In this article
Week 36 marks as the 9th (and last) month of pregnancy, it is dedicated to intensive fetal growth. By the end of this week, an expectant mom’s gestation will reach its full term. This means that the baby can be born any time of the day now.
The mother in week 36
By week 36, an expectant mother will lose her mucous plug – a thick and yellow vaginal discharge tinged with blood. Aside from that, below are the following gestation symptoms she will experience in week 36:
Week 36 symptoms
Pregnancy walk or waddle
By week 36, 3rd – trimester moms tend to waddle (pregnancy walk or waddle) due to the softening and loosening of the connective tissues. This is the female body’s way of preparing the baby to fit in and pass through the narrow birth passage.
Bloating, burping, and fartingPregnancy week by week
Bloating, burping, and farting – progesterone is responsible for this puffy phenomenon. This hormone causes the smooth muscle tissues in the gastrointestinal tract to relax. As a result, the digestive process slows down and triggers the embarrassing trio.
The abovementioned symptom comes along with colon congestion (commonly called as constipation). A relaxed gastrointestinal muscles result to a sluggish digestive process, thus the colon congestion.
On the bright side, colon congestion allows more nutrients to be absorbed in the bloodstream and reaches the unborn baby.
More frequent urination
Expect a more frequent urination this week since the baby has burrowed down the pelvic cavity this week, squarely pressing the bladder.
Hip and pelvic pain
Did you know that about 80% of pregnant women experience hip and pelvic pain? Hip and pelvic pain is felt because growing baby digs deeper into the pelvis in preparation for childbirth. As a result, the abdominal muscles stretch and weaken.
With that being said, the baby’s head squarely presses against the mother’s bladder, hips and pelvis. This then stresses the pelvic and back bones, joints, and muscles.
Edema (swelling feet, ankles, and hands) affects about ¾ of pregnant women. Edema occurs due to the increased levels of body fluids to nurture both parties. Aside from that, here are the other causes of pregnancy swelling:
- Increased blood flow on the pelvic veins
- Compressed vena cava – major vein on the right side of the body which returns blood from the lower limbs to the heart
Nesting instinct is the dire need to get things organized and ready for the baby’s arrival. The increase of adrenaline rush coursing through an expectant moms’ system.
Progesterone is also responsible for the occurrence of acid refluxes (also called as pregnancy – induced heartburns) during gestation. This hormone relaxes the esophageal valve which allows the gastric acid to seep back up the throat.
Vaginal discharge with streaks of blood
Expect that the vaginal discharge will be having streaks of blood. This is because the cervix (which is sensitive by this week) may begin to dilate and has been bruised.
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (abbreviated as PUPPP, commonly known as itchy belly) affects in 1 of every 150 pregnancies. The belly tends to feel itchy and have rashes due to the extreme stretching of the skin.
3rd trimester insomnia
3rd trimester insomnia (also called as sleep deprivation) happens due to a combination of all the hormonal fluxes such as:
- More frequent urination
- Acid refluxes
- Leg spasms
- Pre – birth anxiety
Better ability to breathe
A pregnant mom will have a better ability to breathe by this week. This is because the unborn baby has descended into the pelvic cavity, giving the lungs more extra space to breathe.
An expectant mom’s decreases from week 36 onwards since the growing baby takes up most of the belly’s room, making her feel full most of the time.
Fetal development in week 36
Fetal growth slows down so that the baby – to – be will be able to fit the narrow birth passage easily. This also happens to store up all the energy he needs once he is born. Furthermore, here are the following fetal developments which take place at week 36:
- Primarily, the baby – in – waiting drops in the pelvic cavity (also called as lightening or engagement) – baby may have drop into the birth passage this week
- Since the baby could decide to make his arrival any time now, if he is born during the 36th week, he would probably be able to breathe on his own.
- The baby – in – waiting stretches for about 17.2 – 20 ½ inches from crown – to – feet length and tips the scales roughly at 4.2 – 5.8 pounds.
- Did you know that about 97% of all deliveries are in vertex position? At week 36 his fetal position should probably be a vertex position (also called as headfirst) – upside down with his head facing towards the cervix and vagina.
- Blood circulation has been perfected.
- By week 36, many of the fetal systems are almost matured – and the baby – to – be is just about ready to live outside the womb. In line with this, his immune system has matured enough to protect him from various bacteria and infections. However, the rest of the systems still on the works such as the digestive system. Digestion will never be fully mature in – utero though developed; it has not been fully operational. This is because the unborn baby relies solely on the umbilical cord for oxygen and nutrients.
- Most of his bones and cartilages are still soft (they will harden during the first few years of his existence outside the womb) .This includes the plates and bones in his skull are pliable and not fused together so that the soon – to – be baby’s head can easily pass through the birth canal during delivery day.
- There is fat in his cheeks now (plump up cheeks). In a like manner, the muscles she has developed for her sucking skills contributed to the shape of his full face.
- Baby’s delicate skin becomes smoother and softer (looking more like the newborn baby that will later be in the mother’s arms for a few weeks from now).
- His auditory senses (sense of hearing) are extra sharp from week 36 onwards. Studies even show that the unborn baby can already identify his parents’ voice and recognize certain songs and noises (he may even react and/or respond to it).
- Fetal gums are now rigid.
Pregnancy tips and to – do’s
Week 36 serves as the 8th week of the 3rd (and final) trimester of gestation. 4 remaining weeks to go to maintain doing the following tips and to – do’s below to ensure the unborn baby’s health and safety.
Things to do during the 36th week of pregnancy
Engage in exercises
If the unborn baby is in a breech presentation –improper fetal position where his bottom faces the pelvis and his head is near the ribs, an expectant mom must engage in exercises. Exercising while pregnant stimulates the baby to move in his proper position.
Same as when the unborn baby is in a transverse (commonly known as side – lying) position, where his shoulder, arm, and trunks would probably come out first since he is lying on his side.
External cephalic version
Another option to push the unborn baby in the right fetal position, the doctor will perform the external cephalic version (abbreviated as ECV, commonly called as version) which is done by the following procedure:
- Before the procedure is performed, the medical practitioner will request a non – stress test to monitor the fetal heart rate
- Then a mother will undergo an ultrasound examination to confirm the baby’s breech presentation. This will also help the practitioner to know how to turn the baby
- Practitioner places her hands on the abdominal cavity
- Pushes the unborn baby gently in a vertex position
- After the ECV, a mother will have another non – stress test to check if the fetal heart rate is still normal
- ECV is performed more than once, depending on how incorrect his position is
However, take note that ECV is not always effective in attempting to move the baby in – utero into the facedown position. Trying to move the baby manually by pushing around the abdominal cavity heightens the risk of premature labor and other complications. There is only about 60 – 70% of ECV procedures were successful.
Acupuncture is a traditional practice that is best for alleviating all kinds of pregnancy ills such as hip and pelvic pain.
Natural remedies for heartburn relief
If acid reflux (heartburn) is persistent, here are the following natural remedies for heartburn relief:
- Ripe papaya
- Warm milk with 1 tablespoon of honey
Stay well – hydrated
Despite experiencing a more frequent urination this week, do not attempt to cut back on the fluid intake. Drink at least 8 full glasses of water per day. Staying well – hydrated is a must and brings a lot of benefits during gestation such as:
- Keep the solids moving through the digestive tract
- Relieves acid refluxes
Drinking warm glasses of water as well, this helps stimulate peristalsis and relieves intestinal contractions. Consider drinking the following warm beverages:
- Health spa staple
- Hot water mixed with fresh lemon
If a mother – to – be is having trouble drinking plenty of water, consider doing the following alternatives:
- Vegetable juice
- Fruit juice (preferably prune juice, which is a mild laxative)
Slather on some lotion
To prevent skin itchiness or PUPPP on the lower abdomen, slather on some lotion. Consider slathering the following options recommended during pregnancy:
- Cocoa butter cream
- Lotions with Vitamin E
Aloe vera gel
To cure PUPPP, apply aloe vera gel on the abdomen after taking a bath.
What to avoid in week 36
Long periods of standing and/or sitting
Avoid standing and/or sitting for a long period of time to prevent edema.
Tight elastic – top socks and/or stockings
Do not wear tight elastic – top socks and/or stockings during gestation. These hinder the blood and fluids from flowing smoothly.
Heartburn – trigger foods
To lower the chances of heartburns (acid refluxes), a pregnant woman must avoid the following heartburn – trigger foods:
- Spicy food
- Highly – seasoned food
- Fatty and/or greasy foods
- Citrus fruits