36 Weeks Pregnant
You’re in the homestretch. Hopefully, you are feeling pretty good, although you may be a little more tired these days. If you have not stopped working yet, make sure you take it easy, especially if you have a physical job. Your big tummy may make back injuries more common, and your balance is off a little.
What’s happening with your body?
Your tummy is probably quite big by now, and you might not be all that comfortable. Back and pelvic pain is common during the last month of pregnancy. Week 36 also often brings increased trips to the bathroom as your baby is putting pressure on your bladder.
It’s common for women also to have an increase in Braxton Hicks contraction at this stage. Since you are within a month or so of delivery, you might want to time contractions to determine if they are coming at regular intervals, which could be a sign of labor.
Since your boobs may be getting pretty big, they may also be uncomfortable, especially when you’re trying to sleep. You can’t lay on your tummy or back, and sleeping on your side may put pressure on your chest. It might help to wear a nursing bra to bed, and using a body pillow may help you get more comfortable.
What’s happening with your baby?
Your baby is probably about six pounds by now. His weight gain will slow down over the remaining weeks. Think of the slowdown as nature’s way of helping him fit through the birth canal.
By the end of this week, your baby is considered full-term, so if you go into labor from here on, your doctor will not try to stop it. Your baby’s systems including his kidneys and liver and good to go and ready for live on the outside.
His eyes are opening and closing his when he sleeps, which helps your baby regulate his sleep patterns. Your baby continues to swallow amniotic fluid every day and is peeing about a pint or fluid out a day.
Thing to keep in mind
Since labor is right around the corner, you might want to have a bag packed and ready to go. You don’t want to have to run around packing while you are dealing with labor pains.
The number of days you’ll be in the hospital depends on how quickly you deliver and whether there are any complications. If you have an uncomplicated vaginal birth, most hospitals discharge you within 48 hours. Women who undergo a C-section may stay three of four days.
Since you won’t be in the hospital very long, you won’t need a lot of stuff. You should bring any pre-registration paperwork you have, such as your insurance info and birth plan. The hospital may already have everything if you preregistered, but it’s best to have it just in case it’s needed.
Must have items include your cell phone and don’t forget a charger. If you use a different camera than the one on your phone, be sure to pack that as well. Bring your iPod or other music. You might want to listen to relaxing music during labor.
It’s also a good idea to pack socks and slippers since you might want to walk around during labor. If you have certain toiletries you prefer, bring them. Although the hospital may provide a nursing pillow, you might be more comfortable bring one of your own. If you don’t want to wear a hospital gown, pack a nightgown for your stay.
You should also pack extra undies, a nursing bra and an outfit to wear home. Skip your skinny jeans or even your biggest jeans at this point. Your uterus does not shrink back down to its normal size for several weeks.
Also, don’t forget about an outfit for your baby. Pack a couple of simple outfits in case your baby messes one. A hat and a few receiving blankets are also a good idea. The hospital will usually provide, diapers, and bottles if you are formula feeding, so you don’t have to worry about that.
One last thing to make sure is in place is a car seat. If your car seat is not installed yet, it’s time to do so. The hospital won’t let you leave unless your baby is in a car seat.