36 weeks pregnant

4 weeks to go, and then you'll be holding your little bundle of joy in your arms. By now, your baby has gained weight and has fully developed. You might notice some changes in your body too. To know what's in store for you this week, keep reading!

36 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Your tiny tot has grown up to be the size of romaine lettuce. If you're wondering what your 36 weeks pregnant baby's weight in kg will be, then let us tell you, your little one will be around 2.7 gms. He will measure about 18 to 19 inches in height. To know all about his growth, read on:

Skull and bones

Your baby's skull bones aren't fused yet for him to pass easily through the birth canal. Most of his bones and cartilages in the body are still soft and will harden in the first few years of his life after birth.


Although your baby is ready for life outside the womb, there are still some finishing touches left. Your little one's digestion won't fully mature until a year or two after birth. It is because your baby has been dependent on the umbilical cord for nutrition, which means his digestive system hasn't begun operating yet.

Baby's position

Your baby has most likely settled in a head-down position. Your doctor will keep a close eye on your little one's position to make sure whether your baby changes position, then the doctor can help you guide the next steps. Also, your 36 weeks pregnant baby movements will decrease due to lack of moving space, so don't worry if you notice reduced sharper kicks throughout the day.

Sleep cycle

Your baby's sleep-wake cycle has developed more. He will continue to show active sleep; however, he also has a distinct interval of quiet sleep. Moreover, his eyelids are fully formed and now have smooth margins.

36 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

If you calculate 36 weeks pregnant in months, you will find out that you have entered your 9th month of pregnancy. As your belly continues to grow, you might experience different symptoms as follows:

Frequent urination

As your little one drops further into your pelvis, you might find yourself frequently visiting the washroom. You might also have to make several rounds to the washroom during the night. Although you can't prevent this symptom entirely, be sure you take bathroom breaks whenever possible. Empty your bladder entirely every time you go, and do not skip on fluids. Make sure you stay hydrated despite the bathroom rounds. Wear a panty liner to avoid leaking fluid when you laugh, cough or sneeze. You can also try Kegel exercises to improve bladder control.

Braxton Hicks contractions

As you reach closer to your due date, your practice or false contractions become stronger, creating confusion of whether what you're experiencing are labour contractions or not. Remember, Braxton Hicks have irregular intervals and usually go away when you change positions. They strike in the evening or after any physical activity. Labour contractions occur at regular intervals and don't go away even if you change positions.

Difficulty sleeping

With troublesome symptoms, sleeping peacefully might be difficult. Not to forget your growing belly that adds to it. Try using extra pillows for support under your bump and between your legs. Minimise your screen time before going to bed. You can also try light stretching or meditation to help you sleep better. If you still find it hard to sleep, consider taking quick power naps during the day for the needed energy boost to get you through the day. They occur closer and closer together, unlike the practice ones.

Numbness in legs and feet

Your growing belly puts more and more pressure on some of your nerves, especially in your hands, legs and feet. This can lead to numbness or tingling feeling in your hands, legs or feet. Although annoying, these symptoms will go away after your baby's birth. To get some relief, you can try wrist or ankle splints and try resting your hands and feet as much as possible.

Leg swelling

During pregnancy, your body retains extra fluid, causing your legs and feet to swell up. If you feel any pain or discomfort, avoid standing for a longer period and elevate your feet using a pillow or stool when sleeping or sitting. Comfortable shoes and support hose or stockings can help too.

Lower back pain

As relaxin starts loosening the joints and ligaments in your pelvis for labour preparation, you might experience lower back pain while sitting, standing, or climbing stairs. Talk to your doctor for advice on some stretching exercises that are safe to practice during pregnancy and will also provide you with some relief.

Things to Consider at the 36th Week

As you enter the thirty-sixth week of pregnancy, here are some things that you might wish to consider:

  • Birth plan: Be sure to discuss your preferences with your doctor. Don't forget to add copies of your birth plan to your hospital bag. A printed copy can help remind your doctor about your labour, pain management, birthing partner, etc. preferences. Moreover, creating a birth plan will ensure you a chance to think your options through.

  • Vitamin C: You need at least 85 mg of vitamin C every day to help strengthen your immune system, bones and muscles. You can include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes. Talk to your doctor about the prenatal vitamins to know if you're getting enough dose or not.

  • Exercise: During these final weeks of pregnancy, practice some gentle exercises, like walking or gentle stretching to take some pressure off your back. You can also try standing backbends to relieve the lower back pain – place your hands on the hips and gently bend backwards (not more than 20 degrees).

  • Nesting: As your due date approaches, you might experience nesting instincts. Use this time for preparing your home for your baby's welcome. You decorate the nursery or shop for baby gear and essentials. However, remember, do not exhaust yourself and take help when needed.

  • Baby's position: Somewhere around this time, your doctor will try determining your baby's position in the uterus by feeling the baby's outline through your abdomen. If your baby is in a breech position (feet down), your doctor may recommend an ultrasound to confirm. Although your baby has few more weeks to change her position, your doctor will closely track her position before labour.

Precautions & Tips at 36th Week of Pregnancy

At 36 weeks pregnant, you might need to take care of certain things, so here are a few points that might help you:

  • Note movement changes: Worry not if your baby's movements have changed to just squirms now. She has very little room to move. Keep track of your little one's movements daily. If you're worried, try sipping some juice and see your baby's activity perks up. If you notice any unusual change or pattern in the foetal movement, make sure to inform your doctor.

  • Prepare to lose mucus plug: A mucus plug is a thick yellow discharge tinged with blood that can be unplugged weeks, day, or even hours before the labour. So, there's nothing to worry about if you lose the mucus plug even weeks before your due date. Your little one will still be safe, as your body will produce cervical mucus to prevent infection.

  • Enough of B6: Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine helps your body and your baby to utilise all the protein for cell-building. B6 is present in your prenatal vitamins. You can also eat bananas, watermelon, tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, spinach, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, bran, soybeans, and meat.

  • Pre-labour signs: If you have concerns about your pre-labour symptoms, it's best to talk to your doctor. Pre-labour can last for a few hours, weeks, months or more, and since every pregnancy is unique, the pre-labour signs and symptoms can differ from person to person.

  • Hospital bag: As your due date nears, start packing your hospital essentials to avoid the last-minute hustle. Make sure you add some feel-good items like lip balm, scrunchies, hairbrush, moisturiser, socks, slippers, etc., along with necessities to make your overall stay comfortable. Avoid carrying anything expensive or your favourite stuff as it might be lost or ruined.

  • Protein intake: Boost up your protein intake containing omega-3 through grass-fed lean meats, fatty fish like anchovies, sardines and wild salmon, DHA-enriched eggs, nuts and seeds like walnuts, and so on.

  • Pelvic pain and pressure: Try wearing a pregnancy pelvic support, sit or sleep with your feet elevated, and consult your doctor regarding taking a warm bath for relief.

At Your Doctor's Office

At the prenatal visit this week, you can expect the normal routine check-up for weight, blood pressure, urine, swelling, fundal height, baby's heartbeat, your symptoms and more. Here's a sneak peek into your prenatal visit this week:

Weight gain

As per normal BMI (18.5 to 24.9), the recommended weight gain for expecting moms is about 11 to 15 kgs. By the third trimester, your expected weight gain is around 450 gms a week. This means, from the start of your pregnancy till the 36th week, you might have gained around 12 kgs. However, every pregnancy is unique; hence, the kgs might differ from person to person. Talk to your doctor about how much weight gain is ideal for you to make sure you're on the right track.

Vaginal exam

This week your doctor may begin vaginal exams to check your cervix for effacement and dilation along with your baby's position in the birth canal. Not all doctors begin this exam in the 36th week. If you are uncomfortable, you have a right to decline it as there is no danger associated with skipping it.

Screening test

You might have a screening test for Group B strep any time between this and the 38th week. Your doctor will take a swab of bacteria in your vagina and rectum to check for Group B strep.

Q&A round

Use the time at your doctor's office to think about all the signs indicating labour. If you have prepared a list of questions, make sure to carry it with you for the appointment. Here are some questions that you shouldn't miss:

  • What happens if the Group B strep result is positive?

  • Do I have a high risk of developing preeclampsia?

  • Will any element of labour or delivery be adjusted to reduce the risks associated with a pre-existing chronic condition?

  • What safe exercises can I practice at this stage?

  • Is there anything I can do at home to speed up labour once I've begun?

  • When should I go to the hospital or birthing centre after the labour begins?

  • What will happen if my water breaks at home?

Get week-by-week expert tips on pregnancy to keep track of your baby’s development & to ensure well-being of both you & your baby during entire nine months journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, as at 36 weeks, the risks of health complications reduce significantly. However, your baby might still be at risk of respiratory distress syndrome.

You're finally in your last month of pregnancy! While you're dealing with pregnancy discomforts, make sure you enjoy those baby kicks, punches and rolls. Because once your baby arrives, you might miss these times. 4 weeks until your baby arrives, make sure you take care of yourself.

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