Pregnant woman with partner at an ultrasound examination

Pregnancy WEEKS

Pregnancy Week 35

Examinations Before the Birth

Putting on weight continues to be at the top of the baby's to-do list – as is lung development. Read on to find out what still needs to be done now you are 35 weeks pregnant, which examinations you may have to have at the end of the third trimester and what are the five "must-haves" for your home!

What's Going On in Your Belly at 35 Weeks Pregnant?

The size of the foetus is around 46 cm (crown - heel) and it weighs approx. 2400 grams.

In late pregnancy, three particular examinations are sometimes required to establish how the baby is and whether its organs are functioning properly:

#1 Calculation of the amount of amniotic fluid

An ultrasound can check how much amniotic fluid is surrounding the baby in various places. These values can be used to estimate the overall quantity. If the amount is too low, this can be an indication that the baby's metabolism or its kidneys are not functioning properly.

#2 Doppler ultrasound

This ultrasound, also known as the "Doppler ultrasonography", is a specific form of ultrasound that makes the function of various blood vessels visible. It checks the blood flow to and from the uterus, the placenta and the baby's head. Excessively large blood vessels and certain gaps in the blood pressure recordings can indicate problems or a deficiency.


#3 CTG (cardiotocography)

The CTG records heartbeats and contractions. This means that the CTG can be used to check the baby's heartbeat and the uterine muscles. This type of scan is only usually done at or around the time of birth. However, it can also be done if there is any concern regarding early contractions or for safety if an external cephalic version (turning baby from breech to head down) is carried out. During the birth, the CTG is used to keep an eye on how the baby is coping with labour. There are two lines on the CTG recording: one shows the baby's heart rate and the other shows uterine activity.

In the womb, the baby's heart rate is around 120-160 beats per minute. In healthy babies, the heart rate will usually increase when the foetus moves or with external stimuli. The CTG analysis monitors this increase and decrease. The recording is not easy to interpret and is often done with the assistance of computer programs, ideally in combination with experienced Midwives or obstetricians.

Your baby is now roughly the size of a lettuce!

Your baby is now roughly the size of a lettuce!

How Do You Feel at 35 Weeks Pregnant?

Many pregnant women feel relaxed, as preparations for the baby's arrival are now slowly coming together. Some women suddenly become obsessed with cleaning and decorating – the infamous "nesting instinct". But be careful: you should not lift anything heavy and ideally leave any decorating to the professionals. Climbing ladders and inhaling paint fumes in the third trimester of pregnancy are not recommended.

The most important things that you need to have ready at home before your baby is born:

  • Somewhere for the baby to sleep
  • A sleeping bag
  • A car seat for the journey home
  • Some nappies for newborns
  • A set of clothing (long-sleeved bodysuit & trousers or babygro) for the journey home
  • A baby bottle + infant formula (in case breastfeeding doesn't get off to a good start)

Naturally, you will need more clothes than just one outfit, as well as a hat (thick or thin, depending on where you live and the time of year), changing mat, etc. – but you can improvise here to begin with or you can quickly buy whatever you are missing. If you are not too fussy about the colour or model, you can even buy your Pram/Pushchair at the last minute.

The most important thing is that you minimise your stress levels in the last few weeks and calmly prepare yourself for the birth. Birth preparation courses can help here, as can pregnancy yoga, breathing exercises and naturally talking to your midwife or doctor about the forthcoming examination procedures and the birth.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock