You’re now in your ninth month, mum! At week 36 of pregnancy, your baby will realign himself in the head-down position. Your little bundle of joy’s body is developing super fast at this stage, and their internal organs are pretty close to being fully developed, but still have a bit of a way to go. Learn more about what to expect for the remainder of your third trimester here.
Pregnancy Week 36: Baby
Pregnancy week 36 is here! Baby is growing and lungs are developing, but it’s not all exciting developments this week. There’s a lot more resting and watching, too.
By week 36, you’re entering your final weeks of pregnancy. How exciting! Your baby will be well-developed. The skin begins to lose its transparency, though not yet its wrinkled appearance. You’ll notice a marked difference in the size of your abdomen, and you’re definitely showing at this time.
The end is in sight now, and soon, you will have your baby in your arms.
Your little one is now 36 weeks old, and they should be the size of a canary melon, or about 33cm, and weighs 2.75kg.
It sucks its thumb, has eyelashes and eyebrows, and can hear your voice. Its brain is still not yet developed enough to control breathing or heart rate.
You may have started feeling Braxton Hicks contractions by now. Braxton Hicks are irregular contractions of the uterus that occur when it contracts to help push the baby out during labour. They aren’t painful and don’t harm you or your baby, but they can be uncomfortable.
The placenta is fully functional at this point. This means that all nutrients from food are processed by the placenta and then released into your bloodstream, where you and your baby’s bodies can use them. The placenta also produces hormones that help control blood pressure, heart rate, blood clotting, and breathing patterns for both mother and baby.
Image courtesy: Pixabay
In this week-by-week pregnancy guide, you’ll learn that:
- Your baby has started to shed off the covering of their downy hair and the waxy coating that was protecting them in the womb. Interestingly these things will get mixed with the amniotic fluid and be swallowed by your baby.
- They have started to move towards your pelvis.
- By now, your baby will realign himself or herself in the head-down position.
- Your baby is growing at an impressive rate of one ounce a day.
- Your baby’s hearing is very sharp in the last weeks of pregnancy, so make sure you pack on the stories and the songs because your baby loves hearing your voice.
- They have a fully developed blood and immune system.
- However, their digestive system hasn’t fully matured yet.
By the time you’re 36 weeks pregnant, your baby’s hearing is fully developed. Your little one can even recognise his or her mother’s voice and is starting to recognise other sounds.
You might notice that your baby will change his or her position when you talk to them or sing. This is because they want to hear you! Your child will also start responding to loud noises, such as slamming doors or pots clanking together.
If you want to see if your baby can hear, try making a loud noise in front of them and see what happens—but be careful not to scare them!
In pregnancy week 36, your baby is busy growing its tiny teeth. Your baby’s jaw is forming, and the teeth will also form through this process. These are a baby’s first teeth, so they’ll grow in later on.
To ensure your baby’s teeth develop properly, it’s important to eat healthy foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D throughout pregnancy and after birth. Foods like milk and cheese are great sources of calcium and vitamin D, so make sure to include them in your diet!
The third trimester brings even more activity—the baby will start practising breathing and swallowing, which is why you may have noticed some gassy sensations lately.
You can expect to feel your baby move on average three times an hour during this stage of pregnancy—no matter what position you’re in or what you’re doing (even if it’s just sitting still!)
Week 36 of pregnancy is when your baby’s movements will become stronger and more noticeable. Baby’s movements are one of the most exciting things about the third trimester, so don’t feel alone if you can’t wait to feel those kicks!
Here are some tips for helping you know if a baby’s movements are normal:
- If the baby’s movements seem too strong or weak, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
- Your doctor will likely check your baby’s heartbeat during this visit, and they might also recommend that you have a nonstress test, which measures how well your unborn baby is doing based on her heart rate and movement patterns.
Pregnancy Week 36: Your Body
Your belly is getting bigger by the day—so big that it can be hard to walk around without running into things or falling. You may have noticed that your belly button has popped out and become more visible now that your uterus has moved higher in your abdomen.
This is normal! It’s called “pregnant belly button” (or “pregnant navel”) and the pressure on your abdominal wall causes it as it expands outward to accommodate your growing baby.
You’ll also notice that your joints may feel stiffer than usual due to all this extra weight on your body. It’s especially important for pregnant women not to skip stretching exercises because stretching can help reduce stiffness by improving flexibility in the hips and lower back muscles (and eventually make it easier for you to bend over).
- Since your baby has occupied more than half of your stomach, you will find it difficult to finish a regular meal by yourself. Indigestion can still be a problem at this late in pregnancy.
- Because of your baby bump, your backache will be at its worst level.
- At week 36 of pregnancy, you may also experience bloating and constipation.
- Your vaginal discharge will thicken and may even be tinged with blood.
- Due to the downward movement of the baby at week 36 of pregnancy, you will experience extra weight around the lower abdomen, making it difficult for you to walk with ease. This may also lead to some pelvic pain.
- However, the downward movement will relieve the upward pressure on the diaphragm. This is called lightening. The result: you can now take longer and deeper breaths. This pressure will also force you to pee more.
- An itching belly is something common in almost all pregnancies.
- Braxton Hicks contractions, mild contractions that occur in preparation for labour, will become more frequent.
Maternal Weight Gain
In the third trimester of pregnancy, your baby is growing and getting ready to be born. Your body is also changing. You may feel a lot of discomfort and have many questions about what’s going on with your body.
At 36 weeks, you may wonder how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
The best way to figure out what’s right for you is by talking with your doctor or midwife. They can help you set a goal weight gain that will keep you healthy during pregnancy and make breastfeeding easier after delivery.
You’re 36 weeks pregnant, so you have just a few more weeks until your baby arrives. During this time, you must ensure you are eating a healthy diet and getting enough nutrients. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables if you can’t eat them raw, steam or blanch them first, so they’re easier to digest. You should also avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco products while pregnant.
Eat whole grains like brown rice and quinoa because they contain fibre, iron, and other important minerals for your baby’s development.
Choose lean meat instead of processed meats like sausage links or hot dogs because these contain nitrates which could be harmful to your baby’s health.
Image Source: Shutterstock
Pregnancy Care: Your Checklist For Week 36 of Pregnancy
The big day is drawing closer! Make time to do and be reminded of the following this week:
- Avoid flying and travelling during this month and onwards.
- To ease pelvic pain, you may indulge in warm baths and do some pelvic exercises.
- Ensure your nursery is fully set up as early as now so you won’t have to worry about it when the baby arrives.
- Install your baby’s car seat, especially since you can’t drive your baby home without it. It can also be more complicated to install than you’d think.
- If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to file for maternity leave.
- Your doctor will want to see you every week now, starting week 36 of pregnancy, so make sure to put that in your schedule. A doctor’s appointment is also your opportunity to learn everything that will go down in labour and delivery.
Your next week: 37 weeks pregnant
Your previous week: 35 weeks pregnant
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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