pregnant
How big is baby? Your baby now weighs more than 5 pounds (about 2.4 kg)! He or she is also measuring about 18.25 inches (46 cm) in length. Imagine baby as about the size of a honeydew melon.
What’s new this week? This week you should learn how to time contractions. Baby could make his or her grand entrance any time now.
What’s next? If you haven’t already, it is time to start putting together a budget for caring for an infant over the next year. Costs can add up and you will want to make sure you are ready.
At 35 weeks pregnant, you are probably becoming more anxious every day. Meeting your little one is the only thing on your mind. But you can’t forget a few important steps of preparation. First, learn how to time your contractions. Second, understand your potential for mood swings in late pregnancy and know how to identify them. Finally, create a budget for your first year caring for baby. This way you won’t be surprised by costs later on.
What’s happening with my baby?
Baby doesn’t have much room to move about anymore, so you may not feel him or her turning somersaults. However, kicking movements should remain consistent. Baby’s basic physical development is now complete—kidneys are developed and the liver can process waste—so you can breathe a sigh of relief.
How big is my belly?
Your uterus has expanded to about 6 inches (15 cm) above your bellybutton by this point in pregnancy. You should have also gained between 24 and 29 pounds (10.8 and 13 kg) total. Remember, your size should not be a comparison to other pregnant women, but rather an indication of consistent growth.
Contractions are simply the tightening and relaxing of your uterus, which moves your baby down into the pelvis then through the birth canal. It is important to understand the timing of your contractions. This will help you know if you are truly in labor and when you should head to the hospital.
When you begin timing contractions, start counting from the beginning of one contraction and continue counting until the beginning of the next contraction. This is known as the frequency. Count from the beginning of a contraction to the end of that contraction to determine duration.
It may be helpful to keep track of the frequency and duration on a piece of paper. Your physician should communicate with you ahead of time regarding directions for contacting him or her once contractions begin. They may insist you call right away or once they reach 5 minutes in frequency. If you have any questions, now is the time to ask about proper protocol.
You may have experienced emotional changes or mood swings during your first trimester of pregnancy. Unfortunately, they can return during your third trimester. As your body prepares for delivery, hormones can directly affect the way you feel. Excess estrogen and progesterone can alter the level of neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals in the brain that regulate mood.
To even out your moods, make healthy life choices, including getting plenty of sleep, healthful foods and exercise. Take time to relax, by yourself and with your partner. If mood swings last for more than two weeks or become severe, call your doctor. He or she may recommend therapy or medication. Remember, your No. 1 goal is keeping your baby—and therefore, you!—safe, so don’t be embarrassed to seek help if you need it.
Budgeting for Baby
You’ve heard it before and you will come to know it as truth—babies are expensive. Creating a budget ahead of time may help keep surprise costs down and costs manageable.
Here are some of the basic items you will need to buy for baby’s first year of life:
- Infant car seat
- Changing table
- Diaper bag
- Infant carrier
- Play mat
- Activity gym
- Sippy cups
- Burp cloths
- Breast pump (free with insurance)
- Milk storage bags/Breast pads/Ice packs
- Nursing bras
- Nursing pillow
- Infant bathtub
- Nail clippers
- Childproofing gear
- Safety gates
- Diaper pail/Refills
These items can add up to between $4,000 and $5,000! And that’s just the one-time costs! Below is a list of the ongoing costs for baby’s first year:
- Childcare (daily or occasionally)
- Diaper rash cream
- Solid foods
- Savings for college
When you add up the list, your baby will likely cost you about $10,500 or more over the next year. If you need help adjusting your budget, consider speaking with a financial advisor.
Tip: It is important to buy your car seat new, as safety standards are constantly changing. Other gear, such as strollers and even your crib, can be gently used if you prefer.
Pregnant women often develop varicose veins, especially in the legs, and you are more likely to develop them if you stand a lot during pregnancy or you gain excessive weight. Varicose veins are large distended veins caused by blocked blood flow. They can range in little or no discomfort to painful bulging.
However, there are things you can do to minimize varicose veins during pregnancy. For example:
- Wear flat, comfortable shoes
- Limit the time you stand during the day
- Consider medical support hose
- Wear loose clothing
- Move and participate in low-impact exercise regularly
- Eat foods rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin K
- Don’t cross your legs
Varicose veins should shrink back following pregnancy, but their appearance may never fade completely. If they make you uncomfortable, you can seek out laser treatment, injection or surgery to fade them more completely.