You at 36 weeks pregnant
You could be excited, very tired and even a bit impatient for your baby to arrive.
If your baby’s head has ‘engaged’ (moved down into your pelvis), you might be feeling more pressure lower down in your pelvis. You might even feel your baby’s head putting pressure on your cervix, which can be quite uncomfortable. You’ll probably need to go to the toilet even more often.
The good news is that as your baby moves downwards, it does tend to get a bit easier for you to breathe.
This can be a good time to stop working if you can. Having some time for yourself before your baby is born can help you feel more rested and prepared. If you can, make the time to rest and do special things you enjoy.
If you can’t stop work just yet, consider cutting down your hours if possible or doing lighter duties. Talk with your employer about what’s possible, and discuss any concerns with your doctor or midwife.
Packing your bag
If you’re planning to give birth in a public hospital, private hospital or birth centre, it's a good idea to pack your bag now.
Essentials include hospital admission forms, maternity pads, pyjamas and some basics for your baby (singlets, socks, tops and bottoms or one-piece suits, large cotton or muslin wraps). You might also want to put in some things for labour – old, oversized t-shirts, extra underwear, warm socks and lip balm.
Easy-open tops for breastfeeding, along with a maternity bra and breast pads, are also a good idea.
If you’re worried that you might be in labour but you’re not yet due to have your baby, call your doctor or midwife or hospital as soon as possible.
You’ll probably have weekly or fortnightly visits with your doctor or midwife from now on. Even if you’re planning a vaginal birth, it’s worth finding out about caesarean birth. This way, you’ll know what to expect if you need to have a caesarean in an emergency.
Thinking about being a parent
‘What does being a parent mean to me?’ ‘How can I be a good parent?’ Thinking about these questions can help set you up for a rewarding and realistic experience.
Becoming a parent can give you a huge sense of meaning and purpose. You might already be looking forward to things that you’ll do with your child, or you might be thinking about special routines, activities or times with your parents that you want to keep going with your own child.
Your baby when you’re 36 weeks pregnant
This is what your baby is doing:
- Your baby is about 34 cm from head to bottom and weighs about 2.5 kg.
- Your baby’s head is more in proportion to their body.
- Most babies’ heads ‘engage’ at this stage. Some don’t for a few more weeks, and some don’t until labour starts.