Congratulations, you have successfully entered the last month of your pregnancy. Amidst all the frequent visits to the washroom and the fatigue, enjoy the last month as much as you can. Your life is about to change very soon but you shouldn’t stress about it much. For some, it might be their second pregnancy, while many may be first-timers.
Every pregnancy is special- may it be your first or second. So, cherish each moment till the last day of your pregnancy.
36th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care
The last month of pregnancy is considered to be the most exciting and surprising. Your little one can be born any time during the last month and you should be aware of signs of preterm labor. Read till the end of the article to get an overview of what you should expect this week.
What to expect in my 36th Week of Pregnancy?
- Look out for contractions and don’t confuse them with Braxton-Hicks contractions (false contractions).
- Heavy vaginal discharge.
- Your baby will move further down your pelvic area.
- Increase in secretion of Colostrum.
Expected Changes in your Body
You are in your last month of pregnancy! Just a few more weeks and you will be relieved from the pain. By now, you have started doing the penguin waddle or the so-called pregnancy walk.
Your connective tissues are starting to loosen and soften because of your pregnancy hormones. The little one has grown quite big by this week and he/she needs to pass through your pelvic bones, so it is fine for your connective tissues to be flexible now.
Your baby’s head is putting excessive pressure on your pelvic bones and that can be extremely painful. To get some relief from the pain, keep your hips on an elevated platform, continue doing your pelvic exercises, and get a prenatal massage.
The little champ is gradually moving down to the pelvic area and your diaphragm will get some relief from the upward pressure of the uterus. This baby dropping down is also known as ‘lightening’ and you now you’ll be able to breathe comfortably.
Your stomach won’t be much under pressure too and that will help you to eat a considerable amount of food at one go.
- Your baby is 18 inches in length by now and weighs around 6 pounds.
- The little one has got lovely soft pink skin and chubby little legs and arms.
- Your baby can hear you and everything that is going on outside! During the last few weeks, the baby’s hearing ability increases. Researchers say that your baby can recognize your voice after birth.
- Your little one may drop lower into the pelvic region this week.
- Your baby’s growth rate will slow down from this week onwards and get ready to come out of the narrow passage during delivery.
- The baby’s skull bones are still soft and not yet fused. This will help the head to easily come out of the birth canal.
- Your baby has a healthy blood circulation by now and has also developed an immune system to protect himself/herself from all the infections after delivery.
- The digestive system is not yet developed much, as the umbilical cord is the only source of nutrition now. It will take a year or two for the digestive system to gain its speed.
There are situations when your little one can announce his/her homecoming all of a sudden. Generally, if you are having a contraction, your stomach will stiffen up. Don’t confuse contractions with Braxton-Hicks contractions. Contractions grow in intensity and then subsides, unlike Braxton-Hicks contractions. Track your contractions and record the time when they commence and when they end.
The frequency of contractions is determined by the duration of two consecutive contractions. In case your water breaks, record the time and head towards the hospital immediately. If you experience contractions that last more or less a minute and occur every five minutes, it is a sign that you are going to have your baby now!
The yellowish fluid you notice leaking from your breasts is called colostrum. It is pre-milk that will provide all the necessary nutrients to your baby. If you find it uncomfortable, wear nursing pads. Stock up on nursing pads, as you will be needing them even after delivery.
Changes in fetal movement:
Your baby has reached his/her ideal size by now and as he/she moves down more towards the pelvic bone, space for your little one to move narrows down. You will feel your baby move, but you won’t feel kicks rather a lot more of squirming.
You will your stomach gets squeezed by your uterus and it will restrict you to have smaller meals. Eating smaller meals than big ones during this period is a relief for your digestive system and it will help control heartburn.
Your baby is moving down towards your pelvic bones and it will cause constipation by putting pressure on your intestine. Have smaller meals and plenty of water to deal with constipation.
There is a high chance, that your little one has already started playing pranks and has dropped into your pelvis by now. As your little one moves further down your pelvis, your bladder gets all the pressure.
Your washroom has been your best companion during this entire period and it can’t get over you! You will rush to your washroom more often now. That doesn’t permit you to cut down on your water intake though. Drinking water is necessary to deal with all the other necessary problems.
Vaginal discharge with blood:
You will have an increased vaginal discharge now which will thicken with time too. You may even notice traces of blood. There is nothing to worry about. Your sensitive cervix might have started to get dilated or have been bruised while having sex.
Your baby has grown to his/her ideal size. Your skin has stretched to its limit and you feel it’ll tear apart any time. The stretch marks will dry up and make your skin dry. The dryness can make your skin itchy or prickly, and you should keep your skin moisturized always.
Creams that are rich in cocoa butter or Vitamin E are good for treating dry skin. This symptom will be different than what you faced in the Seventh week of Pregnancy.
Swelling of ankles and feet:
Your body will retain more fluid now and that will cause not only your ankles and feet to swell but also your face and hands.
The only remedy to deal with Edema (pregnancy swelling) is to drink an ample amount of water and other liquids to flush out the accumulated excess sodium and other products from your body. This will minimize swelling.
Expecting a beauty sleep? Oops! Not now. You’ll have to wait for your little one to come out of your body to get rid of your black circles.
All your bedtime will go in finding the right position to sleep. Make sure your room is well ventilated and you are wearing breathable and comfortable clothes. Switch on some soft and relaxing music to ease your nerves and help you sleep.
This is common for any pregnant woman during the last trimester. You will suddenly find an urge to rearrange and renovate your home for the baby’s grand entry.
If the nesting impulse triggers often, have your partner or your maid nearby to do all the lifting and heavy work while you just sit back and command. Take breaks in between and do not overstress your body much.
Things to do for a healthy pregnancy this week
By now, you should arrange the necessities for the family’s new member’s arrival.
Decide on your pediatrician:
This is the time you should choose a pediatrician for your baby if you haven’t yet. You can ask your family members or friends for referrals. You should take an appointment with your pediatrician before the due date arrives and make yourself comfortable with the doctor.
Get your hospital bag ready:
The process of packing a hospital bag is like a roller coaster of emotions and at the same time enjoyable! Take suggestions from your friends and relatives to decide on what to include in your bag. Here is a list of things you should include in your hospital bag:
- Insurance information
- Your birth plan
- Breathable clothes and a pair of slippers
- iPod, radio, or anything that will help you relax during labor.
- Your favorite storybooks or magazines
Baby’s car seat:
Your prince/princess needs his/her thrown too! Install a car seat for your little one now. You wouldn’t want to leave that for the last moment, as installing on is tricky and strenuous!
A set of clothes for your baby:
Pack a set of clothes to bring the little bundle of joy home. Pack an outfit that is easy to put on and take off. Always carry two sets of clothes just in case your little one spoils one. Pack clothes that will be comfortable for your baby.
Have plenty of B6:
Have proteins with an adequate supply of pyridoxine. It is a vitamin, also called B6. It facilitates both your body and baby to use the protein efficiently. B6 is present in prenatal vitamins and are also found in good quantity in bananas, avocados, brown rice, oatmeal, potatoes, tomato, spinach, and meat.
Increase your protein intake:
You should make sure you are having an adequate amount of protein as your body’s brain is developing quite fast now. Have proteins that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, preferably ALA and DHA. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in these:
- Lean meats
- Fatty fish like salmon and sardines
Emergency cases to call the doctor
- If you are having contractions or feel the same, call up your doctor and head to the hospital immediately.
- Excessive vaginal bleeding.
- Unbearable abdominal pain.
- Your baby’s movement will decrease now but if you feel no movement and it is worrying you, do contact your doctor.
Just 3-4 more laps and you will be done with this long 9-month race! Amidst all the discomfort and excruciating pain, please enjoy these last couple of weeks. Once this race ends, you will miss all the special moments, from the first ultrasound to the first kick.
Continue your healthy diet and have plenty of water. Make sure you are getting the required amount of nutrition. You’ll be needing every bit of the extra nutrients and energy on the D-day!
Here are Frequently Asked Questions Which help you to take detail about it.
How to know if my baby’s head has dropped or not?
Your baby is looking and feeling a lot lower. Many people may still see the difference. Normally, your midwife or your doctor will say how far your cervix has softened and stretched by touching your stomach or by examining your cervix.
What happens if my baby is breech?
The breech is where the kid’s feet or ass are pointed to the birth channel rather than the head of his infant. As you continue in pregnancy, on each prenatal visit your baby’s position will be checked. Typically, this is achieved by touching the abdomen with our fingertips. By the baby’s pulse, we can even inform you. The next move is to check for an ultrasound whether we are suspect of breakage.
If breech has been verified, we provide different ways to see how your baby will switch, including specific activities and the external cerebral version (ECV) technique. Cesarean delivery may be expected until the baby flips.
What are the ways to prepare for breastfeeding?
Until arrival, often women purchase or borrow breast pumps. Patient information is also available via your midwife or doctor about breastfeeding. Most hospitals and centers of birth offer breastfeeding experts to help you breastfeed after your baby is born.
When should I opt for my maternity leave?
The timing depends on the type of work you are doing and the pregnancy. Many women wait until their due date or when they have a baby to start their maternity leave in uncomplicated childbirth. Some women may start maternity leave earlier if there is significant unrest or a pregnancy problem.
When should I know that it is time to go to the hospital?
To patients, particularly new moms, this is often a challenging issue. It is recommended that you contact your midwife or doctor or go to the hospital and see if your job is finished, especially if you have at least 6 contractions for more than 1 or 2 hours.
Look out for contractions that are intense or painful. The mixture of stronger and more intense contractions is a positive indication that it is near. It is necessary to head to a doctor because many women experience very serious contractions that force them to stop talking or walking, even when the latter is quiet and relaxed and sometimes uncomfortable.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.