Pregnancy Week 36

You have reached 36 weeks and your baby could arrive at any time. We hope you enjoy these last several weeks of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Week 36: What changes are occurring with your body?

Your baby is continuing to put on the weight (about an ounce a day), but you most likely will not notice a change in your own weight. You may feel like there is no room left for your baby to grow and may be very tired of feeling so "big", but remember that the longer your baby is in its protective environment up until its due date, usually the better it is.

You may notice an increase in the amount of Braxton Hicks contractions that you experience. True labor will eventually follow the Braxton Hicks contractions, but many women are often told that they are actually experiencing a false alarm or false labor. While this can be incredibly frustrating, it can be a good practice run for getting to the hospital.*

Pregnancy Week 36: How big is your baby?

Your baby is likely between 17 ½ to 19 inches long and weighs 5 ¾ to 6 ¾ pounds.*

What is happening with your baby?

The fine downy hair, lanugo, that has covered you baby’s skin is beginning to disappear, along with the vernix caseosa. Vernix caseosa is the thick, creamy substance that has protected your baby’s skin while he/she has been submerged in amniotic fluid. Both of these are swallowed by your baby, along with additional amniotic fluid, which combine together to form meconium, or your baby’s first bowel movement.

Your baby should be in the head down position, but do not panic if he/she has yet to attain this position. If by next week he/she is still not head down, then your health care provider may suggest trying external cephalic version. For more information regarding this procedure please read about Breech Births.*

Pregnancy Week 36: What should you plan for this week?

When you have your appointment this week you should be prepared for:

  • Cervical cultures- specifically Group B Strep
  • Discussion of External Cephalic Version (ECV) if your baby is in a breech presentation
  • Cesarean or VBAC

Packing for the hospital can be a cumbersome task. Now that you have reached 36 weeks, it is best to go ahead and begin this. Talk with other women for ideas and see our recommendations on packing for your birth. Some basic things to remember are:

Essentials for Mom

  • Health insurance card
  • Breast pads- You will need these whether or not you are breastfeeding since they stop leaks by absorbing milk.
  • Going-home outfit- Choose one that fit when you were 6 months pregnant.
  • Sanitary pads- Many women feel more comfortable when they bring their favorite brand with them; just make sure they are designed for a heavier flow.

Essentials for Baby

  • Infant car seat and infant head support- You will not be allowed to leave the hospital without one; include the instructions.
  • Going-home outfit
  • Newborn diapers

Tips for making your pregnancy better:

If your breasts make you uncomfortable during the night, you may want to begin sleeping in a nursing bra. Nursing bras provide much needed support even before your baby is born. These can also be worn during the day if they make you more comfortable.

Pregnancy Week 36: Tips for mom’s partner

While it is very important that your partner has her bag packed for the trip to the hospital, there are also things that you can pack to prepare for the delivery of your baby. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Change of clothes
  • Pajamas if spending the night
  • Bathing suit- This is important if your partner is planning on a water birth or using the birthing pool during labor.
  • A watch with a second hand
  • Video/still camera-Make sure you have extra tapes, film, batteries, chargers, etc.