Pregnancy calendar

weeks pregnant

36 weeks pregnant - what to expect

Your baby weighs an impressive 6 pounds (2.7kg) - give or take - and is about the size of a Romaine lettuce.

36 weeks infographic.

What does my baby look like?

It's getting a little snug in there for your baby now - but you should still feel movements every day. Please get in touch with your midwife or maternity unit if you have any concerns.

Your baby is getting ready to take their first gasp of air when they're born - their lungs are developed and ready to go.

If they were born now, your little one would be considered moderately premature. They would be able to suckle and their digestive system is ready for breast milk.

Your symptoms - what to expect

Braxton Hicks

You may be having more Braxton Hicks - ‘practice’ contractions - as your womb gets ready for labour now.

They can be quite powerful towards the end of your pregnancy and it’s easy to mistake them for labour contractions.

The muscles of your womb are tightening and you may notice that your tummy becomes hard for a short period, then softens again. This shouldn’t cause you pain. If you notice that they’re becoming painful and regular, contact your labour ward.

Ooops.

Don’t worry if you find yourself leaking a bit of wee when you cough or laugh. It’s totally normal and likely to be temporary because the pelvic floor muscles (around the bladder) relax slightly to prepare for labour.

Don’t forget to work on toning up your pelvic floor muscles. We cannot stress this enough - pelvic floor exercises are so good for you.

“The best thing I did was meditation. After a difficult first birth I found I could create my own positive space the second time I went into labour. I felt calm and together even when I was in pain.” Svenja, mum of two

Read 4 ways your body gets ready for labour to find out more

Sources

1. NHS email: NHS http://e.informationserviceforparents.nhs.uk/interface/external_view_email.php?AF10735313971340313&varId=)

2. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Jonathan Cape, p. 198

3. You and your baby at 33–36 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-33-34-35-36.aspx [accessed 29 May 2015] (last reviewed: 11 February 2015; next review due: 11 February 2017).

4. Eason E, Labrecque M, Wells G, Feldman P (2000) Preventing perineal trauma during childbirth: a systematic review, Obstetrics and Gynecology 3: 464–71: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10711565 [accessed 30 March 2015].

5. Beckmann MM, Garrett AJ (2006) Antenatal perineal massage for reducing perineal trauma, Cochrane Database of Sytematic Reviews: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=16437520

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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