What does my baby look like in week 36?
The amount of space in the womb is shrinking as your baby grows. However this does not prevent them from kicking as normal.
They continue to move and kick right up to labour and birth. Get in touch with your midwife or maternity unit if you feel any reduction in movements.
Your baby is getting ready to take their first gasp of air when they're born - their lungs are developed and ready to go. Until they take their first breath of air their lungs stay deflated and they get oxygen through the placenta. This is why there is no risk of drowning with a waterbirth.
If they were born now, your baby would be considered moderately premature. They would be able to suckle and their digestive system is ready for breast milk. After 37 weeks though they are considered to be at full term
Your pregnancy symptoms in week 36
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.
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
What to do in week 36
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.
The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus. Massaging this area in the weeks coming up to the birth can reduce the chances of having an episiotomy (cutting the perineum) during birth.
To massage the perineum, put one or two fingers into the vagina and massage downwards towards the perineum. Read more about massaging the perineum here.
Pain relief for labour and birth
Many women wonder how they will manage when labour gets going. Try not to worry. When it happens, every woman deals with it in her own way. Some find an inner calm, some swear and shout, and others want to have all the pain relief they can. All these reactions are fine and normal.
It's good to know your pain-relief options before the birth. If you feel in control, this will help you stay calm, which can mean an easier birth. If you are stressed and tense, your contractions may feel more painful and become less effective.
You may have very clear ideas about the pain relief you want - or don't want - to use. During your labour, though, your plans might change. Do what feels best for you at the time and don't feel bad if you want something that isn’t on your birth plan.
You may find that you are in early labour - called the 'latent phase' - for a long time before things really get going. Warm baths, back massages from your birth partner, paracetamol, a TENS machine and moving around may all help with early labour.
NHS Choices. You and your baby at 33–36 weeks pregnant. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-33-34-35-36.aspx (Page last reviewed: 31/03/2017 Next review due: 31/03/2020).
Heazell AEP, Li M et al (2017) Association between maternal sleep practices and late stillbirth – findings from a stillbirth case-control study. BJOG 2017; https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.14967.
Stacey T, Thompson JM et al (2011) Association between maternal sleep practices and risk of late stillbirth: a case-control study. BMJ. 2011 Jun 14;342:d3403. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d3403.
Gordon A1, Raynes-Greenow C et al (2015) Sleep position, fetal growth restriction, and late-pregnancy stillbirth: the Sydney stillbirth study. Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Feb;125(2):347-55. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000627.
Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Jonathan Cape
Eason E, Labrecque M et al (2000) Preventing perineal trauma during childbirth: a systematic review, Obstetrics and Gynecology 3: 464–71: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10711565
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=16437520Hide details
ℹLast reviewed on June 29th, 2018. Next review date June 29th, 2021.
By Nelly (not verified) on 12 Apr 2020 - 20:22
Hi am 37 weeks plus and am experiencing so much kicks that I can't sleep I keep on changing position to feel comfortable is this normal? The movement is more on my right side of the stomach.Am a first time mum. Thanks
By Zanele (not verified) on 10 Apr 2020 - 13:32
Hai I’m 36 weeks n I have a problem with shortage of breath and I feel weak and stomach cramps plus dizziness the the bad is I feel all of this at the same time
Please help should I be worried
By Marie (not verified) on 11 Feb 2020 - 03:38
Im not really sure on my due date doctor gives me 3-27 but ultrasound gives me 3-18 but ive been feeling close to having the baby but doctor wont take me seriously because of the date if i go to the hospital they just put me on the monitor but wont check my cervix what sound i do and what date should i go based on
By vicky (not verified) on 8 Jan 2020 - 15:18
i really want to know when am really due the back pain is too much
By Khumi (not verified) on 4 Jan 2020 - 10:29
I always feel pressure on my bladder as if i wanna pee and it makes my walking difficult . At night i struggle to turn when sleeping cause of this severe pain on my lower back
By Charlie (not verified) on 12 Dec 2019 - 12:45
Im 36 +2 just had my first stretch n sweep and a load of gunk came out , ive been bed bound for 3 weeks as i literally cant walk and my pubic bone just feels like its going to collapse:( im on my 3rd baby so im hoping he comes asap .ive had Braxton hicks alot so fingers crossed this will get me going
By Cutie (not verified) on 31 Oct 2019 - 21:01
Hi there,I am 36 weeks already.Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent now,plus I feel a tingling/painful sensation around my vagina.Does it mean labour is going to start any time soon? Awaiting your prompt response.Thanks.
By Emily (not verified) on 14 Apr 2020 - 12:00
I feel something me too I want to know is it leber"
By asma (not verified) on 18 Sep 2019 - 04:52
im at 36 weeks with my 3rd child. ive 2 c sections previously. at now im feeling extremely tired with a dull low back pain and thigh pains just like u have them before your periods. also my baby movements have become less than before. 8s this a sign of approaching labour???
By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2019 - 10:25
if you are worried about a reduction in your babies movements, then you should go to your local maternity unit as soon as possible today to be seen by a midwife and obstetric doctor for review. You will also need a review for your lower back pain as you could have a UTI.
Please take good care of yourself, Tommy's Midwife
By ada (not verified) on 22 Oct 2019 - 17:03
i am 35 weeks and i be 36 weeks Thursday i have pain in my back a lots i want it out already
By Wazia (not verified) on 18 Sep 2019 - 18:37
Hi thr, even am in 36 week pregnant with 3rd baby, and as you said getting back pain n contractions but doctor gave antibiotics foe pain relief. Am due next week
By Ashlyn (not verified) on 9 Sep 2019 - 18:02
I am 36 weeks today ive had pains the past week but today my stomach is staying constantly hard not softening at all and hurts really bad and pelvic pressure in my vagina like the baby is going to fall out and not feeling as many movements as i usually do... Could i be in labor?
By Amy (not verified) on 8 Apr 2020 - 16:40
Go straight to maternity assessment! I thaught the same but midewife sent me straight to hospital. Movements shoulf not slow down!
By Tope (not verified) on 7 Sep 2019 - 19:46
Hi,I'm constantly having back aches and my baby kicks more often esp at night.For the past few days ive been feeling extremely weak if i walk a short distance.I was admitted for preterm contraction 2wks ago,but im having the signs agan.Pls advice
By Esther (not verified) on 2 Aug 2019 - 12:11
Hi, am 36weeks 3day pregnant. Pls, can taking fansidar(malaria drug) once at 4weeks cause deformity to the baby? and what are the signs
By Ladonna Bell (not verified) on 21 Jul 2019 - 23:30
I have 25 days to go. My baby movements are flutters. He has kicked before. My momma thinks he might be moving a night. My tummy is still squishy and my navel hasn't turned out. I have some pain various places.
Is this normal it's my first baby.
By Ayisha (not verified) on 14 Jul 2019 - 13:02
Hi,I am 35 weeks and 6 days! I feel my baby moves now and then but not that often!!! And feel pushing movements in sides or under ribs and in uterus which cause urge to urinate!! Then I am having centre bone of pelvic region paining and lower abdomen it lasts for 10-15 secs and feel often in a day! Even my thighs and legs are aching! Should such pains indicate labour
By Pragati (not verified) on 1 Jul 2019 - 17:02
Hii,I am 35weaks and 4days pregnant but I have some etching I body(in vegina) .any problem ya not ,plus rply me?
By Nelly (not verified) on 26 Jun 2019 - 12:48
My tummy is not comfortable but I don't feel pain is just I feel more movement than other days, it cannot be a early labour sign
By Kanesha (not verified) on 19 Jun 2019 - 01:39
I’m 36 week in my vaginal is opening up I should I do I’m hurting just a lil bit
By phylls (not verified) on 30 May 2019 - 21:24
Am phyllis,I feel cantraction and back aches but but not so painful. Does it be a delivery? it's my first pregnancy
By Christian Ogbenna (not verified) on 2 May 2019 - 23:59
Am 36weeks and 3days pregnant.i feel bloated,heavy and frequent urinating please am I save
By Aminat (not verified) on 28 Apr 2019 - 16:16
I'm 36 weeks exactly and my baby is already more than 7 pounds. When he moves I feel like I need to pee. My pelvis keeps clicking and my pelvis hurts when I walk. Is this preparation for labour? This us my 1st by the way. No contractions yet. Although have been feeling period pains on and off.
By Noor fatima (not verified) on 19 Jun 2019 - 00:10
Whatever you are feeling is normal sweetie , and glad to know baby is healthy. Feel the urge to pee is probably because (if) your baby has dropped, means head down. Very normal to feel periods cramps on and off but if its persistent and doesn't go away ,get yourself checked. Pelvic adjusts and body prepares itself when labour is near so hurting in pelvis is also normal.
Hope this info was helpful.
Best of luck
By Milissa (not verified) on 26 Apr 2019 - 14:26
Hi I'm 36 weeks pregnant and getting slight back pains and my upper stomach that has like a burn pain and also at times my private part pains when I move is this normal
By Noor fatima (not verified) on 19 Jun 2019 - 00:13
Oh yes, had this burn thing with my first baby too its all normal..even the pain in ur private part or back. If its bearable its fine but trust your instinct always .
By Abiola (not verified) on 21 Apr 2019 - 07:41
On36 weeks of pregnancy if woman feel something pressing her bladder what is the cause of it
By Noor fatima (not verified) on 19 Jun 2019 - 00:13
Baby's head pressing or putting weight on your bladder.
By Irum (not verified) on 17 Apr 2019 - 12:44
Hi, I’m 35 weeks pregnant and had recent sonogram that shows a single loop of cord loosely wrapped around my baby’s neck. He is moving well but has 3 to 4 times hiccups daily which lasts for 10 minutes. I need your opinion for this situation.
By ella Kingsley (not verified) on 30 Mar 2019 - 19:02
am 35 weeks and 4day pregnant and I feel so much pains, that feel like period pain, what does that mine please.
By ella Kingsley (not verified) on 30 Mar 2019 - 19:01
am 35 weeks and 4day pergant and I feel so much pains, that feel like period pain, what does that mine please.
By Sam (not verified) on 1 Mar 2019 - 21:56
Have dull pain in middle of my back and into my ribs is this a sign of labour? it's my 6th baby
By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Mar 2019 - 16:02
Yes Sam, this could be a sign of labour. Best to go to your maternity unit to be checked as labour can be short with a 6th baby.
By Joanne (not verified) on 17 Feb 2019 - 11:31
I'm 36 weeks pregnant and my baby is sure to have the hiccups at least once in the day lasting around 5/10 mins. Is this normal? I only ask as our first baby was stillborn & she had the hiccups a lot, we had velamentous cord insertion, I carried her full term and labour basically ended her life. I've since had 2 rainbows who never really hiccups in the womb.
By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Feb 2019 - 11:17
Hi Joanne, Thankyou for your comment.
Hiccups in pregnancy can be very normal but it is understandable that you are anxious after the loss of your first baby and relate hiccups to this and the velamentous cord insertion. If you are concerned then you can always call your local labour ward who can see you for monitoring so that you can be reassured. As you are 36 weeks, there is no reason why you cannot be monitored just for your reassurance at this time. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x
By Malefu (not verified) on 10 Feb 2019 - 18:52
I am 36 week my feet and hand swelling and also painful.I feel like never do anything even cleaning because I feel tired
By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Feb 2019 - 11:46
It sounds like it would be good to be seen by your midwife, to review your swelling and any other symptoms you have. With regards to tiredness, this could be low iron levels so these can be checked. It is important to keep hydrated and eat regularly and healthy as possible, avoid sugar and binge eating.
By Oge (not verified) on 9 Feb 2019 - 06:37
I am 36 weeks and having serious back pain issue
By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Feb 2019 - 11:44
If you are having on going pain then do speak with your midwife for a review.
By Teeto (not verified) on 15 Oct 2018 - 23:16
Had 2 previous CS but somehow wishes to experience vaginal delivery. I'm 36 weeks and unlike previous pregnancies I'm feeling Branxton Hics more frequently ( didn't feel nothing during previous ones & was postdated both times) and I generally feel better than I did at those other times.. What are my chances of an SVD even though my obstetrician thinks I'm crazy. Thanks for your prompt response
By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Oct 2018 - 15:06
Hi, I am sorry but without knowing your medical and pregnancy history it would be irresponsible of me to make comment in this scenario. There are so many factors to take into consideration. I would suggest that you discuss this in depth with your consultant and ask what the risks and benefits would be either way. The Royal college of Obs and Gynae publish their protocols which you may find useful if you want to read this: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/gtg_45.pdf
By Portia (not verified) on 30 Sep 2018 - 09:14
Hi I had a C-section with my first born nw I want Normal delivery I am 36 weeks pregnant how dangerous it is...m really scared my womb will repture even if doctor said de is only 1percent of repture
By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Oct 2018 - 14:46
Yes this is quite correct. There is only a 1% risk of rupture. If you are labouring in hospital you will be monitored and any risks of rupture would be acted upon very quickly. Aiming for a normal delivery in this situation is usually the best option. Best wishes
By Ravanna (not verified) on 26 Sep 2018 - 08:03
36 week's not sure if my waters are slowly breaking but think I head a pop before leaking a little and couldn't stop I have been feeling like a balloon has been trying to be popped for 3 days Nd like a big bulge in my vagina area also then read in my blue book under "liquor" it says active what does that mean too has my water started breaking slowly cos I could not stop peeing myself a little it felt like please advice asap
By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Sep 2018 - 11:24
You need to go to your local maternity unit urgently, to be seen by a midwife and obstetric doctor who will examine you to check if your waters have broken or not.
Please go as soon as you can and don't forget your maternity notes.
All the best
By deborah isaac (not verified) on 20 Sep 2018 - 17:48
hi! am 35+ 6days pregnant and my baby is lying in breece position, can the baby still turn to the normal position again? am carrying my first pregnant.
By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Sep 2018 - 16:02
By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Sep 2018 - 16:01
Hello Deborah, Yes, the baby could still turn but your midwife should refer you to the hospital for review and advice. You have option to turn the baby (ECV), deliver in the breech position or have a c section. We have information on our page https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/labour-birth/labour-and-birth-faqs/what-happens-if-my-baby-breech
By Anonymous (not verified) on 27 Aug 2019 - 22:13
I have just had this same problem. I went home and got on all fours and gentally rocked back and forwards. I also had a shower soaped up my belly and gentally ran my hands in a circle motion around my belly as i knew where his head was so guided to downwards and 3 days later at my next appointment he was down and has stayed there.
By Sandy (not verified) on 13 Sep 2018 - 09:12
I only just rwcwnt found out i was pregnant, im 36 weeks and 2 days, i didnt have any morning sickness, my feet arent swollen and my stomach is still squishy, its not hard like other pregnant women, the "kicking/movement" of the baby felt like popcorn popping in my stomach i thought it was gas bubbles, ive done and eaten all the wrong things through out this pregnancy due to not knowing i am also a heavy smoker, im due on the 9th of october, i dont think my baby will make it, but the ultrasound that i did the nurse said that baby is normal and seems healthy, its measuring 29 when it should 36cm, im really scared i dont know what to do