36 weeks pregnant

You’re 36 Weeks Pregnant: What You Need to Know

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you are at most, a month away from your due date. While you may be busy with other baby-related preparations, knowing more about your baby’s growth and development is a top priority.


How Big Is Your Baby?

Your baby is as big as a watermelon, measuring about 80 to 96 ounces. From the head to the heel, your baby’s height is around 17 to 19 inches on the average.

Abbey holding up a large watermelon
Your baby’s about as big as this watermelon by now!

My Baby’s Development

Your baby is rapidly growing at week 36, adding at most 2 lbs each week until full term. Your baby’s internal organs, especially the digestive system, are fully operational now. He or she will also start shedding some of the skin’s covering, lanugo, to prepare for his or her delivery.

Some babies at this point are already capable of self-regulating their breathing. Your baby is rapidly getting ready to meet you at this point.


What Is My Baby Doing?

You may notice your baby responding to the things that excite them. When they hear music, you may feel your baby kicking or move around in your tummy. Your baby learns about the outside world through you, so don’t forget to talk to your baby often. Babies love the sound of their mom’s voice!


Belly Ultrasound

At this stage, you will be able to get an accurate picture of your baby inside your tummy when you go for a full belly ultrasound. You will also get to see whether your child is in a breech or normal presentation so you can plan your delivery accordingly. At 36 weeks, your baby’s features will be easily seen, including their little nose, eyes, and even their fingers.


My Changing Body – Week 36

While your baby is quickly gaining on the pounds, you will notice that your belly is getting bigger and heavier. It is expected for moms with normal pre-pregnancy weight to stack up at least 20 pounds in the entire course of the pregnancy. It shouldn’t bother you at all if you gain this much weight. However, you should always watch over what you eat to maintain a healthy balance.


Common Symptoms

  • Having Trouble Sleeping – Sleeping can be an issue when you’re at 36 weeks. You feel that your belly is making you uncomfortable, especially when your baby becomes very active at night. You can try sleeping on your side with a pillow underneath your belly or between your legs. This position will help stabilize your belly while you sleep.
  • Swollen Feet – Another common symptom for those in the last trimester of pregnancy is having swollen feet (and ankles). You will notice that you cannot fit into your pre-pregnancy shoes anymore. You may even have to buy shoes that are a size larger than regular. To help lessen this feeling, see if you can buy compression socks for 36 weeks pregnant women.  It will promote blood circulation and alleviate the fluids pooling in your ankles.


How Is My Life Changing

Your interest in social activities is decreasing because you are having trouble walking. At 36 weeks, you also might be more interested in catching up on sleep during the day.

Moreover, you might observe that your belly suddenly has stretch marks overnight. Your baby’s rapid growth may have taken its toll on your belly, but don’t fret! Regularly putting heavy duty lotion with shea butter or coconut oil on your belly can reduce the appearance of stretch marks.


Week 36 Checklist

  • Think About Your Birth Plan

As your due date draws near, you have to think about your battle plan for your delivery. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a normal delivery or caesarian section, every pregnancy is a major operation. You will have to consult your doctor regarding your birthing plan. Your plan should include whether you will be going for an epidural or no anesthesia at all. It should also state whether you want to bring your partner with you or not.

  • Start Packing Your Hospital Bag

You should start packing your hospital bag as early as now, especially if you’re very busy. Packing early can eliminate the chances of leaving important things behind.


Tips For The Partners

At week 36, your partner may be having Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are painful, your support and presence are very much appreciated at this point. You can also try to educate yourself on monitoring these contractions. If the contractions happen more often than usual, you can also alert your partner’s doctor on her behalf.


A Sneak Peek To Your Week 37

You will still be experiencing more or less the same symptoms at week 37. Keep your birth plan and hospital bag on hand – at this point you should always be ready to run to the hospital for an emergency.

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