If you were to see your baby now, you’d be happy with how cute he is. He has soft pink skin and chubby little cheeks. He’s filling out and looking more like a baby.
His hearing is sharp this week, and he will be able to recognize your voice immediately after birth. Your baby may also lower into the birth canal this week in preparation for delivery. This is called dropping or lightening.
36 weeks pregnant is how many months?
You are eight months pregnant. This is the first week of month nine. You’re in the home stretch now. It must feel like a lifetime ago that you first discovered you were pregnant or told your partner you’re pregnant, although it often can feel as if time flew!
You will be considered full-term next week and could deliver anytime before 42 weeks. You’re only four weeks away from your due date, but you still could go longer than that, so buckle down and get ready for the last few weeks.
Your Baby at 36 Weeks
Your baby is still growing, but growth is slower than it was. He’s getting fatter but is likely already as long as he will be at birth. He’s preparing to fit through your birth canal, as well as stock up on the energy he needs for delivery.
His skull bones are soft and unfused so his head can make a smoother exit. His bones and cartilage haven’t completely hardened yet either, which is why babies and children tend to be more flexible. They will set throughout the first few years.
His digestive system is mature, at least for a baby. He won’t be able to handle solid food, but he can handle breastmilk and formula once he’s born. While the digestive system is developed, it has never been operational, so it will take a year or two for it to learn its job.
His blood circulation and immune system are developed enough to protect against infection once he’s born, and he’s almost ready to enter the world.
How big is a baby at 36 weeks?
Your baby at 36 weeks pregnant is about the size of a papaya. He measures 47.8 centimetres long from head to heel and weighs about 2813 grams.
Your Body at 36 Weeks
You’re perfecting your pregnancy waddle, which may make your spouse laugh, but makes you wince in pain. Your connective tissue is softening and loosening in preparation for delivery, which makes it hard to coordinate any movement. Take time to rest up if you can. You can always try to read a book to distract yourself or go for a careful walk to check out Melbourne’s best playgrounds or somewhere near you with a friend or partner.
It can also cause you to lose your balance, so wear comfortable, stable shoes, and be careful. The extra weight your baby adds doesn’t help with your centre of gravity or your pelvic pain. All that joint flexibility adds pressure and makes your baby feel heavier.
Pelvic exercises, warm baths, massage, and rest can all help. Try a belly sling to relieve some of the pressure from your growing uterus and help take the weight off your hips. As your baby begins to drop into the birth canal, which will be happening soon if it hasn’t already, you’ll get some relief.
After he drops, you’ll be able to breathe easier and eat a full meal more comfortably. Finally.
Your baby is cramped so you’ll notice some changes in movement. No more will you have hard, jolting kicks to your ribs. Now about all he can do is roll around.
Make sure you still do your kick counts, although now you’re counting any movement you feel because they likely won’t be as strong.
Until your baby drops, your stomach is still constricted, causing heartburn and indigestion. Smaller meals are your ticket to relief town, but after your baby drops, you may be able to handle a full meal again.
Pressure on your bowels may cause uncontrollable gas. Embarrassing as it is, it’s normal for pregnant women. However, smaller meals will reduce the gas in your system, which can not only be less embarrassing but help alleviate heartburn, too.
Small meals also won’t put as much pressure on your relaxing intestines and bowels, which can help make your constipation better. Without straining so much in the bathroom, you may find some relief for your hemorrhoids.
You’ll still be in the bathroom a lot, though. That’s because you still have to pee more often as your bladder shrinks in size due to a greedy uterus. Don’t cut back on fluids but do try to eliminate twice before getting back up to buy yourself an extra hour out of the bathroom.
As your vaginal discharge thickens, you may notice some pink mucus. Don’t panic. It can especially happen after an exam from the doctor or sex.
Your cervix is more sensitive now, and activities can bruise it. As it dilates, you may also lose your mucus plug, which will also be tinged with blood. It’s all normal.
Your itchy belly is stretched just about as far as it can go. Try a vitamin E cream to soothe the dryness. If you ask your partner to rub it on for you, he can get some bonding time with baby while you get a massage.
Swelling feet and ankles continue this week, and your body continues to retain fluid. Your face and hands may be swollen, too, but keep drinking water. It can help flush your system of extra sodium, which can reduce swelling.
It can be tough to sleep these days because of your sheer size. Not only that, but you’re in pain, your nose is stuffy, you have to pee all the time, and you may be suffering from a bit of anxiety.
Insomnia is normal. Wear loose-fitting clothing and make sure your bedroom is cool. Grab some extra pillows for support.
Tips/Things to do
The movements you feel now may be wiggles and rolls rather than kicks and punches. Your baby has less room to move around, but you should still feel something every day. Rest and count those movements with a sugary snack to liven him up.
An extra burst of energy this week may have you nesting like a maniac. You are probably thinking about all the last-minute things you have to do to get ready for your baby. Just make sure you take breaks to eat and rest.
Other good ways to prepare include taking an infant CPR class, packing your hospital bag, writing out your birth plan, and installing your car seat if you haven’t done that already.
About The Author
Kids, chai latte’s, blueberry muffins, and reading way too many books… That pretty much sums up Louise. She’s also passionate about giving back to the community, in this case through this site, finding and answering questions about parenting.