Pregnancy Tracker: Week 35

Pregnancy Tracker: Week 35




Week 35 means you are coming to the end of the 8th month of pregnancy, with only 4 or 5 weeks left to go.

Your baby is gaining weight daily and is now the size of a plump rockmelon, weighing about 2.5kg and is possibly at full birth length of ± 46cm. This is the time of the most rapid weight gain, with baby packing on up to 340g each week as fat is deposited all over the body and the brain increases in weight. Most babies will have adopted the head-down, bum-up position in readiness for giving birth.

Your body and your symptoms at 35 weeks pregnant

You will be extremely large by now, and it is probably quite a while since you were able to see your toes while standing! This is not surprising as your uterus has expanded by an incredible 800-1,000 times its original size! This is becoming a very tight and cramped place for your baby, with far less room to move about, especially as now the amniotic fluid starts to reduce in volume. Gone are the days of free somersaults and floating about like a butterfly. But baby is still active and will be until birth. You will feel less frequent but stronger movements and as your baby kicks and punches the walls of your uterus, you may see the impression of a little hand or foot.


Your breasts are preparing for their function of nourishing your baby and are still growing so you will have a feeling of fullness and perhaps also tenderness. You may need another bra fitting about now as your ribcage is also expanding.  If it is your intention to breastfeed, you can ask to be measured for a feeding bra at the same time and get in a stock of them now before baby arrives. Bear in mind that your breasts will increase further once your milk comes in a few days after the birth.

Frequent urination and incontinence

Not only do you find that you need plenty of visits to the bathroom thanks to your baby pressing on your bladder, but you may also be experiencing a slight lack of bladder control when you laugh, cough or sneeze.  Tempting as it is, don’t cut back on drinking water as you need the fluids to flush your system. When you go to the toilet, try to ensure that you empty your bladder completely by leaning forward, and wear panty liners day and night to catch any unexpected embarrassing trickles. Remember to keep doing your Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles.

Sore ribs

Your uterus causes the ribcage to be pushed out to give your growing baby more room, which can cause discomfort in late pregnancy. In addition, your baby kicking or bumping you is also uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful.  Mild pain in the ribcage is normal, but pain felt below the ribs could be a sign of pre-eclampsia. Contact your healthcare provider if you are unduly concerned or in severe pain.


Together with sore ribs, you may also notice an increase in heartburn and bloating as your expanding uterus presses up into your ribcage. This gassy sensation is caused by increased levels of progesterone, which relaxes muscles in your gastrointestinal tract and slows down the process of digestion. Try to avoid gas-producing vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, as well as beans and fried or fatty foods.

Nasty dreams

Many mums-to-be report having nightmares about labour, their baby or just simply pregnancy. This is fairly normal as you are in a highly emotional state, and your mind reflects your overwhelming feelings. Perhaps pre-pregnancy you imagined floating calmly and serenely through these months, but the reality is different as many women feel more anxious and vulnerable during this is a time of great change. Be kind to yourself, cut yourself some slack, and try to incorporate some restful treats into each day:

  • A long warm soak in the bath
  • Gentle exercise, like swimming or walking
  • Pregnancy yoga
  • Mindfully blocking out worries
  • Meditating
  • Daily naps

Braxton Hicks

You could be experiencing an increase in these practice contractions at this stage of pregnancy. Even though they may be uncomfortable, they should not be painful. Monitor them to ensure that you are not going into early labour, and when a contraction comes, lie down and rest until it passes.


You may feel clumsier than usual, which is completely understandable. You are not only heavier, but the expanding abdomen shifts your centre of gravity. Furthermore, due to hormonal changes, your ligaments are more lax, so your joints are looser, which may contribute to your off-kilter balance.


This may be a new symptom to you as the instinct to create a safe, cosy, and welcoming place for your new baby typically appears in the last few weeks of pregnancy, just before your expected date of delivery. The nesting instinct is quite natural and covers a wide range of activities and behaviours.

This instinct produces a sudden desire to:

  • Wash and fold all your clothes, and those of your baby
  • Clean the kitchen, including refrigerator, pantry, and cupboards
  • Thoroughly clean the bathroom
  • Declutter by throwing away items you think you won’t need
  • Prepare meals ahead

You may feel an urgent need to finish any incomplete projects around the house and may even start new ones! Many a mum-to-be has been caught with a half-painted room or a semi-planted veggie plot as contractions land her in the labour ward!

High levels of adrenaline surging through your system as the end-stage of pregnancy approaches possibly contribute to this final burst of energy. When well-channelled, it can be a good opportunity to have everything in order but take care not to tire yourself too much as you need to conserve energy for the enormous physical task of delivering your baby.

Try not to become obsessive – your baby won’t mind if your house is a bit untidy, windows have not been cleaned or the sofa cushions have not been plumped up! As long as there is a safe and comfy place for baby to sleep, and plenty of nappies in stock, your baby will have all his needs met within your welcoming arms!

A word on baby’s movements and any change that may take place

No doubt by now you are monitoring your baby’s movements and counting the kicks over a timed period, at the same time each day.

You may notice that from 35 weeks the movements could feel different as the baby’s space is compromised, but nevertheless, you should still feel strong activity. The active baby is a healthy baby, and if you notice a big change in the pattern of movement, or if movement has slowed down or stopped altogether, seek urgent advice from your healthcare provider.

Don't depend on home devices to check your baby's heartbeat, such as hand-held monitors, Dopplers, or phone apps as they are unreliable.

Once your baby has arrived, your time will be at a premium.  Make use of these next few weeks to get out a bit - have a lunch date with a friend or dinner with your partner. You may not feel like it once you are a full-time mum!

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