Welcome to Week 36
Your Baby: Dropping Into the Birth Canal
Your little one weighs about 5 to 6 pounds (a tad over 2 kg) and measures about 20 inches (50 cm) tall. The baby has filled out so much that fat is forming creases in the neck and wrists and dimpling on the elbows and knees. That said, the closer you get to your due date, the greater the size differences in babies. To get a better idea of your baby's weight, ask your doctor to feel around your abdomen and approximate it.
You may have less difficulty breathing - and more of an urge to urinate - as your baby settles down into your pelvis. Baby is getting ready to descend into the birth canal at any time.
Your Body: Changes in Fetal Movement
As you look down at your burgeoning belly, you might notice a leg or arm poke out or punch you. Other times, you might sense a quietness that makes you wonder just what is going on inside. By this time, your baby has become so big and takes up so much room in your uterus that they have little room to move and be active.
Despite the cramped conditions, you should continue to monitor your baby's activity. Make sure that the baby is moving on a daily basis. An absence of activity may be a sign of distress, or it may just mean that the baby is tired. Talk to your health care provider for instructions on how to monitor your baby's movements.
Note: If you do not feel your baby's movements at all or suddenly sense frantic activity, call your doctor without delay.
On a Different Note: Checking It Off Your List
If you still haven't packed your bag for the hospital and wonder what you need, print out this checklist for ideas. It's detailed and even tells you what to bring for your baby, your labor coach, and the hospital staff!
If you're planning on breastfeeding, now is the time to buy nursing bras. Your milk isn't in yet, but your breasts are at their fullest. Ask for help from a sales person who knows about nursing so you are properly fitted. You might want to get one for the day that has extra support and another one to wear at night -- without an under wire.
Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.