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36 weeks pregnant – symptoms, ultrasound, belly pictures

Updated on August 19, 2014

At 36 weeks pregnant, it is not yet the time! You need to forget your wrecked body and your achy back and focus on the baby. It measures 20 inches in length and weighs about 6 pounds. It has soft bones and cartilage which will facilitate a safe passage through the birth canal. Most systems of the baby ranging from the musculoskeletal to the circulatory are fully developed and ready for the outside world. The digestive system has only gone through the motions as of now; it will only become functional after the baby takes its first dig at the breast nipple or bottle.

At 36 weeks pregnant, your body may have endured all that it could and hence it is a good thing that the fetus has almost fully grown.The pregnancy hormones have softened and loosened the muscles and connective tissues, which makes almost everything waddle. It is the way in which the body prepares itself to push the baby out of a tiny, small space. The loose joints can result in some intense pelvic and hip pain. You however need to remain strong as all of this will go away after delivery, and you can start exercising again to get back into shape.

Symptoms at 36 weeks pregnant

Some of the common signs and symptoms occurring at 36 weeks pregnant are listed below:

  • Indigestion or heartburn: The upward push and squeezing of the stomach by the expanding uterus may result in a lowered appetite. This may not be a bad thing after all. Smaller meals can turn out to be good for your digestive system and it may end up managing and controlling heartburn.
  • Fetal activity changes: The space available for the baby will get constricted with its continuous growth. This will result in a change in the level of fetal activity. However, even though there is less space to move around, you will still be able to feel your baby moving around, but with a lot less kicking, jabbing, or squirming.
  • Flatulence: You may find the heartburn and indigestion to be discomforting. Your problems may further get aggravated and more embarrassing with the accumulation of gas. You may be seen burping and passing gas endlessly. You can however take solace from the fact that all of it will get better after delivery. In the meantime, you can prevent flatulence by eating smaller meals at a slow pace. This will prevent you from swallowing increased amounts of air during meals.
  • Frequent and increased desire to pass urine:At 36 weeks pregnant, the baby may take up the tiny space in the pelvis, thereby exerting more pressure on the bladder. This may want you to make frequent trips to the toilet, like you did during the initial weeks of pregnancy. It is however important to keep drinking lots of fluids and stay hydrated. Cutting back on fluid intake is a strict no-no.
  • Constipation: It can be alleviated by following the same options suggested for alleviation of flatulence and heartburn. Eat small meals about 4 to 5 times a day as it lessens the burden on your digestive tract and helps remedy constipation.
  • Excessive vaginal discharge, sometimes with a hint of blood: The cervix is currently sensitive and preparing itself for dilation. The vaginal discharge may also be thicker and excessive. Sometimes, after a vaginal examination or sexual intercourse, the discharge may appear reddish, pinkish, or brownish. It is however not a cause of worry. It is just an indication that the sensitive cervix has experienced some bruising.
  • Abdominal itchiness: It is caused due to excessive stretching of the abdomen. You can alleviate it by applying creams with vitamin E or cocoa butter.
  • Pelvic discomfort and pressure: At 36 weeks pregnant, the baby is digging deep into the pelvis and preparing for birth. The head will be pressing down on your hips, bladder, and pelvis. This can result in increased pressure on the pelvis. You can comfort yourself by taking a long bath in the tub, or by trying some pelvic tilts.
  • Excessive swelling of the feet and ankles: The body has started to retain additional amounts of fluids leading to very visible edema or pregnancy swelling. This may not only result in a swollen appearance of the feet and ankles, but also of the hands, face, and fingers. It is however vital to keep drinking water and other fluids, as they help in elimination of elevated levels of sodium and other waste matter, which in turn will help decrease swelling.
  • Extra energy or fatigue: It is normal to be fatigued at 36 weeks of pregnancy. However, you may also experience a burst of energy referred to as the ‘nesting instinct.’ It indicates a need to get prepared and ready for childbirth. In case you do not feel energized, then eat regularly and take sufficient rest.
  • Sleeping problems: The enlarged belly may cause discomfort and prevent you from finding the perfect sleeping position. The body also tends to overheat with the passage of time at night. Hence, ensure that you sleep in cool conditions.

What does the ultrasound scan show?

The baby begins to move into the birthing position; some mothers may get the feeling that their belly is drooping. By this stage, the organs of the baby will have developed and the baby is able to breathe comfortably. The baby fat begins to form of the arms and legs, the brain develops rapidly and the gums begin to harden. The knees, elbows are formed and even dimples begin to appear on the cheeks. You may also be delighted to see the baby blinking its eyes.


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    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 3 years ago from Cape Cod

      I thought the gestation period in homo sapien females was nine months, or 36 weeks! Who knew it was actually longer than that? What do I know? I am not a grown up yet. I am only 70 years old.

      I did have four children though. They range in age between 40 and 45. I do remember one thing about all the pregnancies. My wife and I shared each one. She carried the child, but I got the morning sickness.