So one day, you’re marveling over the fact that you’re 35 weeks pregnant and the baby inside you is the size of a honeydew melon. The next, you’re looking at their real-life perfect little face – surprise!
A baby born at 35 weeks means you have a “late preterm” newborn.
So what does this mean? What are the risks? And how might the days after your labor look?
Here’s your guide, mama.
In this article 📝
- What does a baby at 35 weeks look like?
- What happens if a baby is born at 35 weeks?
- What is the survival rate of a baby born at 35 weeks?
- Can a baby be born at 35 weeks and be healthy?
- Is baby fully developed at 35 weeks?
What does a baby at 35 weeks look like?
A baby born at 35 weeks will look pretty much like a typical newborn, as you can see if you Google baby born at 35 weeks pictures.
Although technically 5 weeks early, their skin will have a healthy tone to it, and they’ll have fewer wrinkles thanks to more fat stores.
Their muscle tone at this age means their movements will be smoother and they’ll probably be able to move their head from side to side quite easily.
They’ll probably only weigh somewhere between 5-6 pounds, so they’ll be little, but not that much smaller than a full-term baby.
What happens if a baby is born at 35 weeks?
Most babies born at this age will be more stable than those born earlier, so you may be able to have some skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, even before they have a full medical assessment.
If your baby doesn’t require the NICU, you’ll be encouraged to have as much skin-to-skin time as possible in the early days.
Will a baby born at 35 weeks have to stay in NICU?
In all likelihood, a baby born at 35 weeks will require close monitoring for at least 24 hours, so they may be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit to begin with.
Although baby’s breathing may stabilize quickly (or be fine from the get-go), they are still susceptible to some baby born at 35 weeks risks, including things like low blood sugar and infections.
Your medical team will monitor your baby closely for these conditions.
What is the survival rate of a baby born at 35 weeks?
The baby born at 35 weeks survival rate is as good as that for babies born at full term, so the chances your 35-week old newborn will be OK in the long term should be reassuring.
Can a baby be born at 35 weeks and be healthy?
Some babies born at 35 weeks will display no signs of breathing or feeding difficulties and may not need an extended hospital stay.
On the other hand, others may need extra help and weeks, or even months, of special care.
Take each day as it comes.
Is baby fully developed at 35 weeks?
While they may look pretty similar to a full-term baby, their organs and internal systems are still immature when it comes to function and strength.
So, you may need to be patient while they get up to speed with being in the big wide world.
The majority of babies born at this age can breathe on their own, with just about 8% of babies born between 35 and 36 weeks gestation requiring short-term oxygen support, according to one study.
They’ll also probably be quicker to pick up the feeding/breathing coordination, and their suck/swallow reflex will be stronger than younger babies.
So in all likelihood, they’ll gain weight at a similar rate to full-term babies, which can mean a shorter hospital stay.
The important thing to remember is that premature babies are individuals, like everyone else.
The health and development of your preterm baby will be unique, so try not to sweat the small stuff, talk to your medical team if you have any concerns, and enjoy those newborn cuddles.
You got this.