What's happening in week 36
Week 36 and the finish line is well and truly in sight!
At a glance
- Your baby is getting ready to meet you now
- They are putting on weight and getting into the 'engaged' position
- Your nesting instinct may have kicked in
How big is my baby at 36 weeks?
The average baby weighs around 7.5lbs at birth, so your little one has a bit more to gain just now, weighing in at around 6lbs at the 36 week mark. They’ll also measure in at close to 50cm and still have a little bit of growing left to do.
Your baby is really getting themselves ready to meet you now! They are moving further down your pelvis ready to engage (if they haven't already), and putting on those last few ounces of weight.
You will still be feeling them moving about, but probably much lower down in your tummy. If you notice any prolonged lack of movement, do contact your midwife straight away, so she can make sure everything is as it should be.
This week they’ll be shedding the remaining downy hair which will mix in with the remaining amniotic fluid. The baby will be swallowing both of these substances with others such as bile and mucus. This forms what is known as meconium, and will be their first bowel movement.
Their blood circulation and immune system are now ready for the outside world after months of development, but their digestive system isn’t quite ready and will take a few months to catch up before your baby can start eating solids.
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You at 36 weeks pregnant
Your midwife will be checking your baby's position at all your appointments now, and noting whether or not their head has engaged. As baby moves further down into your pelvis, you will probably find eating and breathing a whole lot easier and your desire to swig antacid from the bottle lessened!
In the weeks before your due date some women also start getting some Braxton Hicks, these are described as 'practice' contractions as you body begins to get ready for the birth. They can be abit uncomfortable but pass fairly quickly and do not grow in intensity so you'll know it's not the real thing. In comparison, strong regular contractions and a 'show' would be signs of labour.
You might find your nesting instinct kicking in around this time, too, giving you an irrepressible desire to clean and tidy your home in readiness for your new arrival – go with it if you've got the energy – it's unlikely you'll feel quite so keen to de-clutter the under-stairs cupboard or clean the hob at any point again in the next nine months!
What to think about in week 36
Dealing with other people late in your pregnancy can end up driving you to distraction – particularly if you are finding that the constant 'not long now' or 'you look ready to pop' comments from friends and family are starting to grate!
You could also find yourself inundated with calls and texts asking if there is 'any news'. Don't feel guilty about switching your phone off or letting the voicemail pick up, particularly if you are trying to get some rest – that's more important than relaying for the umpteenth time 'no, nothing's happening yet...' .
Don't feel bad about being firm with repeat offenders either, perhaps by getting your partner to field your calls, or simply telling them straight out that you will call them when there is anything to report!
Also... Don’t forget to start preparing for your Bounty Portrait session when you start thinking about what to pack in your hospital bag.
Bounty Portrait offers FREE in-hospital portrait sessions of your precious little one with no obligation to buy. You’ll also get a FREE portrait gift – choose from one of three different gifts and a FREE announcement service to share your first photos with loved ones
For that perfect Portrait session don’t forget to pack…
- A soft cuddly toy – this makes a great photo prop
- A blanket – whether it’s been knitted specially or bought. Adding this to a picture makes a great photo keepsake
- A plain top for you if you want to be in the photos
- That special ‘first’ baby outfit.
Whilst you may feel ready(ish) for your impending birth, how prepared is your partner? Those days are gone when dads-to-be sat around smoking or pacing the corridor while the missus gave birth. There’s a lot more expected of the dads now, showing support, and being part of the process as much as they can and feel able to.
Harsh but sound advice for dads during labour: Do as you are told. Labour is no time for a disagreement about the correct way to massage her shoulders. If she asks for something, do it, if the hospital staff ask you to do something, do it. Even if she asks you to go out for a bit and leave her alone, do it. And do it calmly and quickly!
Try and encourage your partner to understand the basics of labour itself. There are some sure fire signs labour is starting and understanding what your partner can do to help will make the process less stressful for both of you can get you off on the right foot. For example, make sure he knows what needs doing before you head to the hospital, and where to park and it will help take the pressure off you.
You can chat to other mums on Bounty.com in the community.
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