Pregnant at 36 weeks, your baby might start to move down lower in the pelvis, getting ready to be born. This is called 'lightening'. Your little one weighs around 6lb this week and is about 49cm long.
If your baby is in a breech position, your doctor may try an External Cephalic Version procedure. This is where they try to make your baby move by pushing your bump with their hands, guided by an ultrasound scan.
Your baby’s lungs are now complete and are producing a lubricant called surfactant that will help the lungs when they take their first breath.
You will probably start having antenatal visits once a week from now on and will have your baby’s position checked by your midwife.
As the birth approaches you may be feeling nervous and are likely to have lots of questions – What are the signs of labour? Am I in labour? Will it really hurt? What pain relief is best? Get the answers to the most frequently asked questions here.
You might be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, this is a sign of your body gearing up for labour. Some women describe them as tightening, or like period cramps. 36 weeks pregnant cramps usually last for less than a minute but can happen several times a day.
In the last few weeks leading up to labour you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. With 36 weeks pregnant discharge, you may also notice a ‘show’ - a mucus discharge with a little blood - this is the jelly-like plug that seals the cervix.
What to think about
If you’re having a planned Caesarean birth, make sure you plan for when you come home as you won’t be able to do any heavy-lifting and you’re advised not to drive for six weeks.
Make sure your hospital bag is ready to go and that you have all your emergency numbers stored in a safe place.
Get familiar with your routes and the hospital so you know what to expect, this will help to reduce stress when the time comes.
Having a stand-by birthing partner is a good idea if your partner, or mum is miles away.