36 Weeks Pregnant
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
Your Baby at 36 WeeksSize: 18.66 inches (47.4 cm) - crown to heel
Weight: 5.78 pounds (2622 grams)
Congratulations! You are now entering the last month of your pregnancy. Able to function on the outside with limited assistance, many hospitals consider the end of your 36th week to be an acceptable time to induce labor if it is medically necessary. Certainly babies who are born closer to the 39th week will transition more smoothly than a 36 week delivery, but babies are born at this age regularly and usually do just fine.
Gaining weight at a rate of about an ounce per day, it won't take long for your baby to pack on some serious pounds. About the size of a casaba melon, these final weeks will be all about lung maturation and weight gain in addition to trial runs at breathing, and developing more purposeful movements.
Mom at 36 Weeks PregnantFor the next few weeks, you may have mixed emotions about the birth. On one hand, your aching body parts are ready to face the big day, and on the other hand you may still have some fear of the unknown.
Fatigue, swelling, constipation and heart burn are still hanging around. You have been pregnant for the last 9 months, and for some women it can feel like 9 years. While you want a healthy baby, you don't want to be pregnant anymore and packing around your little passenger is starting to feel like a pretty big deal. By the end of this week you will be considered full term - and your baby could be here any day.
The uterus is now 6 inches or more above the belly button and is about 1000 times its normal size. As the baby continues to move, you may start to feel more and more pressure in the lower abdominal area as your baby begins to descend into the pelvis and engage his or her head closer to your pelvic bones for birth.
You may have 3 or 4 more weeks of pregnancy left, or you may not. You will begin seeing your doctor weekly at this point, and if it hasn't been collected yet, you can expect to have your Group B Strep (GBS) screening completed this week. Usually collected between 35 and 37 weeks, this bacterium is commonly located in the digestive tract, but migrates easily into the birth canal of about 25% of women without any symptoms. Usually benign, these bacteria can be transferred to your baby during delivery and can cause pneumonias, blood infections and even death if untreated. Your doctor will test you by using simple cotton swab to swipe across your rectum and vagina for testing. If you are positive, you will be given antibiotics before delivery to prevent the spread of the germ to your baby.
Aside from testing, some of the most common symptoms you may experience this week include:
- Mood swings
- Urinary Frequency
The scale may be marching into a previously unknown territory for you. Week by week you may gain as much as a pound - sending the scale to places you may have thought it would never go. Close to your goal weight of around 30 pounds by now, you will lose the majority of that weight before you ever leave the hospital. So try to stay calm.
If you haven't made a list of what to bring to the hospital yet, this is a good time to get all your loose ends tied up. Keep all important numbers on speed dial, and have a bag packed for the hospital and enough gas in the car to get there. Your hospital bag should include a nightgown or two, a pair of slippers, a change of clothes, toothbrush, a focal object for labor, snacks and supplies for your partner as well.
Twin Time (8-9 months):
Weighing in at just slightly less than single babies, more than half of all twin births happen by the end of the 36th week. Carrying two certainly means you may be much larger than other moms to be at this time, and extra weight gain is not only okay, but it is expected. Your babies are just as formed as a solo baby - just on a slightly smaller scale.