What to Expect When You Are 35 Weeks Pregnant

You’ve almost reached the home stretch! At 35 weeks pregnant, you only have about 5 more weeks to go until your due date. This exciting time brings lots of changes as your body prepares for labor and delivery. While you may be anxious to meet your baby, it’s important to continue taking good care of yourself and your baby during these final weeks of pregnancy.

This article provides a detailed overview of what to expect when you are 35 weeks pregnant. We will cover common symptoms, baby development, tips for self-care, and what to watch out for at 35 weeks pregnant.

Key Takeaways When 35 Weeks Pregnant:

  • Your baby is around 18 inches long and 5 pounds at this stage. Their lungs and brain are still developing.
  • Common symptoms include back pain, trouble sleeping, leg cramps, swelling, constipation, hemorrhoids, and contractions.
  • Take care of yourself by resting, staying hydrated, eating nutrient-rich foods, and doing light exercise.
  • Watch for preterm labor signs like frequent contractions, bleeding, or leaking fluid. Call your doctor if concerned.
  • Attend a childbirth class, pack a hospital bag, and prepare your home for the baby’s arrival.
  • Schedule weekly checkups to monitor your health and the baby’s growth.

Symptoms and Discomforts at 35 Weeks Pregnant

The further along you are in pregnancy, the more uncomfortable symptoms you may experience. Here are some common symptoms and issues during week 35:

Back Pain

As your belly continues expanding, you put more pressure on your back muscles and spine. This added weight often leads to upper and lower back pain at 35 weeks pregnant. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs, wearing supportive footwear, and avoiding lifting heavy objects. Apply heat, massage, or ask your partner for a gentle back rub. Stay active with walks to strengthen core muscles. Consider seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist if pain persists.

Trouble Sleeping

It may be difficult to get comfortable and sleep well at 35 weeks pregnant. Try propping pillows under and between your legs or under your belly for support. Sleep on your left side to optimize blood flow. Keep the room cool and wear breathable pajamas. Avoid caffeine, big meals, and screens before bedtime. Practice relaxation techniques to help fall asleep. Speak to your doctor if you develop insomnia.

Increased Braxton Hicks Contractions

You may notice your practice contractions increasing around 35 weeks. These Braxton Hicks contractions prepare your uterine muscles for true labor. Stay hydrated, rest, and change positions to ease discomfort. Call your doctor if contractions become regular or increase in intensity.

Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are common as your muscles fatigue more easily. Stretch your calves and hamstrings regularly. Ensure you get enough magnesium and potassium from foods like bananas, yogurt, nuts and greens or supplements. Stay active but avoid standing for too long. Massage cramped muscles and apply heat.


Swelling or edema in your ankles, feet, face and hands is common as you retain more fluid near the end of pregnancy.Elevate your feet frequently, avoid tight clothing and salty foods, and wear compression socks. Move around periodically if sitting for long periods. Notify your doctor about sudden or severe swelling.


Increased pressure from the baby along with constipation can lead to swollen, painful hemorrhoids. Soak in a warm tub, apply cold compresses, and use a hemorrhoid cream. Drink lots of water, eat high-fiber foods, and stay active to prevent constipation. Tell your doctor about bleeding or painful hemorrhoids that don’t improve with home treatment.

Skin Changes

You may notice pregnancy mask, itchy skin and stretch marks as your belly continues expanding. Moisturize daily with an unscented cream. Avoid hot showers. Exfoliate gently using a soft brush or scrub. Prevention is key for minimizing stretch marks, but most will fade over time after delivery.

Increased Discharge

More vaginal discharge is common as your body prepares for labor. Wear panty liners if needed. Report any foul discharge, bleeding not from hemorrhoids, or leaking fluid which could indicate preterm labor.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

You may begin having more intense false labor contractions or Braxton hicks. Changing positions, walking, and hydration can often ease them. Time the contractions – call your doctor if they are less than 10 minutes apart, last over 1 minute or become very painful.


Around 35 weeks you may feel the baby settling lower into your pelvis, this is called lightening. You can breathe easier but increased pelvic pressure is common. Lightening often precedes true labor.

Clumsiness and Forgetfulness

You may feel extra scattered, forgetful or clumsy as “pregnancy brain” kicks in. Don’t worry, it should resolve postpartum. Write things down and focus on one task at a time. Ask your partner for help remembering appointments and tasks.

Shortness of Breath

Your growing uterus presses against your diaphragm making it harder to take deep breaths. Practice pursed lip breathing if winded. Call your doctor about sudden difficulty breathing which could indicate a blood clot or other complication.

Your Baby’s Development at 35 Weeks

Here’s what’s going on with your baby at 35 weeks pregnant:

  • Size: Around 18 inches long from head to heel and 5 pounds.
  • The lungs and brain continue developing. The lungs are forming surfactant to aid breathing after birth.
  • Fat layers build underneath the skin.
  • The immune system is maturing. Antibodies from you help baby resist infection.
  • The head typically engages into the pelvic cavity by 35 weeks, preparing for delivery.
  • Your baby can recognize and react to familiar voices and sounds. Talk and read aloud to your belly.
  • Respiratory system, brain and nervous system continue maturing.
  • Your baby is gaining around 1/2 pound per week.
  • Lanugo hair starts falling off and being replaced by regular hair.
  • Vernix caseosa, the white cheese-like coating protecting baby’s skin is still present.
  • Practice breathing motions prepare baby for breathing air after birth.

Your healthcare provider will monitor your baby’s growth and position at your 35 week appointment. Don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns about their movements or measurements.

Self-care Tips When 35 Weeks Pregnant

Make sure you continue to take excellent care of yourself during these last weeks of pregnancy by:

Getting Plenty of Rest

You may feel more fatigued than ever. Nap when possible and go to bed earlier. Let your partner take over household chores. Don’t push yourself too hard or overexert. Put your feet up frequently if on your feet a lot.

Staying Hydrated

Drink the recommended amount of fluids, about 10 cups of water daily. Dehydration can trigger preterm labor. Sip water throughout the day. Enjoy hydrating fruits and soups. Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages which are dehydrating. Keep water by your nightstand as well.

Eating Nutritious Foods

Focus on getting adequate protein, vitamins and minerals from your diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, poultry and dairy. Take your prenatal vitamin to fill any nutritional gaps. Indulge the occasional craving for comfort foods.

Exercising Regularly

Stay active with walks, prenatal yoga, swimming or other gentle workouts. This prepares your body for labor and delivery. Check with your doctor before continuing vigorous exercise. Avoid activities with risk of falling or abdominal trauma. Always drink lots of water and wear supportive shoes.

Making Time to Relax

Carve out time to relax amidst your busy day with a warm bath, gentle yoga, deep breathing, listening to music or reading. Relaxation helps ease common discomforts and reduces stress. Consider scheduling a prenatal massage. Ask your partner for a foot rub. Don’t overexert yourself.

Staying Cool and Comfortable

Dress in lightweight, loose, breathable fabrics. Sleep without heavy blankets. Use fans, open windows and stay in air conditioning during hot weather. Take tepid showers or baths. Apply cool washcloths to your neck. Avoid extreme heat which raises body temperature.

Accepting Help When Needed

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Let your partner, friends and family members help out with household tasks, running errands, caring for older kids, etc. This is a team effort! Assign a family member to drive you to appointments if walking is difficult. Grab onto support people and don’t hesitate to ask for what you need.

Communicating with Your Baby

Chat, sing, read aloud and play music for your baby, which they can hear inside the womb. This stimulation aids their brain development. Observe their activity patterns after eating or when you are active. Your bond strengthens when you interact and get familiar with each other before birth.

Taking good care of yourself ensures you feel your best during the home stretch! Don’t forget to make time for self-care.

What to Watch out for at 35 Weeks Pregnant

While most women have healthy pregnancies at 35 weeks, contact your healthcare provider right away if you notice any of the following:

  • Regular contractions occurring every 5-10 minutes
  • Strong contractions that don’t fade with hydration, rest or position changes
  • Bright red bleeding from the vagina beyond a few drops or streaks
  • Leaking fluid from the vagina (could indicate your water breaking)
  • Changes in baby’s movement – less frequent or no movement
  • Severe headache, vision changes, upper abdominal pain (signs of preeclampsia)
  • Extreme swelling in face, hands or feet.
  • Chills, fever, vomiting or other signs of illness
  • Not feeling baby move for several hours.
  • Extreme pain or discomfort anywhere in your body.

Preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, infections, and other complications are possible at 35 weeks pregnant. Call your doctor or go to the hospital right away if anything concerns you. Don’t wait to get checked out – it’s better to be safe.

Preparing for Labor and Delivery at 35 Weeks

You’re in the home stretch! Use these last weeks of pregnancy to get prepared:

Take a Childbirth Class

Take a childbirth class with your partner to learn about the stages of labor, breathing techniques, pain relief options and what to expect during delivery. Many hospitals and birthing centers offer virtual or in-person classes.

Pack Your Hospital Bag

Pack a bag with essentials for your hospital stay like a soft nightgown, socks, toiletries, phone charger, going home outfit for you and baby, insurance cards, etc around 35 weeks. Don’t forget your partner’s bag too. Keep bags by the door when the big day nears.

Install Car Seat

Have your baby’s car seat professionally installed and ready to go by 35 weeks in case baby arrives early. Read the directions to ensure you know how to strap baby in correctly and safely.

Prepare Your Home

Deep clean your home, do laundry, stock up on groceries, freeze meals and get other household tasks done so you can rest after delivery. Set up the crib, change table and other nursery items. Babyproof your home by locking away medications, covering outlets, securing cords and removing hazards.

Notify Your Healthcare Providers

Let your doctor, insurance company and hospital know when you are 35 weeks pregnant so they can ready your file and get pre-authorization for delivery and newborn care. Pre-register at the hospital if advised.

Make Postpartum Care Plans

Line up any help you may need for postpartum period – meal prep, housekeeping, pet or childcare. Stock up on pads, nipple cream, and other supplies you’ll need while recovering. Make a postpartum self-care plan so you can focus on healing, bonding and adjusting to new motherhood.

Preparation during these last weeks can help reduce stress when labor begins. Tick items off your to-do list and get ready to meet your baby soon!

35 Week Prenatal Checkup

Expect the following at your 35 week prenatal checkup:

  • Weight and blood pressure: Your doctor will check for healthy weight gain and watch for high blood pressure signaling preeclampsia.
  • Urine test: A urine sample tests for protein and signs of infection.
  • Baby’s heart rate: The fetal heartbeat should be between 110-160 bpm.
  • Fundal height measurement: They’ll measure from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus which should match 35 cm.
  • Baby’s position: They’ll feel your abdomen to confirm baby is head down in proper position for birth.
  • Strep B test: Many providers collect a vaginal and rectal swab around 35-37 weeks to test for the streptococcus bacteria. Positive results mean you’ll need IV antibiotics during labor to prevent passing it to baby.
  • Discuss signs of preterm labor and when to call: Report any leakage of fluid, bleeding, or regular contractions right away.
  • Ask about pre-registration at the hospital: They may have you pre-register for delivery between 34-37 weeks at the hospital where you plan to give birth.
  • Make a birth plan: Discuss pain relief preferences, who you want present, interventions you’d prefer to avoid if possible, and other birth wishes with your provider.

Bring up any questions or concerns you have about the remainder of your pregnancy and delivery. Make sure you understand all prenatal screening test results as well. Most providers see you weekly in the third trimester. Stay in close contact as you near your due date.

Tips for Partners at 35 Weeks Pregnant

Partners have an important role as the due date draws near:

  • Rub your partner’s back, feet or swollen legs to ease common aches and pains.
  • Help time contractions if they start occurring regularly.
  • Go with your partner to childbirth classes and prenatal visits to learn as much as possible.
  • Make sure the car is fueled up and bags are packed for the hospital.
  • Install the car seat properly and confirm your route to the birth center or hospital.
  • Help get your home prepared for the baby’s arrival.
  • Grocery shop and stock up on postpartum supplies your partner will need.
  • Provide extra help around the house doing laundry, cleaning, and cooking meals as needed.
  • Reassure your partner and help them relax and stay comfortable.
  • Remind them to drink enough water and get periods of rest.

Partners play a key role in keeping mom as comfortable and stress-free as possible at 35 weeks pregnant. Tag team preparations so she can focus on staying healthy.

FAQs About 35 Weeks Pregnant

How big is my baby at 35 weeks?

Your baby is around 18 inches long from head to toe and weighs approximately 5 pounds at 35 weeks. They are filling out with fat and continue gaining about 1/2 pound per week.

What if I go into labor at 35 weeks?

Most babies born after 34 weeks have an excellent prognosis with a short hospital stay to gain weight and master feeding. Your medical team will provide specialized care if born prematurely this close to full term. Outcomes continue improving for even very early preemies.

When do most women go into labor?

First time moms often deliver around week 40-41. The average for all pregnancies is 40 weeks and 5 days. Only about 5% of women deliver on their actual due date. Labor begins when your body and baby are ready, don’t worry if you go past your estimated date.

How can I tell if my water breaks?

Call your provider if you notice constant leaking or gushing fluid from the vagina before 37 weeks which could mean your water breaking prematurely. Lie down for 30 minutes then wear a pad. Fluid from water breaking will soak the pad and may be clear, pink or green tinged.

Is cramping normal at 35 weeks pregnant?

Mild menstrual-like cramping is common as your uterus prepares for labor. Drink fluids, rest, stretch and change positions. Report persistent or painful cramping which could signal preterm labor.

When do I need to go to the hospital?

Call your doctor or go to labor and delivery if you have signs of preterm labor like regular contractions less than 10 minutes apart, bleeding beyond spotting, leaking amniotic fluid or decreased fetal movement. Don’t hesitate to get checked out for peace of mind.

The 35th week of pregnancy is an exciting milestone! Stay in close contact with your healthcare providers, take excellent care of yourself and get ready to meet your baby soon.