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Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 35 (part 1) - Umbilical-Cord Prolapse, Emotional Changes in Late Pregnancy

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1. How Big Is Your Baby?

Your baby now weighs over 5¼ pounds (2.4kg). Crown-to-rump length is about 13¼ inches (33cm), and total length is 18¼ inches (46cm).

2. How Big Are You?

It’s about 6 inches (15cm) to the top of your uterus from your bellybutton. From the pubic symphysis, the distance is about 14 inches (35cm). By this week, your total weight gain should be between 24 and 29 pounds (10.8 and 13kg).

3. How Your Baby Is Growing and Changing

How Much Does Your Baby Weigh?

You’ve probably asked your healthcare provider several times how big your baby is or how much baby might weigh when it’s born. This is one of the most frequently asked questions.

Ultrasound can be used to estimate baby’s weight. Several measurements are used in a formula. Many believe ultrasound is the best way to estimate weight. However, estimates may vary as much as half a pound (225g) or more in either direction.

Even with a weight estimate, we can’t tell if baby will fit through the birth canal. It’s usually necessary for you to labor to see how baby fits into your pelvis and if there is room for it to pass through the birth canal.

In some women who appear to be average or better-than-average size, a 6- or 6½-pound (2.7 to 2.9kg) baby won’t fit through the pelvis. Experience also shows women who are petite are sometimes able to deliver 7½-pound (3.4kg) or larger babies without much difficulty. The best test or method of assessing whether baby will deliver through your pelvis is labor.

Umbilical-Cord Prolapse

With umbilical-cord prolapse, the umbilical cord is pushed out of the uterus too soon. It’s rare and is a life-threatening emergency for the baby. It happens when the cord passes alongside or past part of baby, which compresses the umbilical vessels and shuts off the supply of blood and oxygen to the baby.

The situation may occur when there’s a poor fit between the part of the baby entering the birth canal and the mother’s bony pelvis, and the cord passes baby. Abnormal fetal presentations, including breech, transverse lie and oblique lie, can increase the risk.

Prolapse is twice as likely to occur when a baby weighs less than 5½ pounds or when the mother-to-be has given birth at least twice before. Excessive amounts of amniotic fluid also increases the risk—when membranes rupture, the large amount of fluid released can cause the cord to pass beyond baby.

Tip for Week 35

Maternity bras provide extra support to your growing breasts. You may feel more comfortable wearing one during the day and at night while you sleep.

When the situation occurs, the healthcare provider may have to keep his or her hand inside the woman’s vagina to lift the presenting part of the baby off the cord until baby can be delivered by Cesarean delivery. Lowering a woman’s head or changing her position may help. Filling the woman’s bladder to elevate the fetal head a little may be done until a Cesarean can be performed. If steps are taken promptly to deal with the situation and deliver the baby, there is usually a good outcome.

4. Changes in You

Shoes and Feet

Your feet may change and/or grow during pregnancy. This can happen as your baby grows and you add pregnancy pounds. If it does (and it happens to many women!), keep the following in mind.

Grandma’s Remedy

If you want to avoid using medication, try a folk remedy. If you have a lot of gas, try taking 1 teaspoon of olive oil on an empty stomach.

• Give up your tie-on and strap-on shoes for slip-ons. They’re much easier to get in and out of.

• Opt for flats—high heels and platform shoes can be dangerous.

• Sandals are great when they offer support. Buy a good pair.

• Consider adding foot treatments to your list of “must dos”—foot massages and pedicures can help make your feet and legs feel great. A pedicure can also help you keep your toenails trimmed—a tough job when you can’t even see your feet!

Emotional Changes in Late Pregnancy

As you get closer to delivery, you and your partner may become more anxious about the events to come. You may have more mood swings, which seem to occur for no reason. You may become more irritable, which can strain your relationship. You may be concerned about insignificant or unimportant things.

While these emotions rage inside you, you’ll notice you’re getting bigger and aren’t able to do things you used to do. You may feel uncomfortable, and you may not be sleeping well. These things can all work together to make your emotions swing wildly from highs to lows.

Emotional changes are normal; be ready for them. Talk with your partner, and tell him how you feel and what you’re thinking about. You may be surprised to discover he has concerns about you, the baby and his role during labor and delivery. By talking, you both may find it easier to understand what the other is experiencing.

Your concern about baby’s health and well-being may increase during the last weeks of pregnancy. You may also fret about how well you’ll tolerate labor and how you’ll get through delivery. You may be concerned about whether you’ll be a good mother or be able to raise a baby properly.

Discuss emotional problems with your healthcare provider. He or she may be able to reassure you that what you’re going through is normal. Take advantage of prenatal classes and information available about pregnancy and delivery.

Lactation Consultants

If you want to breastfeed, it may help to consult with a lactation specialist before baby’s birth. A lactation consultant is a qualified professional who works in many settings, including hospitals, home-care services, health agencies and private practice. A consultant can help with basic breastfeeding issues, assess and observe both you and your baby, develop a care plan, inform healthcare providers of the situation and follow up with you as needed. You can even contact a lactation consultant before baby’s birth. Ask your healthcare provider at one of your prenatal appointments for more information. Or check at the hospital where you plan to deliver to see if they have lactation consultants on staff.

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