Week 36 of Your Pregnancy
36th week – the development of the child is complete! If it has not already turned, it usually does so now.
Because there is hardly any space left in your belly, the (slower and less) kicking little fists and feet create funny bumps under your skin. In addition, the baby has already moved to the final birth position, which is why its movements decrease significantly. This means that the baby sinks headfirst into the pelvis.
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The baby in the 36th week of gestation
In the 36th week of pregnancy, the baby measures about 18 ¾ inches in length and weighs 5 ¾ pounds. If born during this week, it is still considered a “late preterm baby.” However, it will usually no longer need special postnatal care.
All internal organs are functioning, and the baby’s breathing and immune system are now working independently. The regulation of its heat balance is now ensured by sufficiently large fat reserves.
In many children, the baby’s head settles firmly into the mother’s small pelvis in the 36th week. This puts the baby in the starting position for birth. It now has little room to move. Although it stretches, sometimes turns a little from right to left, tries a kick upwards, or bumps its head against the pelvic floor, the mother will still feel a clear decrease in the baby’s movements. Women who are unsure whether their baby is still moving sufficiently should discuss this question with their midwife or doctor.
Welcome to the 36th week of pregnancy! Now there is only about one month left until you can finally hold your baby in your arms after birth. Until then, however, a lot will change in and with your body. Your uterus is now much larger than before pregnancy and has reached its highest position in the 36th week.
Nausea may also be your companion again because the uterus is taking up a lot of space in your abdomen.
To prevent water retention, you should take a short break whenever possible. Either put your feet up or lie down on the left side of your body. Both positions promote blood circulation, which can prevent edema. Please note the following: The deposits will not disappear faster if you drink less fluid.
Your body needs plenty of water to move waste through your kidneys, to keep your digestion going, and to keep blood flowing through your body.
- Edema. Water retention – especially in the legs – troubles many pregnant women much earlier in pregnancy. For others, they are just coming on now. It’s best to take frequent rest breaks and drink plenty of fluids, and the edema will usually disappear on its own. However, light exercise during pregnancy that promotes blood circulation can also counteract edema.
- Weak bladder. The uterus and your baby are now heavy on the bladder. So it is possible that you sometimes involuntarily lose a little urine when a jerky movement, such as coughing or sneezing, strains the abdominal muscles. Pelvic floor training already during and especially after pregnancy can help here.
- Pulling and pushing. The weight mentioned above also pushes down quite a bit in the 36th week. However, a pulling sensation in the lower abdomen can always be a sign of lower contractions.
- Exhaustion. The growing weight also affects your overall well-being. You are likely to feel exhausted more quickly, and it is advisable to plan regular rest breaks into your daily routine.
Can the baby's birth position be influenced?
Many obstetricians believe that the baby’s birth position can be influenced to a certain extent even without an “external turn”.
Appropriately trained midwives, for example, try to achieve a turn into the optimal position through naturopathic procedures such as acupuncture or moxibustion (a procedure from traditional Chinese medicine for heating certain body points) and also report numerous successes in this regard.
It is also possible that the mother’s lifestyle has an influence on the child’s birth position. One of these assumptions is that sitting for a long time could promote the development of a “posterior occipital position”.
As the pelvis tilts backward, the baby’s head and spine, as its heaviest body parts, also tilt in the same direction. When sitting, pregnant women from the 36th week of pregnancy should ensure that their knees are always below the hips; the buttocks can be raised, for example, by a cushion. A regular exercise program for the mother also helps the baby to get into an optimal birth position.
By the way, our grandmothers believed that scrubbing is an excellent exercise to prepare for birth: when the mother kneels “on all fours”, the back of the baby’s head automatically tilts towards the floor, i.e. into the mother’s belly. By regularly adopting the quadrupedal stance – at least once a day for about ten minutes – the same effect can be achieved somewhat more easily.
All pregnant women know the fear of childbirth. It is completely normal. If you are expecting your first child, then it is probably the fear of helplessness, being at the mercy of others, and the possible loss of control during birth that is bothering you. In addition to fear of the pain of childbirth, you may also be afraid of the new situation without a baby in your belly.
But there are ways to deal with the fear:
- Admit your fears and talk about them with your midwife or doctor.
- Get a thorough explanation of what’s going on during birth and what’s going on around you. The more familiar you are with it, the better you will be able to handle your fears and not feel so helpless.
- Find confidence in yourself and your body. You have probably already received helpful tips in your childbirth preparation course.
- Relaxation techniques such as yoga or autogenic training help with conscious relaxation.
- Think about the use of painkillers during childbirth. Your baby does not have to come into the world naturally in every case. If the pain becomes overwhelming, you can also opt for painkillers such as an epidural (epidural anesthesia).
- Play through the days after delivery in your mind. How will it feel to hold your little one in your arms and no longer carry them in your belly? If you start thinking about this situation today, you will be able to deal with the unfamiliar feelings and thoughts more easily later.
- From the end of the 26th week of gestation, you can have acupuncture done in preparation for the birth.
FAQ - 36th week of Pregnancy
RDS is by far the biggest risk for babies born at 36 weeks. Baby boys seem to have more trouble than late preterm girls. Although only about 5 percent of babies born at 36 weeks are admitted to the NICU, almost 30 percent experience some degree of respiratory distress.
At 36 weeks pregnant, you’re officially nine months along.
Your baby looks more like an infant this week, with chubby little legs and pink-tinted skin — even in babies of color because of the blood vessels just beneath the surface. Your baby’s ears are extra sharp during these last few weeks. Studies show she may even recognize your voice and favorite songs after birth.