Week 36 of pregnancy is the first week of the last month of your pregnancy. Yes, the day when you will finally get to see your adorable baby is really near. Knowing that it will not be long before you give birth is not enough. You also need to understand what is happening to you and to your little pumpkin pie this week so that you are better prepared for the big day.
What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About Week 36 of Pregnancy
Your week 36 of pregnancy sees your little pumpkin pie being almost fully baked, so to speak. Most of the bones in his tiny body have hardened completely, and he has developed a firm Ulnar grasp – a newborn reflex which he will exhibit when you place your finger in his palm.
In addition, his sense of touch has grown strong during this week in pregnancy. This is why he will be able to feel and respond to your loving and tender touch even if it has just been a minute or two after he was born.
By week 36 of pregnancy, your baby’s lungs will have become stronger. In fact, he is almost ready to breathe on his own. His kidneys and liver have fully developed but his immune system and blood circulation are still receiving their finishing touches.
Your baby will have begun to favor particular body positions starting this week in pregnancy. Most probably, he rests with his head down and his feet facing your ribs. This may be the ideal baby placement for delivery, but, in this position, your baby will cause you a lot of discomfort if he is a frequent kicker.
Your baby will weigh about 2.6 kilos and measure a length of 47.5 centimeters by week 36 of pregnancy. It is at this time when his growth will start to slow down. Nonetheless, he will be gaining weight of about an ounce a day as he continues to add layers of fat in his body.
By this time, your baby has also almost completely shed off the velvety hair covering that used to coat his entire body. He is also beginning to lose the waxy material, called vernix caseosa, which has enclosed and protected his skin while he is in your womb. Wondering where the hairs and wax-like material go? Why, he swallows these and other secretions to form meconium – the blackish fluid that will form his first bowel movement.
At the end of week 36 of pregnancy, your baby is considered full-term; even if he gets out sooner than expected, he has a high chance of survival.
Undoubtedly, when you are 36 weeks pregnant, you will feel as if your body has been stretched to the fullest. Blame it on your expanded uterus. You may feel more pain in your back, buttocks, and pelvis. Blame it on your baby’s growing weight. You also may feel that you are constantly swinging from energy bursts to fatigue. Blame it on your nesting instinct – a compulsion to plan and put things in order in preparation for your baby’s arrival.
Another change you can look forward to by week 36 of pregnancy is that you will now have a full-term pregnancy wobble instead of your usual beauty pageant walk. This is the effect of the loosening and softening of your connective tissues due to hormonal changes that become more pronounced during this week.
When you are 36 weeks pregnant, breathing will be easier than in the previous weeks. This is because your baby has descended slowly to your pelvis area. This gives your lungs more space to expand and an opportunity to resume their normal function. Is your knowledge on breathing techniques for labor and delivery still lacking? This is a good time to refresh your knowledge on breathing techniques for labor and delivery.
From week 36 of pregnancy onwards, you should be visiting your pregnancy doctor weekly. Your due date may be near, but a handful of changes that require your doctor’s attention are still happening to both you and your baby.
Childbirth experts recommend that pregnant women and their partners must gather all the things needed to be taken to the hospital (baby supplies, sets of clothes for mom and for baby) by week 36 of pregnancy. This ensures that they aren’t taken by surprise when labor and delivery comes during an inopportune time.