Being 36 weeks pregnant is a huge milestone in the gestation cycle. You now only have one month left until you can meet your baby in the outside world and your life will be changed forever. The final stage of the third trimester can be a difficult time for many pregnant women. Whether it’s the increasing severity of the pregnancy symptoms, or the overwhelming realisation of what is around the corner, 36 weeks of pregnancy can take its toll on your body.
This article aims to ease any worries or concerns you might have at 36 weeks pregnant and will leave you mentally prepared to take on the last month of pregnancy. Read on for more.
36 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Most women experience intense pregnancy symptoms in the third trimester, and they are likely to worsen as you get closer to the final day. Here are the most common signs of pregnancy at 35 weeks.
- Frequent Urination
Frequent urination is a symptom that can start in the first trimester and last all the way through the pregnancy, increasing in intensity particularly in the final months. There are a few reasons why pregnant women have a more urgent and frequent need to urinate. The pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) increases blood flow to the pelvic region and kidneys and, as your body produces more waste, you will need to pee more often. Another influencing factor is the expansion of the uterus – as it grows it pushes against the bladder and, at 36 weeks pregnant, the uterus is very big.
- Fetal Movement
The fetus at 36 weeks is very active and keen to test out its new body parts. You may, therefore, feel your baby moving in various ways throughout the third trimester. This sensation can be quite strange at first, but also quite thrilling. Your baby kicking, twisting, and wriggling around your womb will fast become one of your favourite parts of being 36 weeks pregnant.
Ever since conception, your body has been producing the hormones progesterone and relaxin at inflated rates. One side effect of this is the relaxation of muscle tissues in your gastrointestinal tract. Because of this, heartburn, indigestion, and feeling gassy are more likely. The slowing effect of the hormones does have purpose, however, as it allows for increased nutrient absorption into the bloodstream and, subsequently, the placenta.
Insomnia has likely been a symptom of pregnancy from the very beginning and, unfortunately, it’s not likely to get better at week 36. So many variables can play into a lack of sleep at this stage, with the most common culprits being frequent urination, cramps, anxiety, hormonal changes, and fetal movements.
Your Body at Week 36
Aside from the thirty-six-weeks pregnant symptoms, your body will be changing in shape and size as you get closer to greeting your baby in person. Not only is your uterus growing every day, but your weight will be creeping up bit by bit, too. It should be noted that there is no normal size of a baby bump, it is completely dependent in the individual. Some women have small, subtle baby bumps, while others are carrying huge, massively distended bumps.
Swollen ankles, feet, and fingers are also a common sign of pregnancy at 36 weeks. This swelling, known as endema, occurs due to your body’s increased fluid retention and the extra weight that it is carrying. It may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to counter the increased fluid retention is to drink more water. This will flush your system of excess waste products and sodium build up.
Baby Size at Week 36
In week 36, your baby is the same size as a papaya. It weighs around 2.6 to 2.8 kg and measures between 45 and 50 cm. With only 4 weeks to go, your baby still has some growth yet to complete and could still gain another kilogram by the time it enters the world.
The fetus at 36 weeks is almost completely developed in terms of its limbs, facial features, and senses. It is most likely in the head down position, pointing towards your cervix in preparation for delivery.
Week 36 Pregnant Ultrasound
There will be no ultrasound in week 36 scheduled by your doctor, unless it is necessary to investigate any pregnancy complaints. If you have a prenatal appointment this week, the practitioner will check to see if your baby is in the head down position or the breech position. If it is still in the breech position, your baby should correct itself in the coming weeks and move its head towards your cervix.
How does your stomach feel at 36 weeks pregnant?
You feel increased pressure in your abdominal region at 36 weeks pregnant. You may also experience lightening, which is when your baby begins to move down into your pelvis.
What to expect at 36 weeks pregnant?
You should expect to feel many pregnancy symptoms in week 36, including nausea, Braxton Hicks contractions, fetal movements, and fatigue.
How do you feel at 36 weeks pregnant?
One of the benefits of the baby moving towards the pelvis is that it eases the pressure on your lungs, meaning that you may find it easier to breathe. This doesn’t mean that all symptoms will alleviate, unfortunately, and you’ll likely be aching all over from the various signs of pregnancy at 36 weeks.
What does your stomach look like at 36 weeks pregnant?
Your baby inside your womb has been growing and developing for around 9 months now, and that has to show somewhere. You’ll likely have a big baby bump at this point, and everyone around you will be able to tell that you are pregnant.
Tips for Week 36 of Pregnancy
- Get Plenty of Rest
The final month of pregnancy could be the most difficult yet. Symptoms may intensify, and you may be thoroughly exhausted – both mentally and physically. It is important, therefore, to try and rest at every opportunity.
- Pack a Hospital Bag
The next month will be over before you know it and your baby will be in your arms ready to face the world. It’s a good idea to start thinking about what you’ll need to take to the hospital with you to make your stay there more comfortable.
- Document Progress
If you have been keeping a pregnancy diary, you’ll probably have noted down some big changes this month, not least the increased activity and movement of your baby.