Mom’s Tip of the Week 36

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You can breathe easier this week. Your baby at 36 weeks is getting into position for entry into the world. To do this, she’ll most likely drop headfirst into your pelvic area. When this step—called lightening—takes place, your lungs (and stomach!) will have a bit more room to expand. Walking may be tougher, though, so be prepared to waddle at 36 weeks pregnant. If your baby’s head isn’t down, she’s considered breached, and your doctor might talk to you about different options for labor and delivery.

Your Baby at 36 Weeks Pregnant

What’s Happening in There

  • Your baby at 36 weeks weighs about 6 pounds and could be measuring around 20 inches tall from head to toe.
  • Her facial muscles are maturing. Your baby has been busy practicing her sucking skills, getting ready for breast or bottle. Her cheek muscles have developed, and they’re now giving her face a nice round look.
  • Many of her systems are ready for action. At 36 weeks pregnant, your baby’s systems, such as circulatory and immune, are as developed as they’ll be when she’s born. One exception: Her digestive system. Because she’s still taking in nutrients through the umbilical cord, digestion won’t be fully functional until after birth, and even then it takes months to mature.
  • At 36 weeks pregnant, your body’s getting ready, too. Sometime during the next few weeks, you may lose the mucous plug in your uterus, which has been protecting your baby from the world outside. If you do, you’ll notice a yellowish discharge with a trace of blood, which has earned it the nickname “bloody show.” Call your doctor immediately if the discharge soaks a pad in less than an hour or is bright red; otherwise, simply share the update with your doctor at your next checkup.

Baby Brain Waves

Your Baby’s Brain Is Developing

Though your baby at 36 weeks has a well-developed brain, the bones surrounding it are still soft, allowing for further growth. Those bones can also move around and overlap to make it easier for your baby to travel down the birth canal. Don’t be surprised if your little one comes out with a pointy or misshapen head; it’s quite common, and it’s not going to hurt her brainpower. Usually her skull will take on a more traditional shape after a few hours or, at the latest, a day or two.

Pregnancy Health

Real Issues, Real Solutions

The issue: With just a few weeks left until your little one’s arrival, you may still be considering whether you want to breast-feed or feed your baby formula—or a bit of both.

The solution: Here’s help to understand your options.

Read more about breast-feeding.

Read more about formula feeding and supplementing

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