36 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy Week By Week
36 WEEKS PREGNANT
You’re in your last month of pregnancy! Can you believe it? Realistically, the baby could come at any time now. Only a small percentage of babies are actually born on their due date, so now’s the time to prepare yourself for the possibility of going into labor soon! Now is also the time to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation – like a date night or go get a massage and spa treatment – because once the baby is born, not only will your “me” time be limited but, let’s face it, you’re not going to want to leave your little one for any amount of time!
At 36 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a papaya! The baby is measuring about 18.7 inches from head to heel and weighs about 5.8 pounds.
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS WEEK 36
Only four more weeks left to deal with pregnancy symptoms (if you give birth by your due date, that is! You could go past it, especially if this is your first! Eek!) Hang in there! The pregnancy symptoms you may experience at 36 weeks pregnant aren’t any worse than the ones you’ve dealt with so far.
- Difficulty sleeping. You probably have a bit of insomnia going on lately. It’s no wonder with how uncomfortable you are and with the rising excitement and anxieties of having a baby soon. Try to find something to do to relax you at night so you can get some rest.
- Breathing easier. This is good symptom! As you get closer to your due date and the baby sinks lower into your pelvis, the pressure is taken off of your lungs so you can finally breathe deeper and easier! Thank you, baby!
- Heartburn. You’ve probably experienced some level of heartburn throughout your pregnancy. The best way to reduce the heartburn is to stay away from spicy, greasy, and acidic foods. You can also talk to your doctor about taking antacids if the heartburn is really bad.
- Pelvic discomfort. You may be feeling a lot more pressure in your pelvis and maybe even some aches and pains as the baby drops lower in preparation for birth. Some women find it difficult to walk because the discomfort is so severe. While the discomfort and achiness suck, this symptom is a good one because it means the big day is coming soon!
- Increase in vaginal discharge. As your body begins preparing for birth, you may notice an increase in the amount of vaginal discharge you’re having. Pay close attention to any other changes in the vaginal discharge, such as the color or consistency. If it’s watery, it could be amniotic fluid. If it has a mucus-like consistency and/or is tinged with blood, this could be what is called the mucus plug. If you notice you’ve lost your mucus plug, this means labor could be close!
- Swollen feet and ankles. Mild swelling in your feet and ankles is completely normal at this late stage of pregnancy, especially if you’re having twins. However, if the swelling comes on suddenly or is severe, this could be a sign of a complication so contact your OB right away!
- Braxton Hicks contractions. You’re used to these by now, aren’t you? If changing positions and/or drinking lots of water doesn’t make the Braxton Hicks contractions stop, then it’s possible you’re having real contractions. Real contractions will not stop no matter what you do. They will become more intense over time, will last longer, and they will begin coming closer and closer together. If you suspect you’re having real labor contractions, call your OB right away – better to be safe than sorry!
36 WEEK BABY BUMP
If you’ve been taking baby bump progression pictures each week, you probably won’t notice much of a change from here on out. The only difference you may notice is that your belly may look lower once the baby has dropped into your pelvis.
By 36 weeks pregnant, your total weight gain should be in the ballpark of 25 to 30 pounds if you’re having just one baby. If you’re pregnant with twins, your weight gain may be closer to 45 pounds. Remember, though, these are just the recommended weight gains for pregnancy. If your numbers are off from these, don’t worry unless your doctor is concerned!
36 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
At 36 weeks pregnant, your baby’s organs are all developed and functioning – except the digestive system, which won’t finish maturing until sometime after the baby is born. Because the baby has received nutrients through the umbilical cord, the digestive system hasn’t needed to function. Once the baby is born, the digestive system will begin functioning, but it’ll be slow-going for the first year or so which is why babies have such sensitive tummies!
Your baby should be in the head-down position by now. Some babies are a bit stubborn and don’t flip head down until the last minute, so if yours hasn’t turned yet, there’s still time! If the baby is not in a head-down position when you go into labor, then the baby is considered breech and your doctor may try to turn the baby by lifting and pulling on your belly. If you have any questions or concerns about what will happen if the baby is breech, then this would a good topic of discussion to have with your doctor at your 36-week prenatal appointment.
You may also be tested for Group B Strep at your 36-week appointment. Group B Strep is a bacterium that won’t do much harm to you, but it can be very harmful to the baby if the baby is exposed to it during birth. If you test positive for Group B Strep, you’ll receive an antibiotic during labor that will reduce the chances of the bacteria being transferred to the baby during delivery.
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING AT 36 WEEKS PREGNANT?
Here are a couple of things you should be doing at 36 weeks pregnant to prepare for your baby’s arrival:
- Finalize maternity leave plans. If you work, you’ll want to make sure all the paperwork needed for your maternity leave has been filled out and turned in and then mark the dates on the calendar.
- Ask questions about labor and delivery. Talk to your doctor about signs of labor, what to do if you suspect you’re in labor (i.e. call your OB or just go straight to the hospital), and any other questions or concerns you have about labor or delivery. You’ll feel much less anxious when the big day comes if you have an idea of what to expect!
- Sam C's Editorial Team