If you were in a position to, you would do a small ‘dombolo’ jig to mark this very important milestone. After all, why wouldn’t you? You finally made it to week 36! Unfortunately, this is impossible as you are probably too heavy to try anything unconventional. Just the other day, you were worried sick about how your pregnancy journey would pun out. You at times found yourself wondering whether you had it in you to withstand the sometimes severe pregnancy symptoms. You were legitimately concerned that should something happen to your pregnancy, you wouldn’t be able to live with it.
And here you are! All energetic and raring to go! You can finally see the finish line in sight and you can’t help but thank your lucky stars for the far you’ve come. Week 36 ushers in the final month of your pregnancy. If everything goes according to plan, you should be holding your bundle of joy within the next 3 weeks. What you fantasized and romanticized about is finally within grasps.
You can feel it. You can visualize it. You can dare to dream. Though the nasty symptoms made your journey nightmarish for lack of a better word, the wait was worth it. The gift at the end of it all justifies the difficulty in walking, the sometimes sleepless nights, the nasty bouts of nausea, the back pains, and whatnot. In as much as the D-day is not yet here, you can’t help but pat yourself on the back for having made it this far.
As excited as you are, there is still the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. What does week 36 hold in store for you and your baby? What pregnancy symptoms are you likely to experience this week? How should you prepare for the coming weeks? Well, you are here to get answers and we will be damned if we didn’t provide you with answers to your curious questions. With that said, let’s get into it. Shall we?
Your Baby at 36 Weeks Pregnant
It’s no longer a fluke. At 36 weeks pregnant, the development of your baby’s vital organs such as the brain, lungs, and liver are at an advanced stage. Your baby measures approximately 18.5 inches (47 centimeters) long and weighs an amazing 5.8 pounds (2.6 kilograms). At this point in time, expect your baby to gain something in the region of an ounce a day. The vernix (a thick white covering that fundamentally protects your baby’s skin from drying out) is fast diminishing and your baby’s skin is becoming smoother and soft (fewer wrinkles).
Basically, if you were to give birth at week 36, your little guy will be ready for the world. The circulatory system, as well as the immune system, are now ready after months of developments. However, the same cannot be said about the digestive system which will require a few more months after your baby is born to fully develop. What this means is that your baby won’t be able to eat solid foods until a few months after being born!
36 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Thought that by now regular trips to the bathroom would be a thing of the past? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but frequent urination are quite common in your 36th week of pregnancy. At this point, your baby is dropping lower into your pelvis in preparation for birth hence exerting pressure and making you rush to the bathroom frequently. Unfortunately, there is little to nothing you can do to alleviate this incredibly annoying symptom. In fact, you will find yourself rushing to the bathroom several times a night. The only glimmer of hope is that you will be due in the next few weeks and you won’t have to grapple with this annoying symptom anymore. Well, at least until your next pregnancy!
Difficulty in Sleeping
No doubt, your healthcare provider has advised you to get proper rest during the day as well as night. While you are willing to rest, you might find yourself tossing and turning at night for lack of sleep. Falling asleep becomes a chore as your now very big belly makes it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Insomnia is more likely to strike you at week 36 hence making your nights an experience you wish to forget. In an attempt to alleviate this situation, it’s highly recommended that you find comfortable pillows and make your bedroom as comfortable as possible.
Lower Back Pain
You need not fret as lower back pains are quite common in your 36th week of pregnancy. As your body is preparing for birth, a hormone known as relaxin will start the process of loosening ligaments and joints in your pelvis for the sole purpose of preparing your body for labor. The result would be back pain which you will experience while climbing stairs, when you stand up or after a prolonged sitting, and sometimes when you sit. Of course, if the symptoms persist or the back pain becomes severe, you should consult your healthcare provider.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Now that you are getting closer to your due date, expect to experience pre-labor or what is known as practice contractions (Braxton hicks contractions). These contractions can at times get very strong making you go into a panic mode that you are actually experiencing labor. However, this is not usually the case. How do you differentiate between true labor contractions and Braxton hicks contractions? It all boils down to how regular the contractions are.
The thing is, true labour contractions occur in regular intervals while Braxton hicks contractions are irregular. What this essentially means is that Braxton hicks contractions are irregular and can be alleviated by changing sitting positions or moving around. If you are unsure of whether what you are experiencing are true labour contractions or the normal Braxton hicks contractions, contact your healthcare provider.
Sudden Change in Fetal Movement
As your baby grows, he or she has little room to move, kick around and throw jabs as they once did. This should not be a cause for alarm. Because your baby has little space to maneuver as they once did, expect for their movements to change. While you will still feel their movements in the belly, the kicks and jabs will be a lot less frequent and less strong.
Things to Do At 36 Weeks Pregnant
Choose a Baby Name
Okay, you probably might have thought of a name way before you got pregnant. However, if you are among the few who wait till the last month of pregnancy to brainstorm about a baby name, now is the time to sit down with your partner and settle on a baby name.
Read Up On How to Take Care of Your Baby
You are in the last weeks of your pregnancy. If all goes well, you should be carrying your bundle of joy in your arms in the next couple of weeks. You need to shift the focus from your pregnancy to your baby. Now is the time to read up on how to take care of your baby when it arrives. How do you hold him when birthing, what would the first few weeks be like, what are the tell-tale signs that your baby is sick? All these and many more will prepare you to adequately take care of your baby and ensure that he/she is in top shape.
Pack Up Your Hospital Bag
You could deliver any moment from now. It is important that your hospital bag be ready with all the important stuff as well as documentation. Ensure that you pack all the important toiletries, going home outfit for your newborn, clothes that you will change into after birth, snacks if you feel like, and ensure that your insurance card is in order.
Install a Baby Seat in Your Car
I understand this might not be topmost in your mind at this time. However, if you can, have a baby car seat not only fitted but also inspected to ensure it meets safety measures. You definitely want your baby to be safe and comfortable while you are driving around.
36 Weeks Pregnant Checklist
- Do a test drive to your hospital to find out how long it will take you in the event of an emergency.
- Talk with your doctor and confirm that they will be ready on the due date.
- Visit your doctor for your regular prenatal checkup and raise any concerns you might be having.
- Ensure that your hospital bag is packed and ready.
The last month of your pregnancy is here. No doubt, you are excited as well as scared. You are excited about your impending delivery and scared of what could happen should anything go wrong. This is the month you looked forward to. It is the month of the final destination. It is the month that signifies the end of your pregnancy journey. Don’t be lost in the excitement and throw caution to the wind. Exercise, eat right, consult your doctor, read up about baby care, and prepare your baby’s nursery. At 36 weeks pregnant, you are finally in your last stretch. Just sit back, breathe, and revel in the moment!
Go Back to week 35.
Go forward to week 37.