As pregnancy week 36 approaches your baby will be in prime placement to enter their new world. Over the past few weeks, new baby has moved further down the pelvis and is ready and probably just as eager to meet you as you are to meet them. However, this baby still has a bit of bulk to put on – which is probably not helping your concerns about the possible pain you'll experience during child birth. Don't fret mom – there are solutions for this pain and you should be relaxing now.
Week 36 of the pregnancy is typically when most doctors say that delivery of the baby is in the 'green zone'. This means that the baby's lungs have developed good enough to breath relatively easy on their own if they are born from this moment until full term in week 37. By the time week 36 approaches, your baby will weigh close to 6 pounds and measure about 19 inches from head to toe. They have put on about 20% body fat during this time; but still could use an extra 10% to keep them well insulated. One thing that many people tend to forget is that your baby is leaving a very warm and cozy 98-degree womb and is going to be born in a hospital room most likely 30 degrees cooler. Give them time mommy – they need to pack on some extra warmth.
In the 36th week of pregnancy your once tiny baby is not so tiny anymore. Weighing close to six pounds now, your baby has really come a long way since you found out you were pregnant and they were roughly the size of a single grain of rice. Since that time, they have developed arms, legs, hearts, lungs, kidneys, stomachs and those cute little piggies known as toes that you'll most likely be wiggling once they are born (you just can't resist doing that at least once).
During week 36, baby will be doing a little spring cleaning, by shedding the rest of the downy hair they once had. This will mix in the amniotic fluid and will be ingested into the baby. This will mix with the other fibers in their bowel and become meconium – a substance that will help them form their first bowel movement. Their digestive system is about ready for mom's milk or formula – but will need a few months of development before they are ready for any type of solid food.
Do you remember when we said back in earlier weeks that the pregnancy symptoms really don't improve? Well, there is some benefit to having the baby go to full term after all. As the baby travels down your pelvis into the birthing position, this eases up some of the pressure in your upper stomach. This typically means that digestive issues that you once had will simply go away (not entirely – but will improve). It also means that breathing can be easier the longer you go into your pregnancy. However, this being said, the other fact is that this baby is gaining ½ a pound every week and you are most likely matching that as well.
From week 36 till your baby is born, you'll most likely visit the doctor weekly – where they will continue to check your pelvis for the baby's location and to see how your cervix is holding up to the pressure. It's common for women to begin dilating as it often takes weeks for the cervix to fully dilate to the 10 cm position.
By the time you've reached pregnancy week 36; you've probably had every friend, family member and co-worker tell you that you look ready to pop. This really doesn't build up a whole lot of confidence – does it ladies? One thing that you'll have to deal with is that during pregnancy you're going to go through a huge rollercoaster of emotions. You might feel as if you're ugly, gross and unattractive. However, remember one minor detail – you're going to be a mommy soon. And in the eyes of your new baby – you're most likely the most angelic person on the planet. And that's all that should really matter – right?