35 weeks pregnant: baby's development, sore ribs and sleeping on your side

Your baby is becoming plumper by the day, and a bit like a honeydew melon in size.

Your baby’s development this week

Babies produce large quantities of sex hormones. It is quite common for these to cause your baby’s genitals to appear large and swollen after they are born. 

Find out more about your baby after they are born.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 35

Full breasts

As your breasts are still growing, you may need another bra fitting. It’s also a good idea to talk to the fitter about bras for after your baby is born.

If you plan to breastfeed, it’s a good idea to be measured for a feeding bra and buy a couple in advance.

Be aware, though, that your breasts will feel fuller when your milk comes in around 3 to 5 days after the birth, so don’t buy lots of new bras just yet!

“From my experience, the best time to go for a bra fitting is after 37 weeks if possible. I bought a bra at around 35-36 weeks. After I gave birth, my ribcage returned to normal and my bra didn’t fit anymore. I went for a fitting and bought another.”

Sore ribs

Some people have pain or discomfort in their ribs in late pregnancy. This may be because your ribcage is pushed out to make room for your growing baby. It may feel worse if your baby is doing some strong kicks or your baby’s head is bumping against your ribcage (in the breech position).

Pain below the ribs can also be a sign of a serious condition called pre-eclampsia. Other symptoms may include:

  • severe headache
  • vision problems, such as blurring or flashing
  • vomiting
  • sudden swelling of the face, hands or feet.

If you notice any symptoms of pre-eclampsia, get medical advice immediately by calling your maturity unit, midwife, GP surgery or NHS 111.

Bad dreams

Lots of people have dreams or nightmares about their pregnancy, labour and the baby at this stage of pregnancy. 

These dreams don’t mean there’s anything wrong – it’s just your mind’s way of dealing with any heightened emotions. This is a time of huge change.

Talk to your midwife or doctor if you are feeling overwhelmed. They may be able to reassure you. 

Find out more about keeping stress-free during pregnancy

Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks are often called ‘practise contractions’ but they are not contractions and they do not mean you are going into labour. They may be uncomfortable, but they are not painful. Find out more about Braxton Hicks.

Read about the signs of labour.

What to do in week 35

Go to sleep on your side if you're not already doing so

When you reach your third trimester, the advice is to go to sleep on your side because research has shown that going to sleep on your back is linked to an increased risk of stillbirth. This advice includes daytime napping and night sleeping. Read more about safe sleep positions in pregnancy

Find out more about c-sections

You may know by now that you will be having a c-section for medical reasons or otherwise. If you’ve decided to have a planned c-section, find out more about how to prepare.

Get your car seat

You will need a car seat if you take your baby home by car. This is the law

We know that not everyone can afford a brand-new seat. But try to buy new if you can. This will help you make sure it meets the most up-to-date safety standards.

If you are walking, the best buggies for newborn babies let them to lie flat on their backs. Some have different settings for different age babies, which let the baby go from flat to sitting up when they are older. 

Find out more about preparing to have your baby.

Pack your hospital bag

If you haven’t already, it’s time to pack your labour and baby bags so you’re ready to go, whenever your baby decides to arrive. It’s a good idea to keep your hospital bag handy, even if you are planning a home birth. You may need it if a home birth isn’t possible on the day or if you are transferred to hospital during labour.

“Get organised earlier rather than later (pack hospital bags, get house in order etc) when you have the energy and in case your little one decides to come early, or you end up on bed rest.”


If you’re planning a trip somewhere, bear in mind that most airlines won’t allow you to travel in late pregnancy. By this stage of your pregnancy, it’s a good idea to stay fairly close to home in case your baby comes early.

Remember to keep your pregnancy notes with you at all times.

1. Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week, Penguin Random House, London

2. NHS. Pre-eclampsia. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pre-eclampsia/ (Page last reviewed: 28 September 2021 Next review due: 28 September 2024)

3. Raines DA, Cooper DB. Braxton Hicks Contractions. 2021 Aug 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 29262073.

4. Heazell AEP, Li M, Budd J, Thompson JMD, Stacey T, Cronin RS, Martin B, Roberts D, Mitchell EA, McCowan LME. Association between maternal sleep practices and late stillbirth – findings from a stillbirth case-control study. BJOG2017; https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.14967.

5. Gov.UK Child Car seats: the law https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules

6. NHS. Whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/whooping-cough-vaccination/ (Page last reviewed: 17 October 2019. Next review due: 17 October 2022) Accessed: September 2021

Review dates
Reviewed: 11 July 2022
Next review: 11 July 2025