36 Weeks Pregnant - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips - Babylist

36 Weeks Pregnant

May 16, 2019

36 Weeks Pregnant

36 Weeks Pregnant
36 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is 18.7 inches long and weighs 5.8 pounds this week. That’s about the size of a bag of Bugles.

Your Baby’s Development at 36 Weeks

  • Blood flow: Your baby is getting so ready for the world! By now their blood circulation is fully up and running.
  • Digestion: One system in baby’s development needs more help though: digestion. Since your baby hasn’t had any milk yet and won’t drink it until after they’re born, it will take a little while for their stomach to get completely up to speed. Cue the spit up.
  • Shedding: The downy hair on the baby’s body is coming off, and so is the vernix caseosa (remember the cheesy varnish that was protecting the skin?).
  • Head down: By this point your baby should be in the cephalic or head-down position. If they aren’t, there’s still time; talk to your OB about ways you can try to flip them in the next few weeks. Some moms to be have good luck with acupuncture.

💛 Congratulations 💛

You only have four weeks left!

What Happens When Your Baby ‘Drops’?

Around now, the baby drops from around your rib cage to closer to your pelvis, as prep for making their entrance into the world. This exciting change is called dropping, engaging or “lightening.” This can happen anywhere from around 36 weeks to 38 weeks—or even later.

While lightening one of the signs that labor is approaching, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s imminent. It can still be weeks until you go into active labor—though for some women, baby drops right before she goes into labor, particularly if it’s not her first baby.

Sometimes, it will be obvious that your baby has dropped, even so dramatic a difference that people may comment. Other times, moms barely notice. A few ways you can tell:

  • You may breathe easier. Since baby is now sitting lower in your uterus, there will probably be less pressure on your diaphragm.
  • You may have to pee more often. Less pressure on your diaphragm means more pressure on your bladder.
  • Less heartburn. If you’ve experienced this pregnancy symptom, you’ll be happy to know that once the baby drops, heartburn should ease up, since your uterus won’t be pressing on your stomach quite as much.
  • You may waddle. Since your baby is now hanging out in your pelvic area, you may notice you walk a little differently (hi, penguin walk!), as your hips spread a bit to accommodate baby. You may experience twinges of pelvic pain and more pressure in the region.

36 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

Pregnancy Ultrasound Week 36

Photo by Tommy’s

Pregnancy Symptoms at 36 Weeks

  • Pelvic aches and pains: Since baby has dropped, you may start feeling pain in your pelvis—the technical term is “pelvic girdle pain.” As ligaments loosen and baby puts more pressure on the pelvis, many pregnant moms get really uncomfortable. If you have access to a pool, try swimming or lounging in it to relieve some of the pressure.
  • Change in stride: Baby’s descent also creates the telltale pregnancy waddle. A wider pelvis means a wider stance, so your gait may change dramatically. At 36 weeks pregnant, it’s time to embrace your inner penguin.
  • Vaginal discharge: Regular ol’ discharge can increase at 36 weeks but keep an eye out for anything that looks different from usual. Blood or a watery discharge warrant a call to the doc—the water could actually be amniotic fluid. If it’s mucus (which is sometimes blood-tinged), it could be the mucus plug, which most commonly is lost after 37 weeks. Losing the mucus plug is not a big deal, but it is a sign you’ll go into labor soon. (Also “soon” is as close as we can get to estimating—could be hours or weeks!)
  • Trouble sleeping: A good night’s sleep in late pregnancy can be hard to come by. Your belly is big, and you’re uncomfortable. You may be dealing with heartburn, leg cramps or nasal congestion. And you keep getting up to pee. Some moms-to-be say they’re just awake at night. Some say that these sleepless nights are nature’s way of getting ready to have a newborn—we all know baby sleep happens in short cycles. Not that that helps when you’re up at 2 a.m.

Pregnancy Hormones: What Will Change

For the past eight months, almost every ache, pain and symptom you’ve had could be chalked up to pregnancy hormones. So now that you’re heading into the home stretch, what’s next?

The good news is after you give birth, some pregnancy symptoms could go away almost immediately—things like swelling and pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. The bad news? Your hormones will change yet again when your baby arrives, and they’ll be pretty haywire for six to eight weeks after delivery—even longer if you breastfeed.

Progesterone will drop immediately, and estrogen will spike, causing lots of fun new symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, anxiety, the baby blues and, in some women, postpartum depression. Prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast milk production, can slow metabolism, and cause moodiness and fatigue too.

Not trying to scare you or anything. All this is important to know A) So you don’t freak out when clumps of hair come off in the shower. It will grow back. B) So you understand that it’s OK and even necessary to ask for help. And C) Because anyone could be affected by postpartum depression—in fact 1 in 7 moms is. If you find that your blues linger more than two weeks after delivery, or your feelings are intense, talk to your OB immediately.

Your 36 Weeks Pregnant Belly

How’s that two-liter treatin’ ya? At this point, you probably feel like you’re a walking belly. Your total weight gain is close to the 25 to 35 pounds you aimed for, and you’re probably tired from hauling that extra weight around on the daily. The good news is you’ll probably only gain about a half-pound each week from here on out.

Top Tip for 36 Weeks Pregnant

Try not to stress about getting a nanny or a daycare. Half of Babylist parents said it took them more than four months to feel comfortable with their childcare, but nearly 70 percent said they ultimately found the best possible childcare for their family. Those are pretty good odds.

Baby Bumps at 36 Weeks Pregnant

36 weeks pregnant first baby nicolecangiano321

36 weeks pregnant belly baby boy @naybrizotti

36 weeks pregnant belly @memywifeandmycat

36 weeks pregnant pictures @nickellabian

36 weeks pregnant bump picture @la in ny

36 weeks 6 days pregnant @cheyennearlenee

36 weeks 5 days pregnant @withkrissyrae

36 weeks 3 days pregnant  @emktsab

36 weeks pregnant pictures jackelynlynamphoto 36weekspregnant2

Complete Childcare Guide

childcare overview header ncr8u8

This week we’re taking a breather from the labor and delivery details to talk about childcare.

The birth plan, the name, the pediatrician, the stroller—they’re all key decisions. But of all the choices you’ll make, few are as daunting as childcare.

Whether you’re staying at home, picking up a few work projects or going back to a more-than-full-time gig, you may be challenged to predict what you’ll need—and often to negotiate most of the details—before you even need it.

We surveyed more than 2,000 Babylist families to figure out what are the biggest issues with childcare—and how you can avoid them. Whether you thinking about daycare, a nanny or staying at home, here’s some helpful perspective in our complete childcare guide.


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Week 36 Pregnancy Checklist

  • Mark your calendar! Starting at 36 weeks pregnant, your doctor will want to see you every week.
  • Add the finishing touches to your nursery.
  • Finish packing your hospital bag, if you haven’t already. Here are some ideas on what to bring along—and what you can leave home.
  • If you haven’t already—and you will need it—start thinking about childcare.
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