Pregnancy Week 3646 Comments
Week 36 fetal development image showing the fetal growth of your baby to date.
The baby is now about 18-19 inches long and around 6 pounds. However, every baby has their own growth rate, especially at this point in the pregnancy. The fuzzy lanugo and creamy substance vernix caseosa is disappearing at birth approaches. The vernix caseosa protected the baby from the amniotic fluid. Most babies are head-down at this point, but if yours still isn't, don't worry. There is time, and some babies like to wait til the last moment to get into position. The lungs are still developing. Gaining an average of an ounce daily, the baby is putting on weight and is even getting those adorable dimples around the knees and elbows.
Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 36
Pelvic pressure is becoming pronounced now, as the baby has descended down in preparation for birth. Also those pregnancy hormones have loosened up your joints, so the pained tired waddle of the very pregnant woman has likely become your new walk. To relieve the pain, try resting while elevating the hips, applying heat and taking warm baths. A massage would do wonders too! Besides pelvis pressure, you can expect more heartburn, legs cramps and back pain. The uterus is about 5 1/2 inches above the belly button now. Odd part of late pregnancy? Crazy dreams. Ask any pregnant woman and she'll probably one or two to share. These often express the stresses and fears about impending parenthood, or fears or anxieties about the labor or the unknowns ahead in life with baby. Write them down in your journal. Someday baby might enjoy hearing about them. While baby is considered full term at 37 weeks, it's most likely you'll have another month of pregnancy left. Every day that baby spends in your uterus is better, though you might argue otherwise! So what causes labor to start anyway? Some researchers think it may be that the baby's lungs secrete enzymes that cause prostaglandins to be released, which in turn ripen the cervix and get the uterus to contract.
Visit With the Obstetrician
Around 35-37 weeks, your physician will most likely do a screening for Group B Strep. This is a bacteria that is not uncommon in healthy women (between 15-40%) and can be found in vagina or rectum of pregnant women. While the bacteria doesn't necessarily get passed onto baby, it can be and can cause serious problems, so the screening is a good preventative course of action. The doctor swabs the vagina and rectum and the patient typically gets the results in one or two days. If the result of the culture is positive, the doctor will discuss if you are low or high risk group. High risks include rupture of membranes or labor prior to 37 weeks, fever during labor, previous GBS birth, a urinary infection during the pregnancy due to GBS. If you are in high risk category, you'll receive IV antibiotics during labor. Giving antibiotics prior to labor is pointless, since the bacteria can come back before labor and pose same risks to baby.
Preparing for Baby
It's a good idea to get the baby's diaper bag packed and ready for the hospital now. Include a couple coming home outfits. One might not fit as well as you thought, or baby could mess up the outfit before all the baby photos are taken, so pack an extra. Newborn diapers, several. While the hospital will have some for you, most likely, you'll want more in the bag just to be safe. Also needed for diaper changes, wipes and a changing pad. Using bottles? Have some washed and ready to go. Pacifier if you plan to introduce one. Blanket. Sweater or jacket-baby can't regulate temperature too well for a while yet. Spit up rags.
Got those scrapbooks or photo albums ready to go? How about a special memory book? Fill out the parts you can ahead of time, make sure you are ready to fill those books up. Good intentions can be overlooked in the draining days of new parenthood to come. Having things all ready and set will make the task seem less cumbersome later. Make sure the video camera is all set to go, and batteries all charged and ready.
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