36 weeks pregnant
Your bump may look as though it’s started to slide downhill
You’re now about as big as you’re going to get. Soon – maybe this week – the baby will drop down lower into your pelvis, ready for birth. Your bump may shift downwards, too, giving you a different shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean that labour is imminent, so don’t worry about the baby “falling out”. You’re likely to still have some time to enjoy maternity leave and get organized.
1.Some of the pressure under your ribcage may be easing off as the baby continues to descend into the pelvis.
2.The baby is still gaining weight as more fat covers his limbs and abdomen. As a newborn, he will look much the same as he does now.
3.At 37 weeks the average crown to heel length is 48.6cm (19.1in) and the average weight is 2.9kg (6.3lb).
4.Your baby turns towards a familiar sound and practises looking for its source: your voice is the most familiar sound to him.
5.Short, very fine hairs, called vellus hairs, are growing in place of lanugo hair on most parts of the baby’s body.
When you got to know you were pregnant, you probably wondered what it would feel like to be eight or nine months pregnant. Now you know. Life may not be so comfortable these days, but one truth remains: You’re getting very close to finally meeting your baby. By this week your baby should weigh approximately 2.7-3.2 kg.
What are you about to experience?
When your baby drops, his/her head presses against your bladder. You may feel like you have to pee constantly. The good news is that when your baby drops (also known as lightening – when baby drops into your pelvic region preparing for labour), you’ll get room back in your chest so you can take deep breaths again.
Your baby’s development
Even though your baby is considered full term after this week, it is still better for the baby to remain in the womb till the due date.
Right now, your baby is rehearsing for his big debut, simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly yellowish liquid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. It is contained in the amniotic sac. It is a protective layer and helps in bone growth and lung development), sucking on his thumb, blinking and moving from side to side. If your baby is not in the head down position, your doctor will possibly talk to you about a caesarean delivery.
Changes in you
This week you may undergo some of these changes:
- Clumsiness: You may feel extra pressure in your lower abdomen and pelvis due to the baby’s dropping. Also, your centre of gravity changes when your baby drops, so you may be a little clumsier than you were before.
- Contractions: Braxton-Hicks contractions might be kicking into high gear by now. If you feel irregular, painless, squeezing sensation in your abdomen, this may be Braxton Hicks. Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, however, they are most common in the third trimester. The muscles of your uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds or as long as 2 minutes. Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they will prepare you for true labour contractions. At irregular intervals, they could be thinning out your cervix in preparation for delivery. Changing positions, drinking water, or resting can help calm a difficult time. If you can time the contractions or they get stronger, you might be in early labour.
The end of pregnancy can be long and panicky. You may feel excited or out of exhaustion of carrying the baby want your little one to enter the world a few weeks early but patience is the best gift you can give yourself and your baby.
Your other symptoms this in week 37 could include swelling in your extremities, nausea, or difficulty sleeping. Give yourself extra time to get around. Ask for help. Feeling like you don’t have much control over your body is disheartening, but you’re doing an important job by carrying your baby.
Remove any loose flooring items such as rugs, mats, small slippery carpets from the floor to reduce your chances of a fall from slipping. In any case, even after the baby arrives, these items are best stowed away for a couple of years.
Nutrition for you
Unfortunately, everybody is ready with pregnancy tips for you: friends, family members, colleagues, and even neighbouring aunties. It can be quite confusing. Just follow your doctor’s advice.
- Soups and juices: Homemade soups and juices are delicious and healthy addition to your pregnancy diet. Soups in winter and fresh fruit juices in summer are tasty as well as a refreshing option. It is full of nutrients and easy-to-make.
- Portion control: If you are unable to fight the urge of eating junk food, practice portion control. Take a small plate of chips instead of eating from the bag or break a tiny piece of chocolate and keep away the rest of the bar.
Here are some common worries you may be encountering in your pregnancy
- Changes in fetal movement: As your baby gets more cramped in your belly due to less space in your uterus, he/she has less room to move, expect his/her movements to change too. There will be less kicking and a lot more squirming.
- Mucus plug: As your body begins to prepare for labour, your cervix will begin to dilate. You will also pass the mucus plug (yellowish substance which blocked the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering during your pregnancy). Passing a mucus plug is a sign that your cervix is dilating, and your body is starting to prepare for birth. But labour could be hours, days, or even weeks away as the cervix gradually opens – check with your doctor.
What do the experts suggest?
“By now your baby’s movements would have most likely slowed down, but you should still feel them. If you notice a decrease in baby’s movements (that is less than 10 movements in an hour), visit your doctor. It’s always better to get it checked.”
Dr. Sangeeta Malhotra
CGHS Maternity and Gynea Hospital, Delhi
What do some of the moms say?
Let’s hear what moms have to say about their own experiences.
“I was so nervous about the labour that I ended up stressing my husband out. I remember speaking to my doctor about it and she suggested we go for a weekend getaway near to home. So we checked into a hotel and booked a candle light dinner. It was the best weekend of my life so far!” exclaims Sahiba Verma.
“I was very anxious and used to feel completely drained out in this stage. The constant need to pee, the weight on the belly, difficulty in movement/dressing/doing odd jobs was getting too much. I called my mom over to stay with me. It really lifted my mood and I felt better,” recounts Shikha Mishra.
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Summer: Wear breathable fabrics so you won't sweat; this will keep you cooler and help prevent heat rashes. In the summers, rashes usually develop under your breasts and abdomen, a common problem for pregnant women. Keep the folds of the skin dry.
Monsoon: Monsoon is the time when you need to be extremely cautious about your diet and food intake. If you are outside, it is better to nibble on some fresh fruits than giving in to the temptation of spicy street food.
Winter: Try not to have long, hot baths. Instead, shower with lukewarm water. Try to finish your shower within four to five minutes. This will help prevent dry skin and eczema, which are common in winter.