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36 weeks pregnant - what's happening

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's happening

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

 

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Go to sleep on your side if you're not already doing so

When you reach your third trimester, the advice is to go to sleep on your side because research has shown that going to sleep on your back is linked to an increased risk of stillbirth. This advice includes daytime napping and night sleeping. Read more about safe sleep positions in pregnancy.

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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Comments

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 28 Nov 2017 - 09:44

    Hi.. im 36 weeks pregnant... im facing mucus plug discharge daily.. i don't know why its happing.. some one saying that I'm going into Labour with in a week.. I'm just confused.. pls let me know what happens when mucus plug discharge

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Nov 2017 - 16:59

    Thank you for your message.
    You can lose the mucus plug up to 2 weeks before you go into labour-its a sign that the cervix is starting to open but is not necessarily a sign of labour by itself. If you start to have regular contractions, the waters break or there is bleeding, then you should contact your maternity unit as soon as possible for advice. I have attached 2 links with more information-

    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/labour-birth/symptoms-labour
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/labour-signs-what-happens.aspx

    Hope this helps
    Take care
    Tommy' s Midwife

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 May 2017 - 12:00

    Thank you for your comment. If you are experiencing any pain or other symptoms such as bleeding, waters breaking, severe headaches, flashing lights before the eyes, labour pain, severe itching or any other concerns it is very important that you contact your maternity unit as soon as possible for an urgent check up
    I hope by now you have made contact with your unit and have been treated for your pain

    I have attached a link with some information about worrying symptoms in pregnancy
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/symptom-checker

    Please do not hesitate to contact us or call our helpline
    0800 0147 800 for advice

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 May 2017 - 23:59

    am 36 weeks pregnant.i feel so mch pain on ma pregnançy

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