With just five weeks to go until your due date now, it's time to make sure your hospital bag is packed. Here's what else to expect now that you're 35 weeks pregnant and fast approaching the end of your pregnancy – and finally meeting your new baby.
This page contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small amount of money if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our articles and reviews are written independently by the Netmums editorial team.
What’s happening at 35 weeks?
Here are the key things you can expect from your pregnancy at this stage:
- Your baby could be head down and engaged any day.
- Make sure your hospital bag is packed.
- Get ready for the classic pregnancy 'waddle'.
- Thinking ahead: get childcare sorted.
How big is your baby?
Your baby is now about the size of a large stick of candyfloss. They'll weigh around 2.3kg and be about 46.2cm long.
Space is starting to get a little tight but don’t worry, there’s still room (even if it doesn’t feel that way for you).
Around now, your baby will (ideally) get into a head down position (where they turn and end up with their head down in your pelvis) that makes it 'easier' to push them out. Once this happens, your baby will most likely stay that way until your due date. If they're not in position yet, there's still plenty of time for them to wriggle and turn.
Once your baby is engaged, you might notice their movements change a bit, too. Your baby might start to jab and push around in what’s left of their space, which means you may even see a little foot poking out of your bump, and get a few painful kicks to the ribs.
Although the type of movement may change, your baby should still move just as often as before. Call your midwife immediately if there’s a change to their regular pattern of movement or if you feel worried.
And although it's normal to feel jabs from your baby in your ribs, if you ever feel severe pain just under your ribs, talk to your midwife. It may just be your baby moving around, but it can also be a symptom of pre-eclampsia .
What's going on with your body?
You’re probably starting to feel pretty full and uncomfortable, which isn't surprising given that all your intestinal organs are feeling the squeeze from your growing baby.
Once the baby's engaged you may be able to breathe and eat a little more comfortably.
However, the downside is that you may not feel quite so comfortable walking – time for that classic pregnancy 'waddle' .
This side-to-side movement may not be glamorous, but did you know that some experts believe it may help your balance and reduce the risk of falls ? Plus it's a great excuse to rest and put your feet up often, which can also help with any pregnancy swelling you might be experiencing.
Some pregnant women feel as if their baby might literally drop out of them at this stage, which won't happen – if only labour were that easy!
If you're struggling to sleep , use cushions and supports to get comfy and practise your relaxation techniques , too – they'll also come in handy for your labour in a few weeks.
The internet is full of advice about what you should be doing at this stage of your pregnancy. But what about the things to avoid? Check out the 11 things midwives with we wouldn't do before giving birth.
What to expect this week: have your hospital bag ready
If you haven't already packed yours, there's still time to get your hospital bag ready. It's a good idea to have it done this week so that you can leave it ready by the front door and forget about it – until it's time to go the hospital, of course!
Even if you’re planning on a home birth, pack one just in case you need to transfer into hospital.
You can get ideas and lists from your antenatal teacher or mum friends but basically you'll want to include:
- Something to wear in labour – an old t-shirt is perfect as it won’t restrict your movement or make you feel too hot, and you won’t care if it gets messy. Bring a couple of spares, too.
- LOTS of super-absorbent maternity pads (choose the thickest you can find, as they’ll make things a little more comfortable when sitting down after the birth).
- Front-opening PJs or nursing nighties or tops to make breastfeeding easier.
- A couple of nursing bras – remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual.
- Breast pads – bring the whole box.
- Your washbag and toiletries – so that you can clean your teeth and have a shower. Pro tip: gas and air can really dry your mouth out, so many women find lipbalm helpful. If you have long hair, don't forget hair ties to keep it out of your way.
- Towels – some hospitals do provide them, but they're usually quite threadbear.
- Dressing gown and slippers. Choose slippers that are easy to get on without bending down.
- Six pairs of pants – big, comfy ones that won’t dig in anywhere. Choose high-waisted pants in case you need a C-section. You may prefer to use disposable ones right after the birth.
- An outfit to come home in – no, not a Duchess of Cambridge style silk dress and heels, just something comfy and loose.
- Clothes for the baby (a few vests, some clean, cotton sleepsuits, muslin cloths and a hat), plus a blanket to wrap your brand new in.
- Newborn nappies – and cotton wool or super-gentle baby wipes for cleaning up that meconium nappy (your baby's first poo).
- A car seat – to take your baby home in. You won't be able to drive off from the hospital without one.
- A box full of snacks and drinks – to keep you going during labour.
- Socks and a fan – hospitals can be draughty or boiling hot so these should help keep you comfortable.
- Phone charger – there's nothing worse than your phone running out of battery. Most hospitals and birth centres should let you charge and use your phone while you're there, though policies do vary.
- Things to help you pass the time, such as books or magazines. You could also create a labour playlist of soothing and upbeat music to help you through.
- Your antenatal notes and your birth plan .
There are lots of other non-essentials that you might also find handy, including a face mister to keep you cool, paper straws so you can easily drink in any position, a TENS machine if you're using one …
And don't forget your other half should have a small bag packed, too.
What to do this week: think about childcare
If you already know that you'll be returning to work after maternity leave, it's worth looking into childcare options sooner, rather than later.
There's no harm in drawing up a shortlist of options and phoning each one up to get an idea of prices and waiting lists. Check that they're registered for Tax-Free Childcare , too. If you're thinking long-term, you could also ask whether they offer 15 or 30 free hours (once your child turns 3).
Some popular childcare settings can require you to put your name down on a list before you even have the baby!
Although not all will expect this, it can be one less thing to worry about while you're on maternity leave. But just having a rough idea of what nurseries and childminders are near you will be a step in the right direction.
Find out more about your childcare options .
Your 35 week to-do list
1 Go out for a meal – if you don't feel too uncomfortable, go out for dinner and enjoy it for once!
2 Order any hospital bag bits and pieces online to make your life easier.
3 Make sure your car seat is fitted in the car you'll be taking to the hospital and check your birth partner knows how to take it out and install it.
4 Started doing your perineal massage? Go on, give it a go!
5 Make sure you're following advice to sleep on your side when you first go to sleep or wake up in the night.
What to watch this week...
Get expert tips on what to expect at 35 weeks pregnant from our midwife.
Go to Your Week of Pregnancy
What happens next week...
Want to know what happens when you're 36 weeks pregnant ? Or maybe you've already forgotten what you read last week ? Just click on the numbers above to find out more about what to expect when you're that number of weeks pregnant.