The Week 36 edition:
Can you breathe easily? This is because your baby has “dropped” down into your pelvis, a process called “lightening”. The growth has begun to slow down, however, your baby is starting to get heavier. Its digestive system has not been perfected yet unlike the circulatory system! It can recognise its favourite song, sing it to sleep maybe? Your baby, with the size of a papaya, weighs 2.6 kgs and is 47.6 cm tall.
Here is an extensive list of what your baby is up to this week:
- If this is your first pregnancy, “lightening” facilitates better breathing. The baby’s head is in your pelvis now.
- The bones are flexible enough to wiggle their way out during birth. The
- The digestive system is yet to carry out its functions fully.
- Your baby’s growth is slowing down gradually.
- Its immune system is only growing stronger much like the lungs! It’s
- It’s lost most of the downy hair (lanugo) and the waxy substance on the skin (vernix caseosa). Along with other secretions, it swallows this too, leading to the tar like meconium that you will see in the baby’s first poo.
- The skin on the legs look thicker and are pink – tinted. Your baby looks more like an infant than it ever has before!
Track your growth at Week 36:
You don’t feel like eating much after all these months of insatiable hunger! This is because your baby is taking most of your room! You may feel lighter and are breathing easier after the “drop” has taken place. This usually leads to increased pressure on the vagina and lower abdomen. Do keep up with eating a lot of proteins in your diet. Know all the pre-labour symptoms. Pack your birth bags already! You are the best gauge of your baby’s well-being. While movements are more subtle, know that your baby moves in the same pattern as before. The quantity of movements does not reduce but quality does- it’s more subtle. At any point during a busy day, if you notice that you haven’t tuned in to your baby and don’t remember if they were moving, then go to a dark, quiet room, lie down and count your baby’s movements. While this is called doing kick counts, it can be any movement- flutters, hiccups, kicks. You should notice at least 10 movements in 1 hour. If that does not happen, drink a cold, sugary juice and lie down on your left side for about 1 hour. If there are no or less than 10 movements in 1 hour, call your care provider. They will want to investigate further. Do remember that the baby could also be asleep!
Here is the list of changes in your body this week:
- “Nesting instinct” kicks in, where though you are exhausted you want to get everything ready for the baby’s arrival.
- You may notice you have more vaginal discharge.
- Your belly feels scratchy and itchy.
- The lower abdomen pain increases.
- You may feel contractions as it spreads throughout your uterus. Down your back to your pelvis!