36 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?
Pregnant ‘ heavily. That’s how you’d describe yourself as close to the finish line of this nine-month-long marathon during the 36 weeks pregnant. Although your baby is now a very personality, during these weeks your own body has undergone a host of changes and not all of these are pleasant ones. You’re changing your life and how!
Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy – Week 36
Your baby is growing rapidly and gaining weight every day at almost an ounce (28 grams), gaining nutrition from all the wonderfully nutritious food you eat throughout the day. Most of the hair that covered the baby was shed, while the wax-like substance that protected the skin was also worn off. The skull bones of the baby are not yet fused together to allow the head of the baby to pass through the canal of birth.
What is the Baby’s Size?
When you’re pregnant for 36 weeks, the size of the baby is about a foot and a half when measured from crown to feet, and as the weeks go by, it grows and occupies more space. The child weighs approximately 6 pounds (2.7 kgs). As the body fills up and gets plumper by the day, it also loses its wrinkles. There’s a huge likelihood that your baby will be moving head down at this stage. However, the baby does not turn in some cases. While breech babies can be delivered vaginally, most doctors prefer to perform a C-section if the baby has not yet turned when labor begins. Your baby is considered “early term” at the end of 36 weeks.
36-week Symptoms of Pregnancy
When you just have to go for four weeks, almost all of your symptoms have to do with the fact that the baby is nearly here. Symptoms of your 36 weeks of pregnancy may include:
- Better breathing ability. As the baby goes down into your pelvis, your lungs will have more space, and you can breathe deeper.
- Pelvic Discomfort. For the same reason you can breathe again, you feel this one! Baby’s low down, putting your pelvis under pressure. However, look for signs of labor, including regular, persistent contractions.
- Trouble Sleeping: Sleeping disturbance. Find yourself at 3 a.m. Write notes of thanks or reorganize the closet? We were there! Find ways to relax even if you don’t get a lot of eyes shut.
- Heartburn: Your growing baby crowds your digestive system and prevents it from functioning the way it did when you were not pregnant. Antacids can help (as long as they are all right with your doctor). By avoiding citrus, spicy, vinegar, and greasy foods, prevent heartburn as much as you can. (No fun, we know, but the pain should be avoided.)
- Ankles and feet are swollen. Minor swelling is completely normal at 36 weeks of pregnancy and if you are 36 weeks pregnant with twins, you are even more likely to have it. You may find that it disappears completely almost as soon as you deliver your baby. In all seriousness! But severe or sudden swelling can be a sign of a serious issue, so let ASAP know your doctor.
- Changes in the Vaginal Discharge: Discharge may increase at 36 weeks of pregnancy as your body prepares for birth. But look for watery discharge (which might be amniotic fluid — call your doctor!), blood (a sign of premature labor), or mucus-like or blood-tinged discharge, which might be the mucus plug. Sign labor is very close to losing the mucus plug. How close we can’t say, though!
- Braxton Hicks Contractions. You may still experience tightening in your abdomen, and it may become more intense. In fact, some pregnant women appear at the hospital thinking that they are only in labor to be turned away. Note that cramps at 36 weeks pregnant are not due to Braxton Hicks that are at least as painful as menstrual cramps. If something more severe is happening to you, tell your OB immediately.
Because pregnant labor signs can be hard to tell apart from regular pregnancy discomforts at 36 weeks, you’ll want to tell your doctor if anything seems out of the ordinary. The call is worth it. And yes, even a trip to the hospital is totally okay to find out its wrong work. The worst thing you can do is send home to relax and wait.
36 weeks pregnant belly
Your pregnant stomach may not seem to change greatly from week to week at 36 weeks. The total weight gain recommended for women with ordinary BMI is probably close to 25-35 pounds. This probably makes it difficult to move around (or actually waddle). From here on, you will not put too much weight— probably just half a pound a week before the baby is born.
If you’re pregnant with twins for 36 weeks, you’ve probably earned a total of 35 to 45 pounds. It’s an understatement to say that your belly is crowded. While many twin moms are delivering around week 36, there is a chance that for a few more weeks you and your pair could hold on. Remember, the longer you go, the less likely it is that after birth your babies will need NICU. So even if you feel really uncomfortable, hang in there and remember that this extra time in utero is so good for the twins!
36 Weeks Ultrasound
Baby’s liver and kidneys are in working order at 36 weeks of pregnancy. It’s basically good to go with the circulation and immune systems. Now, the baby is getting closer and closer to breathing on his own. Moreover, the skin of your 36-week – old fetus gets smooth and soft, and its gums are rigid.
Your OB may check the position of the baby at your week 36 prenatal appointment. Baby should be in a head – down position at this point. If not, it’s considered “breech.” Don’t panic if you’re breaching your baby at 36 weeks. He or she will turn naturally, there is still a good chance.
Your OB might want to do a breech baby version procedure. A version is an attempt to turn your baby by pushing your pregnant belly and/or lifting it. Sounds rough (and we hear that doesn’t feel good), but don’t worry about that. It is a low-risk procedure and more than half of the time it works. You may be given medication beforehand to relax your uterus. You will have an ultrasound that is pregnant for 36 weeks, so the doctor can clearly see the position of the baby and the placenta location.
During the procedure, ultrasound may also be used to guide the movements of the doctor. And the heart rate of the baby will be monitored before, after, and possibly even during the version to ensure that everything looks good. Crossed fingers, things look up soon … er, down? … For the child.
About week 36 of your pregnancy, you will get a Group B Strep test. This is a test to see if there is a common bacterium in your body called (you guessed it) Group B Strep. If you do, you may not even notice it, or it may cause an issue like a UTI. The bacteria, however, may cause more severe problems for the baby and may even be life-threatening. Positive tests for Group B are approximately 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women. Treatment is simple: During labor, you will need an antibiotic drip to reduce the chances of transmitting the bacteria to the baby significantly.
You may have a biophysical profile this week if you are 36 weeks pregnant with twins or have a high-risk condition such as high blood pressure or kidney or heart disease. This combination of ultrasound and non-stress testing gives your doctor a pretty good picture of how the baby is doing and excludes the need for early delivery.
Also Read: 35 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?