Week 36 Update

9.jpgHe’s almost 6 pounds and nearly full-term, and boy is he feeling big!  We’re four weeks from the due date!

Week 36 Update from the Babycenter.com

How your baby’s growing: Your baby is still putting on the pounds — about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is a little less than 19 inches long. She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the creamy substance that covered and protected her skin during its submersion in amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, which will stay in her bowels until birth. This blackish mixture, called meconium, will become her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Babies between 37 and 42 weeks are considered full-term; a baby born before 37 weeks is pre-term and after 42 is post-term.) Most likely she’s in a head-down position by now [HE IS], which is optimal for a smooth delivery, but if she isn’t in the next week, your provider may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a fancy way of saying she’ll try to coax your baby into a head-down position manually, by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

How your life’s changing: While your baby continues to grow and crowd your internal organs, you may find that you’re not as hungry as you were a few weeks ago. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to handle at this point. On the other hand, you may have less heartburn and have an easier time
breathing when your baby starts to drop down lower in your pelvis [THIS HASN’T HAPPENED YET, BUT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!]. This dropping — called lightening or engagement — is more likely to happen before labor if this is your first baby. When it does, though, you may feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, making walking increasingly uncomfortable. Some women say it feels as though they’re carrying a bowling ball between their legs, or as if the baby is going to fall out. (Don’t worry, she won’t!)

You might also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are a little more frequent now [THEY ARE, ESPECIALLY WHEN I WALK UP/DOWN STAIRS]. Be sure to review with your practitioner exactly when and where to call her when you think your labor has started. As a general rule, you should call when you start having regular contractions coming every five minutes for about an hour.