• Nutrition

36th Week of Pregnancy

Embryo Development

Managing Late Pregnancy Symptoms

Baby's Growth and Development When You're 36 Weeks Pregnant

At the end of 36 weeks of pregnancy, your baby will be considered full-term! Although your baby has more growing to do after that time, it's exciting to know their arrival is approaching quickly.

  • Your baby has grown almost completely into their skin that was once so oversized.
  • Your baby now has a fully rounded face, in part because their powerful sucking muscles are now developed and ready to get to work.
  • Although your baby's bones are hardening, their skull remains soft and flexible for the birth.
  • At 36 weeks of pregnancy, your baby probably weighs about 2.72 kilograms or slightly more

Your Changing Body When You're 36 Weeks Pregnant

A pregnant lady knitting

Your body continues to make both physical and mental preparations for the big day that's fast approaching. Here’s what you can expect at your 36th week of pregnancy:

Feel the Need to Nest?

  • If you feel an unusual surge of energy and a compelling need to clean, decorate, or organise, you might be experiencing what's called nesting.
  • Nesting can be useful in moderation if it helps to occupy your mind during the wait for your baby to arrive
    • Accomplishing tasks now can give you more time after your baby is home. It’s a good time to wash 0-3 month clothes and place them in drawers and prepare your baby’s cot.
    • You might continue to notice several of the typical late-pregnancy symptoms.
  • Your cervix might start to dilate in the weeks, days, or hours before the birth of your baby. Every woman and even every pregnancy is different.
  • Joints and tissues in your body continue to soften and loosen as your body prepares for your baby's birth. This might be especially significant in your pelvic area.
  • You might continue to feel hip pain on one side or lower-back pain.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions might become more frequent as you edge closer to your due date. Remember, these practical contractions play an important role in helping your body rehearse for childbirth.
  • You might notice more practice contractions after physical activity or if you are not getting enough fluids.

Braxton-Hicks (false labour) contractions

  • Irregular and remain irregular
  • Don't get closer together as time passes
  • Often are weak and stay that way (might have stronger contractions followed by weaker ones)
  • Stop when you rest, walk, or change positions
  • Vary in length and intensity
  • Don’t affect your cervix
  • Pain usually felt only in the front

True Labour Contractions

  • Regular intervals or regular pattern
  • Contractions grow closer together over time
  • Increase in strength/intensity over time
  • Keep coming no matter what you do
  • Usually last 30 to 90 seconds (shorter when they begin and get progressively longer and stronger)
  • Cause cervix to dilate (open)
  • Pain begins in back and moves to front

Wellness and Nutrition When You're 36 Weeks Pregnant

A suitcase

When you’re 36 weeks pregnant, it's natural for your body to begin to slow a little as you get closer to your due date. You're now carrying a full-grown baby inside, and are continuing to adjust to loosening ligaments, swelling, and other challenges.

  • Continuing consistent gentle exercise can give you long-term energy. Walking is a great example of exercise you can usually continue through labour.
  • Your balanced nutrition now is not only nourishing you and your unborn baby, but is also establishing a strong foundation for possible breastfeeding and your body's timely recovery after delivery.

It's Time to Pack Your Bags!

You might want to have your bag packed and ready, even though you have several weeks before your due date. Don't forget a bag for your partner, too.

Packing Tips:

  • Leave your packed bags in a handy place.
  • For items you can't pack ahead of time, try taping a list to your suitcase as a reminder.
  • You and your partner might want to separate items into two bags: one for the supplies to use during labour and a larger bag for your entire hospital stay.