36 Weeks Pregnant

By (embryologist) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 10/10/2015

At week 36 of pregnancy, the baby measures about 46 cm long, and weights 2.8 kg approximately. You will notice that fetal movement diminishes due to a simple reason: there is no much room left for him to move in your uterus.

If labor occurred at this point, all his organs would be fully functional outside the mother's belly. In principle, there would be no reason for his health to be compromised.

The following sections will help you learn more about the symptoms to expect and fetal development during this week of pregnancy.

Provided below is an index with the 4 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Symptoms to expect

The most common symptoms during this week are related to discomforts caused by the size of your belly, including bloating and a sensation that you've run out of oxygen. Let's get straight to the details of each:

Fatigue and bloating

During this week, it is totally normal that you feel tired and too heavy. Aside from the extra weight and the excessive volume, you may experience trouble walking. As regards eating, it is normal that you don't feel very hungry. We recommend that you do all five meals a day, but in low quantity.

Drowning sensation

Another common discomfort of 36-week pregnant women is a constant drowning sensation. Even if they breath deeply, they feel as if their bodies were unable to collect enough oxygen.

Don't worry for the baby, he or she is getting enough supply of oxygen. This is just a sensation that occurs as a consequence of an enlarged uterus, which is located now under your ribs and compresses the lungs.

Cephalic presentation of baby

It is likely that your baby turns to the cephalic position during this week or the weeks ahead. When this occurs, you will notice that acidity diminishes, improving your breathing capacity, and reducing the drowning sensation.

It is just the method the baby uses to prepare for birth. If you are a first-time mom, when your baby turns to the cephalic position, you will notice more pressure in your lower abdomen, reaching the bladder. Walking becomes very uncomfortable in these cases, and it is likely that you need to pee more often.

Fetal development

At week 36, your child is almost fully developed, with his lungs being almost fully functional. The nails of fingers and toes have grown and reach the fingertips.

Another process that takes place during this week to get the baby ready for birth is the development of fat pads around the body. This fat acts as a temperature regulator that prevents the baby to go through a sudden temperature change when the descend through the maternal uterus starts. On the other hand, it makes the passage through the vagina easier.

By the end of this week, the baby measures 46 cm long, and weights about 2.730 g on average. If the weight ranges between 2.320 and 3.520 g, you shouldn't be concerned, as these values are considered normal as well.

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 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Neus Ferrando Gilabert
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information about Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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