Pregnancy
35 weeks and 1 day pregnant

Your baby’s hair and eye colour are both determined genetically and set before birth. Unfortunately, however detailed an ultrasound image is, it can only show the shape of structures and will never be able to show true colour information.

You may be surprised to find that your social life is already changing, and the baby hasn’t even arrived yet!

If you’ve become a home bird recently, be reassured it’s quite normal. Wanting to stay at home is common in the final stages of pregnancy. You may be reluctant to plan social engagements for the next few weeks, just in case. For example, you don’t want to spend money on a theatre ticket that might not get used. Do, however, pencil in dates with friends because they will understand if you cancel nearer the time. You’ll also find that once you’re on leave, you’re glad to get out of the house in the evenings.

Do take the opportunity to go out with your partner in these last few weeks as dinner dates may not be on the agenda once the baby arrives.

My feet are swollen and tight; can I do anything about it?

Swollen feet and ankles, known as oedema, is due to excessive fluid seeping into the tissues because of the increased volume of blood. By late pregnancy, as blood volume continues to rise, this is a common problem. The swelling is usually worse later in the day and when the weather is warmer.

Steps you can take to help reduce swelling include elevating your legs when sitting, rotating your feet, and lying on the floor with your feet up the wall. Wearing support stockings or tights also improves circulation. Make sure you drink plenty, particularly water, as this improves kidney function and reduces water retention. Don’t take diuretics – studies have found that these can adversely affect an unborn baby.

Although you may feel too big to be exercising, swimming is a great activity for late pregnancy. The water supports the weight of your bump, so you may feel much lighter than you do normally. Try to do some gentle swimming as well as just relaxing in the water. Also consider going to antenatal aquanatal classes, which have exercises tailored for pregnant women.

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When the weather is hot, relaxing in a swimming pool can be the best place to be. Use a float to support yourself and enjoy the wonderful feeling of weightlessness.

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