Now you are 36 weeks pregnant which means that the pregnancy has completed its full term. The baby can come into this
world at any time now. If you are counting the pregnancy from the date of conception, then your pregnancy has completed exactly 9 months. The baby is due at any time. Some people follow a different pattern of calculation for the due date, which is based on the date of the last period before the missed one.
After 36 weeks of pregnancy, the baby has moved completely. The head has shifted towards the lower part of the womb and is resting in the bowl of your pelvic bones. You might be feeling the pressure of the long wait now.
You must be very well prepared for your delivery at this time. Keep the phone numbers of the hospital or clinic ready and handy. Try to keep your vehicle ready with enough fuel. If your partner is unavailable, ask your friend or relative to accompany you to the hospital. Pack your maternity clothes and baby clothes items in advance.
Your Symptoms: You may be experiencing a tingling sensation in your pelvic area as the baby moves lower into the uterus.
Baby’s Development: The liver is now able to filter some waste products.
Baby’s Size: 45 cm, 2.1 kg.
To Do: Prepare and freeze meals to eat. You may not have the time or energy once the baby is born.
You are completely round by the completion of the 36th week of pregnancy. You are feeling very heavy and your uterus has come up nearly five and a half inches above your navel. You and baby are growing at this stage. Four more weeks may remain befor delivery in some cases. The woman and baby will continue to grow until then. A baby born between the 37th and 41st is a perfectly normal baby, as this is considered to be the normal full term gestation period.
Baby’s development is nearly complete at this pregnancy stage and it can be termed as full term baby on completion of 36th week. The baby will now move and position itself for birth. The baby will move down and its head comes to rest on the pelvic bone bowl of the mother. This is the most significant development at this stage. The baby is positioning itself for delivery. The head downward position is most common and is present in 95 % deliveries. The baby might position itself in many other ways like face, shoulder, traverse, brow, or breech presentation.
The baby’s approximate length from head to toe is 20 inches and approximate body weight is around 2.8 kg or 6 pounds. At this stage, the baby is storing as much fat as it can. The cheeks, knees and elbows start dimpling due to fat deposition. The baby’s brain is developing at a rapid pace. The baby is practicing the action of blinking. Baby’s gums become strong and rigid and there is full development of the sucking muscles. The baby swallows a certain amount of amniotic fluid daily and excretes it as urine. There is a balance maintained between the amount of fluid swallowed and excreted.
Changes With Your Body
At 36 weeks pregnant , you are experiencing a full term pregnancy. You may have become very tired and exhausted by now due to restlessness, lack of sleep and overall boredom. These can be overcome by keeping yourself engaged in good activities. You can plan for the upcoming event of labor, childbirth and baby care. These activities will keep you busy and take away your mind from the minor aches and pains. The uterus size has grown enormously and the uterus will become nearly 1,000 times the size of its original volume. The uterus has come up 5.5 inches above your belly button. You have put on considerable amount of weight. There will be considerable itching due to stretching of stomach muscles. This can be relieved by applying lotions and creams.
As the baby is moving and shifting downwards to position itself for birth, you might feel increased pressure on the lower part of your body. It may feel like you want to go to the restroom frequently. As the baby is shifting downward, you will feel more pressure on the lower abdominal area. This is called engagement or lightening. Now the lungs and stomach have a chance of stretching out little and eating and breathing will become easier. For some women, walking becomes difficult. At this stage, you are going for weekly visits to your midwife or doctor. The position of the baby and amniotic fluid levels are checked at this time. Your blood pressure and weight is measured on regular basis.
The various bodily changes that women may experience at 36 weeks pregnant stage include heartburn, constipation, frequent urination, heaviness, backache, pelvic discomfort, and hemorrhoids. There might be increased levels of blood sugars and blood pressure. There could be urinary tract or other infections due to frequent urination and hemorrhoids.
What to Expect
As you have completed 36 weeks of pregnancy, you have only 3 or 4 more weeks to go till delivery. Now is the time when you are going for your weekly medical check up. Talk to your doctor and midwife if you are suffering severely from any of the medical conditions and treat yourself accordingly. Be are of baby’s presentation, due date and labor. Proper and adequate rest and relaxation is a must at this stage. Minor aches and pains can be alleviated by doing light exercises like daily walks, stretching, breathing and yoga. These exercises will also help in coping with the stress during child birth. Good personal hygiene and cleanliness help in prevention of infections.
A balanced diet with right nutrition and supplements helps in maintaining your health and baby’s development through pregnancy. Plan and organize things in advance for the delivery and baby’s welcome. It is advisable that you decide about baby’s feeding at this stage, whether it is going to be breastfeed or top feed. Talking to family, friends and partner will help greatly. A positive outlook and cheerful disposition throughout the pregnancy period will ensure a safe pregnancy and healthy baby. So take all due care, and prepare yourself for the challenging yet enjoyable task of motherhood.