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36 Weeks Pregnant
What’s happening this week? How is my baby developing?
You’re 36 weeks pregnant and your baby’s primary function now is to put weight on. All organs are developed and functional. Your baby is losing all his cover of lanugo and vernix.
Your baby’s lungs are just about ready, and from next week onwards your baby will be considered full-term and will not need any help breathing.
The level of amniotic fluid will start to decline from next week onwards until your baby is born. At 36 weeks pregnant, your baby measures over 46cm and weighs 2.7 kg.
How is my body changing?
At 36 weeks pregnant, you may think there’s no way you can get any bigger, but there’s still a few weeks to go!! Isn’t it amazing how much your uterus can stretch during pregnancy?
Also remarkable is that fact that within 4-6 weeks, it will have returned to its original position and size. If it hasn’t occurred yet, you may feel your baby drop this week. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you where your baby is positioned.
The baby dropping may cause you to waddle more, as walking normally may be difficult, and frequent trips to the toilet, as your baby now is sitting just on top of your bladder, possibly using it as a bouncy castle!
You may be anxious for your baby to arrive, but in the meantime, you still have pregnancy symptoms to cope with. Braxton-Hicks contractions are frequent at this stage and false alarms may occur.
Also, to add to back pain, you may be experiencing hip pain. This is caused by relaxin, a hormone that relaxes the joints to make delivery easier. Swimming may give you some relief. You probably gained around 25-30 pounds so far.
Your baby decides when to start delivery!
Researchers believe it’s your baby that signals to start delivery, but the exact mechanism is not known.
Some say when your baby’s brain is fully operational, it sends a signal to start producing cortisol, which impacts on the mother’s levels of pregnancy hormones and triggers labour.
Others defend that is when the baby’s lungs are ready, this results in the release of hormones which help the uterus to contract.
Whatever the mechanism, your baby is fully in charge of when to arrive into this world, and there’s nothing you can do to change it! Be patient!