You can start your final countdown at week 36. You are just one month away from your due date. The last week seems to have just gone by. Your baby is around the 5 ¾ pounds mark and is almost 18 ½ inches tall. It has to gain another 2 pounds to its delivery date.
If your hospital bag is still not ready then begin packing it. Some of the things that you need to keep are the insurance card, a clean set of clothes, sanitary pads, breast pads, toothbrush, and toothpaste and afresh towel set. The baby’s bag should have washed baby clothes, diapers, and towels, etc.
If your hospital bag is ready then it is time that you start to plan the days ahead. There are so many things that you need to shop for like your baby’s blankets, swing, crib, and clothes. The list could go on and on.
You’re Baby in Week Thirty-Six
Your baby’s period of rapid growth is coming to an end and it is now approaching 19 inches and is almost 6 pounds in weight. It will continue to add on to weight in the form of fat until the delivery day. Its toenails have become long and it might have even scratched itself in the uterus. Only its lungs are still to mature. If it has still not dropped into the birth canal yet, then it will probably do so now.
You must have gained at least 25-30 pounds by now and would not be gaining any more weight in the final weeks of your pregnancy.
Your placenta is also producing lesser hormones because now the baby s body is capable of being independent. It is not dependent on you completely. Your baby has a pair of kidneys that are functional and its liver is also producing some waste products. Your body will still be providing antibodies to the baby via the bloodstream. These antibodies protect the baby from whooping cough, measles, mumps, and even flu and cough.
Your baby has developed a sucking reflex. It has already tested the reflex of its own fingers and thumbs. It is well developed to start nursing. Its gums are hard and rigid as if the teeth are emerging. This will help it to latch to the nipple and feed itself when it is time.
Your baby’s birthday is only a few weeks away. Your doctor will now be carefully monitoring your baby’s position in the uterus during our visits now. At this point, your baby should be in the head down position and its head should be facing the vagina and the cervix. The weight that it has added and the high content of water and its vascularity will help its body prepare for birth by softening the cervix.
If your baby has still not turned and its bottom is facing the pelvis then it is in the breech presentation. Your doctor may suggest exercises which can help your baby move into the proper head down position. Sometimes these exercises help your baby to move but as the day approaches your doctor may recommend trying and manually moving the baby into the correct position.
Your doctor will do an external cephalic version where she will place her hands on your abdomen and will try to push the baby such that it is facing down. This procedure is done in the hospital where you will be given medication to relax your muscles. Before the doctor-tries to move the baby she will request for a non-stress test to monitor the heart rate of the baby. She will then ask for an ultrasound to be done to determine that the baby is still in the breech presentation. The ultrasound will make the position clearer and the doctor will know how to move the baby. After the movement, you will be given another non- stress test to check if your baby’s heart rate is normal.
It may happen that the attempt fails and the baby does not move into the face down or the vertex position. Your doctor may do the external cephalic version more than one time. It is risky to move the baby manually as there are chances of preterm labor or some other complications. This is why you and your baby will be monitored throughout the procedure. If your baby, however, does not move even after that then your doctor would discuss the other delivery options with you. Often babies who are in the breech position are delivered through cesarean.