Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 36

With Only One Month to Go, What Preparations You May Need for Baby

Your baby is will be arriving in about 4 weeks. By 36 weeks of gestation, your baby’s gastrointestinal system is mature and ready for digestion.

Can you believe you are in the last month of pregnancy already? This can be an exciting week as you prepare for your labor and prepare to take care of your baby in the first few weeks of his life. Many mothers reach this last month and are finally “ready” to give birth. Here is what is happening this week and what you should be finishing up in your final preparations for your baby’s birth:

What is happening with Your Baby?

By 36 weeks of pregnancy, your baby weighs close to 2900 grams (about 6 pounds) and is about 35 cm (almost 14 inches) in length. Her gastrointestinal system is completely developed. She now makes enough of the necessary digestive enzymes to help her digest food after she is born.

The fine body hair that appeared in week 20 known as lanugo, begins to disappear in week 36. By the time she is born at 40 weeks, very little of the lanugo remains.

What is happening with You?

Have you noticed that you are getting more swelling in these last few weeks of pregnancy? While some swelling is a normal result of the increased estrogen in your body, be careful to consult with your provider if you have any unusual or sudden swelling. It is not recommended to restrict your salt intake in order to reduce swelling since sodium restriction can actually cause more stress on other bodily organs such as your adrenal glands and liver.

Some mothers begin to be concerned with their weight gain at this stage of pregnancy. Is your weight gain more than you expected? Or perhaps you have not gained as much weight as recommended. In either case, be sure that what you are eating is healthy to ensure your baby is getting all of proper nutrients he needs in these last few weeks. It is more important to eat the right foods than it is to watch every pound that you are gaining. If you have been concerned with weight gain, do not try to cut back now. Dieting in your last few weeks of pregnancy to avoid additional weight gain is definitely not recommended and can ultimately be harmful to your baby.

To Do List:

  1. Continue your healthy eating habits and taking your prenatal vitamins.
  2. Practice any comfort techniques that you learned in childbirth classes.
  3. Continue doing prenatal perineal massage to reduce your chance of tearing during labor.
  4. Do toning exercises daily, if possible, to prepare for labor and birth.
  5. Get as much rest as possible.

Are you interested in finding out about Week 37?