How Your Baby Grows Inside You: Week 36
Your baby is now a growth express! S/he is gaining almost 30 grams every day and is close to 18½ inches in length. You should add that to your pregnancy week by week chart.
In baby growth week by week, in Week 36, her/his skin which was covered with fine, downy hair called lanugo but now that is slowly beginning to shed. While most of the lanugo will have shed before your baby is born, some might still be visible. The remaining hair will be gone in the first few weeks after birth.
Your baby will swallow the lanugo as it mixes with the amniotic fluid and this will form a black, tar-like mix in the intestine which will be passed as bowel movements on the first day of life.
At Week 36, your doctor will probably conduct a vaginal exam to check for a bacteria known as Group B Streptococcus (GBS). Most women have this bacteria in their vagina and it is relatively harmless in adults. However, it can pass to the baby during the birth process and can cause serious concerns like pneumonia, meningitis or even a blood related infection.
If the test results are positive, then your doctor will put you on a course of antibiotics to clear the infection before you go into labour.
Signs and Symptoms
As your baby’s head fixes into the pelvis, you’ll feel your abdomen sink lower. This will reduce the pressure in your upper abdomen, thus allowing you to breathe better and bring back your appetite. However, the pressure in the lower abdomen will cause you to waddle and make you use the bathroom more frequently.
This is a good time to write your birth plan if you haven’t yet. Draft one along with your partner and your prenatal instructor. List out the things that you are most passionate about - such as who you want around you at the delivery, the possibility of eating and drinking during labor, at what point you would like to consider pain relief, breastfeeding immediately at birth and more. You can then discuss the plan with your doctor at the next prenatal visit.
Keep your hospital bag ready, plan different routes to the hospital and ensure that you have all back up emergency numbers on speed dial. This might help you reduce anxiety as you anxiously wait for labor to start.
You could be wondering about what you’ll do with all the maternity clothes after delivery. Well, you will need them around for a bit longer than you expect. After delivery, your uterus will not magically shrink; the change will be gradual. You will also have to deal with a changing breast size, so don’t think of putting away those clothes yet.
You might now want to surround yourself with people you trust and are comfortable with. Catch up with your friends, go shopping and prepare your house for the baby’s arrival. Bond with your mother and mother-in-law as well. You might need their help, support and experience after your baby’s birth.
If you go into early labor, it is possible that Group B streptococcus (GBS) might be detected when your doctor does a pelvic exam to assess cervical dilation. Since there will be no time to administer antibiotics and clear the infection before the actual birth, you might be advised to opt for a surgical birth.
Old Wives Tales
As you progress in your pregnancy week by week, many women are asked to consume two spoons of castor oil in the last few days before delivery. Castor oil acts as a laxative and works at clearing your intestines. This can trigger off labour contractions as well. It is advisable that you do not consume castor oil without consulting your doctor.
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