Congratulations, you have made it to 36 weeks pregnant! As you enter the final stretch of your pregnancy, you may be feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness as you prepare for the arrival of your little one. Let’s explore the common pregnancy symptoms you may experience at 36 weeks, a checklist of things to keep in mind, a look at the changes happening to your belly, and a discussion of baby development at 36 weeks.
Your Baby is the Size of a Tickle Me Elmo
Head to Toe
Highlights of the Week
- Baby is approximately 19 inches long and weighs around 6.5 pounds
- Brain development is rapid, allowing for processing of new information and memory building
- Lungs are continuing to mature and baby is practicing breathing movements
- Special consideration should be given to signs of distress such as decreased movement or changes in heart rate
- Expectant mothers may experience increased fatigue, difficulty sleeping, heartburn, constipation, difficulty breathing, cramping, headaches, vaginal discharge, dizziness, pelvic pain, bloating and gas, itchy belly, and swelling in feet and ankles
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 36
Braxton Hicks Contractions:
Braxton Hicks contractions are mild, irregular contractions that can feel like a tightening in the abdomen. They are common in late pregnancy and can last anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes.
Fatigue is a common symptom during pregnancy, and it may become more pronounced during the final weeks as the body prepares for birth.
As the pregnancy progresses and the baby grows, it can become more difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in. This can lead to disrupted sleep and feelings of fatigue.
Heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. This is because the growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach, causing the contents to move up into the esophagus.
Constipation is another common pregnancy symptom, due to hormonal changes that slow down digestion. Eating a high-fiber diet and staying hydrated can help relieve symptoms.
As the uterus grows, it can put pressure on the diaphragm, making it harder to breathe deeply. This can be especially noticeable when lying down or sleeping.
Mild cramping is a common occurrence during pregnancy, and it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, if the cramping is accompanied by heavy bleeding or if it’s severe, it’s important to contact a healthcare provider.
Headaches can be a symptom of pregnancy, and they may be more frequent during the final weeks. Dehydration, stress, and changes in hormone levels can all contribute to headaches.
Vaginal discharge is a normal part of pregnancy, but it may increase as the due date approaches. This discharge is usually thin and milky, and it helps to protect the birth canal from infection.
Dizziness can be a side effect of pregnancy, and it may become more pronounced in the final weeks. It can be caused by changes in blood pressure and the growing uterus putting pressure on blood vessels.
Pelvic pain is common during pregnancy, and it may become more noticeable as the due date approaches. This pain is usually due to the baby’s head settling into the pelvis in preparation for birth.
Bloating and Gas:
Bloating and gas are common symptoms during pregnancy, and they may become more pronounced in the final weeks. This can be due to hormonal changes that slow down digestion.
An itchy belly is a common symptom during pregnancy, and it may become more noticeable as the due date approaches. This itching is usually caused by the skin stretching as the belly grows.
Swelling in Feet and Ankles:
Swelling in the feet and ankles is a common symptom during pregnancy, and it may become more pronounced in the final weeks. This can be due to fluid retention, and it’s usually nothing to worry about.
36 Week Pregnancy Checklist
Schedule Your 36 Week Prenatal Appointment with Your Healthcare Provider:
At 36 weeks, it’s important to have a prenatal appointment with your healthcare provider to ensure that both you and your baby are in good health. During the appointment, your healthcare provider will check your baby’s position, measure your belly, and discuss any concerns you may have.
Make Sure You Have a Hospital Bag Packed and Ready to Go:
It’s a good idea to have a hospital bag packed and ready to go in case you go into labor unexpectedly. Make sure to pack items such as comfortable clothing, toiletries, and any important documents you may need.
Review Your Birth Plan with Your Healthcare Provider:
At 36 weeks, it’s a good idea to review your birth plan with your healthcare provider. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your preferences are taken into account during the delivery.
Take a Childbirth Education Class:
Taking a childbirth education class can help prepare you for labor and delivery and can also provide you with helpful information on postpartum recovery and baby care.
Prepare Your Home for the Arrival of Your Baby:
At 36 weeks, it’s a good time to prepare your home for the arrival of your baby. This may involve setting up the nursery, stocking up on baby supplies, and ensuring that your home is safe for a newborn.
Know What to Do If Labor Starts:
It’s important to know what to do if labor starts, so that you can act quickly and confidently. This may involve calling your healthcare provider, heading to the hospital, or starting any prescribed medications.
Get Ready to Track Baby Feedings and Diaper Changes:
As a new parent, it’s important to keep track of your baby’s feedings and diaper changes. This can help you keep track of their growth and development and can also be helpful information to share with your healthcare provider.
Prepare for a Strep Test:
At 36 weeks, your healthcare provider may perform a strep test to check for Group B Streptococcus (GBS). This is a common type of bacteria that can cause serious infections in newborns.
Prep Your Birth Announcement:
Preparing your birth announcement in advance can save you time and stress after the baby arrives. This may involve choosing a design, gathering information and photos, and deciding on who to send the announcement to.
Your 36 Week Pregnant Belly
At 36 weeks pregnant, your belly is likely to be significantly larger and heavier than it was earlier in your pregnancy. The size and shape of your belly may vary depending on factors such as your body type, the position of your baby, and whether you’re carrying multiples. Despite its size, it’s important to take care of your 36-week belly in order to promote comfort and prevent pain.
The increased size and weight of your belly can put a strain on your lower back, hips, and pelvis, causing discomfort and even pain. To take care of your 36-week belly, it’s important to maintain good posture and engage in gentle exercise to help strengthen your muscles. You may also find it helpful to use a pregnancy pillow to support your belly while sleeping or sitting.
In addition to physical discomfort, your 36-week belly can also have other effects on your body. For example, you may experience difficulty breathing or sleeping, as your growing uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm and lungs. To help manage these symptoms, you may find it helpful to practice deep breathing exercises, sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs, and stay active to promote good circulation.
Finally, it’s important to take care of your skin during this time. The stretching of your skin can cause itching and discomfort, especially as your belly continues to grow. To help prevent these symptoms, be sure to keep your skin moisturized, avoid hot showers and baths, and wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent irritation.
Taking care of your 36-week belly is essential for promoting comfort and preventing pain as you near the end of your pregnancy. By engaging in gentle exercise, maintaining good posture, and taking care of your skin, you can help ensure a comfortable and healthy pregnancy.
Baby Development at 36 Weeks
At 36 weeks pregnant, your baby is continuing to grow and mature in preparation for birth. Here are some key developments to expect:
Baby Size and Length:
At 36 weeks, your baby is approximately 18-19 inches in length and weighs around 6.5 pounds. The average newborn is around 7.5 pounds and 20 inches long, so your baby is getting close to their final birth weight and length.
At this stage, your baby’s brain is rapidly developing, allowing them to process new information and start to build memories. They are also starting to regulate their sleep-wake cycles, which will help them adapt to life outside the womb.
Your baby’s lungs are continuing to mature, and they are practicing breathing movements in preparation for birth. At 36 weeks, your baby’s lungs are considered mature enough for survival outside the womb, although they may still need some medical support.
As your baby prepares for birth, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of distress. This may include a decrease in movement or changes in your baby’s heart rate, which can indicate that they are not getting enough oxygen. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your healthcare provider right away.
At 36 weeks, your baby is getting close to their final size and weight and is continuing to develop key skills and abilities that will help them transition to life outside the womb. By staying in close communication with your healthcare provider, you can help ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy and delivery.
How Many Months is 36 Weeks Pregnant?
At 36 weeks pregnant, you are 9 months pregnant.
As you near the end of your pregnancy, it’s important to take care of yourself and stay informed about the changes happening to your body and your baby. By understanding the common pregnancy symptoms, preparing for the arrival of your baby, and staying informed about baby development, you can feel confident and excited as you prepare for the big day. Consult your healthcare provider for any concerns and take support from family and friends.