Calendar Third Trimester

36 Weeks Pregnant

36 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Keep singing, reading, and talking to your baby
  • Start scheduling weekly checkups with your doctor
  • Rest whenever you can, ideally with your feet elevated

Your Baby’s Development

The tiny wrinkly fetus you saw on earlier ultrasounds is fast becoming a plump baby. Fat on the cheeks and powerful sucking muscles contribute to your baby’s fuller face. Your baby now weighs a little under 6 pounds (2,721 grams).

The bones that make up your baby’s skull can move and overlap each other. This is called molding, and it helps the baby pass through the birth canal. Don’t be surprised if your little one arrives with a pointy or misshapen head! After a few hours or days, your baby’s head will be back to a rounded shape.

Your Body

You now might see your health care provider every week. Your doctor or midwife may do an internal exam to see if cervical effacement (thinning of the cervix) or dilation (opening of the cervix) has begun. The baby might drop into your pelvis in preparation for labor — this is called engagement or lightening. Your appetite may return because the baby isn’t putting as much pressure on your stomach and intestines, and if you’ve had heartburn, that might ease.

Pregnancy symptoms at 36 weeks

You may begin to feel increased pressure in your lower belly and notice that your baby is gradually dropping. This is called lightening or engagement.

The good news is that your lungs and tummy will finally get a chance to stretch a bit, so breathing and eating become easier.

However, you may find walking becomes increasingly uncomfortable. Your experience of carrying your baby may feel quite different. Some mums-to-be say they even feel as if their baby is going to fall out. Try not to worry, as this can’t happen!

You may feel as if you need to go for a wee all the time, as your baby presses on your bladder. Practising your pelvic floor exercises can help.

How your life’s changing

  • As your baby’s birth day approaches, how will you know if it’s the real thing? We have tips on spotting the signs of labour. If you have a car, keep it topped up with petrol to get you to hospital, rehearse the best route to the hospital and have plenty of money for the car park.
  • You and your partner can prepare yourselves by understanding the stages of childbirth.
  • You may want to fit in a hair cut now – you may not have time later!
  • Are you having twins? We’ve got a special labour and birth guide just for you. Plus some tips on caring for twins once they’re born. Find out if it’s safe for twins to sleep in the same cot.

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