Week Thirty-six of Your Pregnancy

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Week 36 Info

WEEK 36

Your baby continues to put on weight by about pound each week.  Your baby is gaining weight quickly because layers of fat pile on to help with body temperature regulation.  Your baby is about 19 inches long and weighs from 5.5 to 6.0 pounds "like a Crenshaw melon".  She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix, a waxy substance that covers and protects her skin during her nine months in sitting in water.  Your baby swallows both of these in addition to other secretions in her amniotic fluid, which results in a blackish mixture, called meconium.  This will form her first bowel movement.  The vast majority of babies born now will live with little need for intensive medical treatment.

You will probably begin to see your healthcare provider every week now until you give birth. The average weight gain to this point is approximately 25 to 30 pounds. However, based on your body type, height and your baby's size "or even how many babies you are carrying" your weight gain may be more or less. You should be consuming about 2400-2500 calories a day, but be sure to make them count by eating healthy, nutritious foods as your body is working very hard now getting ready for delivery and needs the fuel.

Most babies will be in a head down position at this point. However, about 4 percent of the babies will be breech "meaning the buttocks or feet descend into the birth canal first". If your baby is breech, don't panic. There are plenty of things that you can do to encourage the baby to turn, including special exercises that you can learn from your healthcare provider.  You might even consider consulting a chiropractor or a licensed acupuncturist who each have different techniques to encourage your baby to turn.  If your baby continues to be head down your practitioner may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version".  During a version, your provider will try to turn your baby to a head-down position by manipultating her from the outside of your belly.

You may find that you are carrying your baby much lower now as the baby drops into the birth canal, readying for birth.  The good news is that this may improve your heartburn and make it easier to breath.  The bad news is that you may have increased pressure in your lower abdomen, which may make walking increasingly uncomfortable, and you'll probably find that you have to pee even more frequently.  Some women say it feels as though they're carrying a bowling ball between their legs.

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