How to get Pregnant » Pregnancy Week 36

Pregnancy Week 36

How to Get Pregnant

Perhaps this will be the week! At least that is what many people are thinking by the time pregnancy week 36 comes around. Everyone knows that babies can come a few weeks early! Well, Mom and Dad should be patient since the longer the baby stays where he/she is, the better chance that everything will be developed properly and in working order. After all, they have waited this long, what are a few more weeks?

Changes in the Mother's Body

Pregnant women at pregnancy week 36 will typically begin seeing their doctor once a week. There will probably be a vaginal exam with every visit by now because the cervix could begin to dilate at anytime from this point on. Most women will experience what is called, "engagement", this means the baby has dropped into the birth canal and is preparing for birth. This can happen at any time from pregnancy week 36 on. Once the baby drops, Mom's appetite will begin to increase. This is because the baby will no longer be causing pressure to her stomach and intestines. By now the average weight gained in pregnant women as at about 25 to 30 pounds. Mom will be gaining approximately a pound a week.

Development of the Baby

The baby is just about ready to come out. There are only 4 short weeks to go and at anytime she/he could be making a descent into the birth canal. At pregnancy week 36 there is a plump little, rosy cheeked baby just waiting to be bundled up and taken home. Babies born at 36 weeks almost always survive unless there is some unforeseen complication. The baby should weigh just about 6 pounds by now and will be growing more and more every week until the time of birth. The baby's skull is quite soft so that passing through the birth canal will be easier. After the baby is born his/her skull will continue to harden. If the baby is born with an odd shaped head, there is no cause for alarm.

Diet and Exercise

Mom should be eating as much as she wants until she goes into labor. The baby needs all the nutrients he/she can get. The rapid growth of the baby and the need for Mom to keep her strength in preparation for labor will call for about 2500 to 3000 calories a day. Mom can treat herself to whatever she is in the mood for, unless it is toxic or bad for her or the baby. Exercise is limited to kegel excerises and walking, provided mom feels up to it.

Tips for Dads

If this is the first child, by pregnancy week 36, Dad is probably experiencing butterflies in his stomach at the prospect of holding his newborn baby. This is totally normal and some Moms are even frightened of how fragile babies are! Dad should try and relax and realize that babies are a lot less fragile than we actually think. They will not break if we pick them up. There are precautions that must be taken to support the baby's neck but other than that, Dad should feel at ease about holding his son or daughter.

Now would be a good time to start watching for early signs of labor. Basically if a woman should experience contractions that feel more intense than the Braxton Hicks contractions that she has been experiencing, and they become regularly spaced, she may be in labor and it would be a good thing to start timing the contractions. Obviously, if Mom's water breaks, it's a given and labor is beginning.