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36 Pregnancy Week

Week 36 of Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Guide


As you approach the final stretch of your pregnancy, your body and baby undergo significant changes in preparation for labor and delivery. Week 36 marks an important milestone, with just four weeks remaining until your estimated due date. During this week, you may experience increased discomfort, but it’s also a time to focus on your well-being and prepare for the arrival of your little one.

Physical Changes

  • Increased Braxton Hicks contractions: These practice contractions become more frequent and intense as your body prepares for labor. They can be uncomfortable, but they are not a sign of true labor unless they become regular and painful.
  • Weight gain: You may have gained between 25 and 35 pounds by this week. Most of this weight is due to the growth of your baby, the placenta, and the increased fluid volume.
  • Swelling: Your feet, ankles, and hands may become swollen due to fluid retention. Elevate your legs and feet whenever possible to reduce swelling.
  • Heartburn and indigestion: As your uterus expands, it can put pressure on your stomach, leading to heartburn and indigestion. Eat small, frequent meals and avoid spicy or fatty foods to minimize these symptoms.
  • Frequent urination: The increased blood volume and pressure on your bladder can cause you to urinate more frequently.
  • Hemorrhoids: Increased pressure on the veins in your rectum can lead to hemorrhoids, which are swollen and painful veins. Sitz baths and over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams can provide relief.
  • Back pain: The weight of your growing belly can strain your back muscles, leading to back pain. Use a pregnancy pillow for support and try gentle stretching exercises to alleviate discomfort.

Baby’s Development

  • Weight and length: Your baby now weighs approximately 6 pounds and is about 19 inches long.
  • Position: Your baby is likely head-down in preparation for birth. However, some babies may still be in a breech or transverse position.
  • Organs: All of your baby’s organs are fully developed and functioning.
  • Lungs: Your baby’s lungs are mature enough to breathe on their own, but they may still require some support in the early days after birth.
  • Brain: Your baby’s brain is rapidly developing, and they are now able to recognize familiar sounds and voices.
  • Movement: Your baby’s movements may become less frequent as they run out of space in the uterus. However, you should still feel some movement every day.

Emotional Changes

  • Mood swings: Hormonal fluctuations and the anticipation of labor can lead to mood swings. It’s important to be patient with yourself and seek support from your partner, family, or friends.
  • Anxiety: It’s normal to feel anxious about labor and delivery. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your concerns and develop a birth plan that makes you feel comfortable.
  • Excitement: As you get closer to meeting your baby, you may also feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. Embrace these positive emotions and enjoy the final weeks of your pregnancy.

Prenatal Care

  • Regular checkups: Continue to attend your prenatal appointments as scheduled. Your doctor or midwife will monitor your progress, check your baby’s heartbeat, and answer any questions you have.
  • Ultrasound: Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound to check your baby’s position and growth.
  • Blood tests: You may have blood tests to check your blood count, iron levels, and glucose levels.
  • Pelvic exam: Your doctor or midwife will perform a pelvic exam to check the dilation and effacement of your cervix.

Preparing for Labor and Delivery

  • Birth plan: Create a birth plan that outlines your preferences for labor and delivery, including your pain management options, birth position, and any special requests.
  • Hospital bag: Pack a hospital bag with everything you and your baby will need for your stay, including comfortable clothing, toiletries, and a going-home outfit for your baby.
  • Car seat: Make sure you have a properly installed car seat for your baby to transport them home from the hospital.
  • Support system: Identify a support person who will be with you during labor and delivery. This could be your partner, a family member, or a close friend.

Tips for Staying Comfortable

  • Get plenty of rest: Rest as much as possible, especially in the evenings.
  • Exercise regularly: Gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming, can help reduce swelling and back pain.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Focus on eating nutritious foods that will provide you and your baby with the necessary nutrients.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to prevent dehydration.
  • Use a pregnancy pillow: A pregnancy pillow can provide support for your back, belly, and legs.
  • Take warm baths: Warm baths can help relax your muscles and relieve discomfort.
  • Massage: Gentle massage can help reduce stress and tension.

When to Call Your Doctor

  • Regular contractions that are painful and getting closer together: This could be a sign of true labor.
  • Vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage: This could be a sign of a placental abruption or premature rupture of membranes.
  • Severe abdominal pain or cramping: This could be a sign of a medical emergency.
  • Sudden swelling in your face, hands, or feet: This could be a sign of preeclampsia.
  • Decreased fetal movement: If you notice a significant decrease in your baby’s movements, contact your doctor immediately.


Week 36 of pregnancy is a time of both anticipation and preparation. By understanding the physical, emotional, and practical aspects of this week, you can navigate this final stretch with confidence and excitement. Remember to take care of yourself, stay informed, and seek support from your healthcare providers and loved ones. As you approach the arrival of your little one, embrace the journey and cherish the precious moments of this transformative time.

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