Being 36 weeks pregnant is a milestone because your baby will be considered to be full term after the end of pregnancy week 36. Only 5% babies are born on their due date. You can therefore expect your delivery from the end of pregnancy week 36. Prepare your hospital bags. Get someone’s help to clean the house to welcome your little one any time from now onward.
Your baby could be a little over 20 inches head to toe length, weighing around 6 pounds at the time you’re 36 weeks pregnant.
Weight gain, for your baby, continues at about an average of 0.5 pound per week, while growth in head-to-toe length will diminish, having reached 20 inches - the average length a typical full term baby is born.
Your baby’s gums have become strong and the sucking muscles are fully developed now, and your baby should be ready to suck breast milk. As well, your baby may move into its birthing position by the time you’re 36 weeks pregnant and so breathing becomes much easier for you.
Between 36 weeks and birth date, the baby gains around an ounce every day. Fat layers are building up to make your baby chubby. The fine hair that has covered your baby’s skin in the earlier weeks is begging to disappear now. Vernix Caseosa, a thick creamy substance that has protected your baby’s skin when it has been flooded in amniotic fluid is also starting to disappear.
By the time you’re 36 weeks pregnant, your baby can recognize your voice. It responds to your noise with a swift kick out. If you have twins, your babies weigh an average of 5 pounds each. When you’re in pregnancy week 36, you start to get uncomfortable feeling. You may experience swelling, hemorrhoids, back pain or varicose vein during this time.
As your baby drops into the birth canal in preparation for delivery, you get the urge to urinate more frequently. Your ballooning uterus disturbs internal organs, causing constipation, indigestion, heart burn and headache. You may have increased difficulty in sleeping. Leg cramps and itchy stomach are also common symptoms of this ending season of pregnancy.
By the time you’re 36 weeks pregnant, your naval protrudes out. You may experience hot flashes and changes in appetite. Fatigue, dizziness, bleeding gums and nasal congestion are also common in many pregnant moms.
If your baby drops, you feel at ease breathing, but you may find it uncomfortable to walk. If your baby comes very low, you feel much vaginal pressure and discomforts.
Your baby takes up a lot of space at the time you’re 36 weeks pregnant, so you may have trouble in eating a normal size meal. You can reduce the problem by taking smaller meals frequently.
If you experience hemorrhoids, you can try using ice packs, hemorrhoid creams and ointments after consulting with your healthcare provider. Applying moisturizing lotion all over the stomach can help you get relief from itchy stomach.
Your doctor is more likely to perform internal exam at the time you’re 36 weeks pregnant to check for any risks of cervical condition. You need to go for a medical check-up every week, which includes blood pressure, weight, urine, Doppler ultrasound and uterus size.
If you have not done Group B streptococcus test, this week presents you another opportunity. Group B strep is a bacterium that be traced even in the vaginas of healthy women. It doesn’t show any symptoms in carriers and so many women don’t know they are GBS positive.
A sizeable percentage of women are carriers of this bacterium and this type of bacterium is not harmful to them at all, but it can cause infections to the baby while passing through vagina during delivery.
The test is routinely performed between week 35 and 37 and will not be painful in any way – it’s just like a Pap smear, using vaginal and rectal swabs. Though this type of bacteria is not harmful in adults, hence, it should be prevented from passing to the baby.
If the test result shows that you have this bacterium, you’ll be given IV antibiotics during labor to prevent any risk of infection to your baby during vaginal delivery.