36 weeks pregnant
You are so close! Only four weeks to go before your due date. You might be feeling a sense of wonder as your body seems to know what to do—or, you could be over it and issuing your child an eviction notice.
Week 36 pregnancy symptoms for you
It is hard to imagine, but your uterus has expanded to 1000 times its original size. At 36 weeks pregnant, you have a lot more baby and a lot less amniotic fluid inside your uterus than you have had up until this point.
All this weight, coupled with the fact that your pelvic floor has been weakened due to increased levels of progesterone, may result in 'stress' incontinence - a slight leakage of urine when straining, coughing, laughing or sneezing. This is very common and can be relieved using panty liners. It is important to be consistent with your pelvic floor exercises to ensure that your pelvic floor muscles regain their usual strength after your baby is born.
From this week, you may begin to see your midwife or obstetrician every week. He or she will take a urine sample to check for sugar and/or protein and check your blood pressure and swelling. They will also feel your belly to check baby's size, position and the fluid around baby.
You may start feeling hungry again because at 36 weeks pregnant, baby position has hopefully changed and he or she is no longer as heavy on your stomach and intestines. If you've had heartburn or problems breathing, the baby's descent in preparation for birth may alleviate these symptoms.
As the skin on your abdomen stretches thinner your baby will be exposed to more light. This enables your baby to develop sleep and awake cycles that relate to light. You might also be able to see tiny hands and feet protruding from your stomach; a gentle push from you might get your baby’s first tantrum. Because there is less room for the baby to move, it’s likely they will throw fewer jabs, kicks, and punches, but they will be squirming around soon.
In the last few weeks of pregnancy, your pelvis bones will start to loosen and separate. You’ll likely be more sore and achy than you have been. Warm showers, baths, massage and rest are some of the only ways to get some relief.
You will be getting frustrated with the frequent visits to the toilet, especially at night time. Carry on drinking enough water to remain hydrated, this is important especially to maintain amniotic fluid levels.
Baby development in 36th week of pregnancy
That tiny foetus you saw on early ultrasounds has become an almost plump, fully formed baby. Fat is deposited on his or her cheeks this week, and that combined with strong sucking muscles give your baby a fuller face. At 36 weeks pregnant, baby weight in kg is approximately 2.75kg. Size of the baby at 36 weeks pregnant is about 47cm long.
Maternal calcium intake has helped to create the baby's firm skull, but it's still soft enough to deform slightly when the baby is born. Don't be surprised if your baby arrives with a misshapen head. There’s no cause for concern though as after a few days, your baby's head will return back to a rounded shape.
Your baby’s bowel is full of meconium. This is a black, tarry substance which will be the first bowel movement. If the baby passes this while in utero, it can be a sign of distress and can harm the baby. If you notice unusual brown/ green discharge, consult your medical team immediately.
At 36 weeks pregnant, what to expect?
- You may be starting to get nervous (although you may have been for months), the baby is on its way. Try and enjoy this special time, allow your support people to be there for you.
- Brush up on what the early signs of labour are, you should be prepared.
- This is the last week you can travel by air
- Make sure you have credit on your mobile phone (and a charger in your hospital bag) to contact your health professionals if labour does start, and to contact friends and family to announce your baby's arrival.
- You might start losing your mucus plug, which is a thick yellowish discharge that’s tinged with blood. This can happen any time from now, but does not mean labour is imminent.
- Get things ready for breastfeeding
- Take your electric blanket off, just in-case your water breaks you do not want to have an electric shock.
- If you have severe swelling with headaches, go to your doctor immediately it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
- You may have difficulty sleeping. Surround yourself with pillows, lie on your side, and prop up your belly with a pillow. Some women also like a pillow between their legs, to alleviate the pressure in the hips.
- You may experience bouts of irritability or depression, if it becomes serious talk to your health care provider.
- Start your perineal massaging if you have not already. Massage the area between the area between the vagina and anus as this may reduce the need for an episiotomy.
Is it safe to deliver at 36 weeks?
At 36 weeks, your baby’s lungs are fully formed and ready to breathe. Their digestive system is developed, and they will be able to feed if born at 36 weeks. While considered late preterm, there are still risks from low birth weight, jaundice, respiratory distress, patent ductus arteriosus, and your baby can have problems regulating their own temperature.
36 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore
If you experience the following, speak to your midwife or obstetrician immediately.
- Contractions that increase in frequency and pain
- Unusual vaginal discharge that is green or brown
- Bad headache, swelling and vision disturbances
- Noticeable decrease in baby movement
What should I be feeling at 36 weeks pregnant?
Everyone will feel different during week 36 of pregnancy. Some women are exhausted, sore, frustrated and having digestion problems due to the size of the baby. However, some women may experience a burst of ‘nesting’ energy, the baby could start descending and take pressure off your lungs and stomach, and you could be feeling good.
What does a baby look like in the womb at 36 weeks?
Your baby looks like he or she is ready to arrive earth-side. Hopefully, they have dropped and are head down, ready for birth in a few weeks. They are full-size, or close to it, and so there isn’t much room for them in there, they will be curled up tight in the foetal position.
What is the normal size of a baby at 36 weeks?
At 36 weeks pregnant, in NZ the average baby weight is 2600 grams and 47 cm long.
Why do doctors check your cervix at 36 weeks?
Your midwife or obstetrician might want to check and see if your cervix is getting ready for labour. You may have already started dilating.
What should a baby weigh at 36 weeks?
It’s expected that a baby will weigh about 2.6kg by week 36 of pregnancy.
Is 36 weeks full term?
No. Full term is considered to be anything over 39 weeks. 36 weeks is late pre-term.
What are normal pains at 36 weeks pregnant?
You may be feeling Braxton Hicks contractions still, and they may be getting more powerful. You could be feeling the pain from your hips softening and moving in preparation for birth. As labour draws closer, you may feel slight cramping and pain in your groin and lower back. Some women describe that at 36 weeks pregnant, period pains on and off weren’t uncommon, and these could be Braxton Hicks or the real deal. If you’re unsure, contact your midwife or obstetrician.
What should I be eating at 36 weeks pregnant?
Continue to take your prenatal vitamins, eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Drink plenty of water, despite the ever-present need to pee. Use this time to provide your baby and your body with lots of nutrition to prepare for arrival.
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