Congratulations on making it this far! Welcome to the 9th month! Now is the time that is perfect for all the last minute preparations and arrangements. The baby at 36 weeks pregnant is like a papaya, weighing approximately 5.8 pounds and about 18.7 inches long from its crown to its heel. The baby is ready to pop out, so you should also be prepared to deliver any moment!
36 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
At 36 weeks pregnant, it is common to experience indigestion and heartburn due to the changing concoction of your hormones. Ask your doctor if it is okay to pop mild antacids. Stick to foods that are less spicy and rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Improved breathing ability
Now that the baby has ‘dropped’ into your pelvis, your respiratory system has more space for air circulation. You will now experience a much lower rate of breathlessness.
Minor swelling is common at 36 weeks pregnant. The weight of the baby, along with your own body weight, is taking a heavy toll on your ankles. However, soon after delivery they will get back to normalcy. If there is severe swelling and constant tingling, consult your doctor immediately.
You are likely to experience increased tightening of your abdominal muscles at 36 weeks pregnant. Since you have barely a month left to go before the delivery day, your body is toning up even more for the big event. If there is persistent severe pain, consult your doctor as this might be a sign of pre-term labour.
Changes in vaginal discharge
During this week, your vaginal discharge might increase as your body prepares for delivery. The discharge might even be more mucus-like and white in colour. However, if it is watery and more transparent, consult your doctor without any delay as this might be a symptom of a breakage in your amniotic sac.
Although you’re dead tired, falling asleep at night might seem like the most difficult task in the world! Blame the hormones! Try to get some rest in the form of naps throughout the day. See if a glass of warm milk after dinner helps.
At 36 weeks pregnant, your belly does not really undergo much change. All the development has occurred over the past weeks. Now you are towards the end of it! If you have a normal BMI, you will have gained about 25 to 35 pounds by now. If you’re carrying twins, you will have probably gained about 35 to 45 pounds. Now you will keep gaining only half a pound every week until delivery. Watch out for the labour contractions. Ask your doctor about the specific symptoms, so that you know exactly when to rush to the hospital.
At 36 weeks pregnant, you will have a major prenatal appointment in which the doctor will check your overall health conditions. If everything is fine, your baby should be fine and ready to face the outside world. The 36 week fetus is gradually getting closer to the opening. The OB will check your baby’s position during the ultrasound. Ideally, the baby should be in a head-down position, facing towards the abdominal opening. In case this hasn’t yet happened, it is called as a “breech”. There’s no need to worry as there’s still time for the baby to turn upside down. However, if the gynaecologist feels necessary, they might conduct a ‘version’ on the fetus. This involves medically acclaimed pushing or lifting of your pregnant belly to turn the baby. This is not painful, but you will still be administered medicines beforehand to relax your uterine muscles. Apart from this, you might also be required to sit through a Group B Strep test, in which there is a scan to detect the bacterium of the same name.
Dos and Don’ts During Week 36 of Pregnancy
At 36 weeks pregnant, you might not be able to continue with your regular exercises. The best way to keep up with your muscle exercises is to practise yoga. Follow the poses that allow you to sit and stretch, so that your abdominal muscles get toned. At times, pelvic exercises can also be clubbed with these moves.
Keep drinking plenty of water and other fluids like healthy juices. Liquids help in bowel movement and keep dehydration, which is common during this time, at bay. Water also aids digestion, thereby reducing heartburn.
Eat apples after meals
Apples are great for fighting heartburn and indigestion at 36 weeks pregnant because they contain flavonoids that help in digestion. Make sure you save some space for an apple after each meal. Many doctors say that apples also help the baby develop further immunity.
Attend childbirth sessions
Make sure that you get some childbirth training before the actual times arrives. That makes it easier for women in labour to handle the situation better and also for doctors to carry out the delivery.
Forget to brush
At 36 weeks pregnant, you are likely to have sore gums that are prone to infection. Your oral bacteria can be transferred to the child too. So make sure that you brush at least twice everyday and keep your teeth thoroughly clean.
Eat too many citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are not always good for your fragile constitution during this period. They might cause acidity and heartburn, and may also affect the baby’s growth.
Get stressed about the coming weeks
Stress is inevitable when you’re 36 weeks pregnant. But, make sure that you don’t get too stressed about every little thing. Mental pressure reflects on your physique and thereby affects the child too. Too much stress can also lead to panic attacks and dizziness. A fall at this point can be fatal. Spend more time with your partner and friends. Listen to soft music to soothe your nerves.
This is the time to set everything aside and relax. You’re on the right track, and almost towards the end of the line! Just a few more weeks to go before your life changes forever. Enjoy these days and try to develop a better rapport with your child, who can hear all that you say!