What to Expect at 36 Weeks – Pregnancy Symptoms, Baby Development, and More!

Congratulations, you are now in your ninth month of pregnancy! At 36 weeks, you are just a few days away from completing the full 40 weeks, which is the average length of a pregnancy. This means that you have been growing a tiny human for a remarkable 252 days, or 9 months.

As you approach the end of your pregnancy journey, your baby is now about the size of a honeydew melon, weighing around 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) and measuring about 18.5 inches (47 centimeters) in length. Their organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs, are fully developed and ready for life outside the womb.

At 36 weeks, your baby is also in the head-down position, getting ready for their grand entrance into the world. This is a significant milestone as it means that your little one is preparing for birth and positioning themselves for the journey through the birth canal.

Preparing for the Final Stretch

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you are in the ninth month and just a few weeks away from meeting your little one. These last few weeks of pregnancy are known as the final stretch, and it is important to be prepared for what lies ahead.

Final Preparations

As you approach the end of your pregnancy, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the arrival of your baby. One important task is to pack your hospital bag with all the essentials you will need during your stay. Make sure to include comfortable clothing, toiletries, and any necessary documents.

Additionally, it is a good idea to have your birth plan finalized and discussed with your healthcare provider. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your preferences during labor and delivery.

Nesting Instinct

Many women experience a surge of energy and motivation known as the nesting instinct during the final weeks of pregnancy. This may involve a deep cleaning of your home, organizing the nursery, or even stocking up on supplies for your little one. Embrace this burst of energy, but remember to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.

It is also a good time to install the car seat and familiarize yourself with its proper use. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for bringing your baby home safely.

Taking Care of Yourself

As your pregnancy nears its end, it is essential to continue taking care of yourself. Make sure to get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet, and stay hydrated. Gentle exercise, such as walking or prenatal yoga, can help keep you active and relieve any discomfort.

It is also important to monitor your baby’s movements and report any changes to your healthcare provider. Pay attention to kick counts and make note of any decrease in activity.

Remember, the final weeks of pregnancy are a time of anticipation and excitement. Take this opportunity to rest, prepare, and savor the last days of carrying your little one before their arrival.

Growth and Development

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you are in the ninth month and nearing the end of your journey. In these final days, your baby continues to grow and develop, preparing for life outside the womb.

By now, your baby has reached an average length of about 18.7 inches (approx. 47.5 cm) and weighs around 5.8 pounds (approx. 2.6 kg). However, keep in mind that every baby is different, so these numbers are just averages.

During this stage of pregnancy, your baby’s brain is rapidly developing, forming billions of neural connections. The lungs are also maturing as they prepare for breathing air. Your baby’s digestive system is almost fully developed, and their kidneys are functioning to filter waste products.

Your little one’s skin is becoming pinker and less wrinkled as they lay down more fat beneath the skin. This fat will help keep them warm after birth. Their toenails and fingernails have likely reached the tips of their fingers and toes.

By now, your baby has probably settled into a head-down position in preparation for birth. However, some babies may still be in a breech position, where their buttocks or feet are positioned to be delivered first. Your healthcare provider will monitor your baby’s position and may recommend measures to encourage them to turn if necessary.

As you approach the end of your pregnancy, it is essential to keep monitoring your baby’s movements. While the baby’s living space becomes more cramped, they should still be active. If you notice a significant decrease in your baby’s movements, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider.

Remember, each day brings you closer to meeting your little one. Take these final weeks to rest and prepare for the exciting times ahead.

Physical Changes

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you are in the ninth month and approaching the end of the journey. With just 252 days (or about 9 months) until your due date, your body has undergone significant changes to accommodate the growing baby.

During this stage of pregnancy, you may experience a range of physical changes. Your belly continues to expand as your baby grows, and you may notice an increase in discomfort and pressure in your lower abdomen.

Additionally, you may find it more difficult to move around as your body adjusts to the weight of the baby. Simple tasks like bending over or getting out of bed can become more challenging.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Another common physical change at 36 weeks is the occurrence of Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are often described as practice contractions, as they help prepare your body for labor. They may feel like mild tightening or cramping in your abdomen.

It’s important to differentiate Braxton Hicks contractions from actual labor contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and usually go away with rest or a change in position, while labor contractions become more regular and intense over time.

Weight Gain

By 36 weeks, you may have gained around 25-35 pounds (11-16 kilograms) throughout your pregnancy. This weight gain is vital for the healthy development of your baby and the preparation of your body for breastfeeding.

It’s important to continue eating a nutritious diet and engaging in light physical activity, such as walking or prenatal yoga, to maintain a healthy weight during this stage of pregnancy.

Overall, these physical changes at 36 weeks mark the final stretch of your pregnancy journey. As your due date approaches, it’s essential to stay attentive to any signs of labor and communicate regularly with your healthcare provider.

Emotional Changes

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, expect to experience a variety of emotional changes. It is normal to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety as the days count down to the arrival of your little one. The ninth month of pregnancy can bring about a range of emotions, and it is important to remember that this is completely normal.

As you approach the end of the nine months of pregnancy, you may feel overwhelmed with anticipation and a sense of wonder about what the next chapter of your life will bring. This can lead to a heightened emotional state, with feelings of joy, nervousness, and even fear.

With only 36 days left until your due date, it is natural to experience a rollercoaster of emotions. Your body has been changing and growing for the past 36 weeks, and it is understandable that you may feel a mix of excitement and exhaustion. The emotional journey of pregnancy can be intense, but it is important to remember that you are not alone.

During this time, it can be helpful to lean on your support system. Talk to your partner, family, and friends about your feelings and concerns. They can provide a listening ear and offer reassurance during this emotional time. Additionally, consider seeking out a pregnancy support group or counselor who can help you navigate these emotions.

Remember, you have come a long way in the past 36 weeks. You have grown a life inside of you for 252 days and have reached the final stretch of your pregnancy journey. Allow yourself to embrace the emotional changes that come with this milestone and remember to take care of your mental well-being as well as your physical health.

Nesting Instinct

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you are in the ninth month and approaching the final stretch of your 9-month journey. With just 4 weeks (or 28 days) to go until your due date, you may start experiencing the nesting instinct, a surge of energy and the urge to prepare your home for the arrival of your little one.

The nesting instinct is a natural and instinctive urge that many pregnant women experience. It is often characterized by a sudden burst of energy and an overwhelming desire to clean, organize, and prepare for the arrival of the baby. This instinct can be quite strong and may even override feelings of fatigue or discomfort.

During this time, you may find yourself wanting to deep clean your home, rearrange furniture, decorate the nursery, wash and organize baby clothes, stock up on supplies, and make sure everything is in order for the new addition to your family. It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard, but embracing the nesting instinct can be a productive and satisfying way to prepare for the upcoming arrival.

As you enter the final weeks of pregnancy, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of tasks you want to accomplish during this nesting phase. This can help you stay organized and focused on what needs to be done. Consider creating a list of items you still need to purchase, tasks you want to complete around the house, and any preparations you want to make for the baby’s arrival.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Deep clean and organize the nursery
  • Wash and organize baby clothes
  • Pack your hospital bag
  • Stock up on essential supplies such as diapers, wipes, and baby toiletries
  • Prepare meals and freeze them for postpartum
  • Install car seat
  • Create a birth plan

Remember to pace yourself and take breaks when needed. The nesting instinct is a natural part of the pregnancy journey, and it’s important to enjoy this time and take care of yourself as you prepare for the exciting arrival of your baby.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you may start experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. These are often referred to as “practice contractions” or “false labor.” Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic and irregular contractions of the uterus that can be felt in the abdomen. They are named after the English doctor who first described them, John Braxton Hicks.

Unlike true labor contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions are usually painless and do not lead to the birth of a baby. They are a normal part of the third trimester and can occur throughout the ninth month of pregnancy. These contractions are the body’s way of preparing for labor and are often a sign that your body is getting ready for the big day.

Braxton Hicks contractions may feel like a tightening or hardening of the abdomen, similar to when you do a sit-up or when your baby moves. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Some women may only experience them occasionally, while others may have them more frequently.

If you’re unsure whether you’re experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions or actual labor contractions, there are a few ways to tell them apart. Unlike true labor contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions usually do not become stronger or more regular over time. They also do not increase in intensity and do not cause the cervix to dilate.

If you’re experiencing frequent or intense contractions, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider, as this may be a sign of preterm labor. However, if the contractions are irregular, short-lived, and not accompanied by other signs of labor, they are most likely Braxton Hicks contractions. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the frequency and intensity of contractions, especially as you approach the final weeks of pregnancy.

Managing Braxton Hicks Contractions

While Braxton Hicks contractions are generally harmless, they can sometimes be uncomfortable or bothersome. Here are a few tips on how to manage them:

  1. Change positions: Sometimes a change in position can help alleviate the discomfort. Try sitting down or lying on your side to see if it makes a difference.
  2. Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, or taking a warm bath can help relax your body and ease the discomfort of the contractions.
  3. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can sometimes trigger Braxton Hicks contractions. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  4. Empty your bladder: A full bladder can irritate the uterus and potentially increase the frequency of contractions. Emptying your bladder may help relieve the discomfort.

Remember, Braxton Hicks contractions are a normal part of pregnancy. They are a sign that your body is preparing for labor and are usually nothing to worry about. However, if you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for guidance.

Increased Discomfort

As you enter the last weeks of your pregnancy, you may start to experience increased discomfort. By the ninth month, or around week 36, your baby is growing rapidly and putting more pressure on your organs, muscles, and bones. This can result in various uncomfortable symptoms that are completely normal at this stage.

Some common discomforts you may experience at 36 weeks of pregnancy include:

1. Backaches: The additional weight of your baby can strain your back muscles, leading to backaches.
2. Heartburn: The growing uterus can push against your stomach, causing stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, leading to heartburn.
3. Shortness of breath: As your baby grows, it can take up more space in your abdomen, putting pressure on your diaphragm and making it harder for you to breathe.
4. Swollen feet and ankles: The increase in blood volume and the pressure from your growing uterus can cause fluid retention in your lower extremities.
5. Braxton Hicks contractions: You may experience more frequent and intense practice contractions in the last weeks of pregnancy.

It’s important to remember that every pregnancy is different, and not all women will experience the same level of discomfort. If you’re feeling extremely uncomfortable or have any concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for guidance and support.

Weight Gain

During the ninth month of pregnancy, which is around 36 weeks, it is normal for a woman to experience weight gain. On average, women gain about 1 pound per week during this stage. With each passing day, the baby continues to grow and gain weight. By the end of the 36th week, the baby will have been developing for a total of 252 days or 9 months.

It is important to keep in mind that weight gain during pregnancy is a natural and necessary process. The extra weight helps support the growth and development of the baby and prepares the mother’s body for childbirth. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, the weight gain may slow down or plateau, as the baby’s space in the womb becomes more limited.

It is recommended that pregnant women discuss their weight gain with their healthcare provider to ensure that it is within a healthy range. Excessive weight gain may increase the risk of complications, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. On the other hand, inadequate weight gain may be a sign of poor fetal growth and development.

Remember, every woman’s body is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight gain during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be able to provide personalized guidance and support to help you achieve a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy journey.

Getting Ready for Labor

At 36 weeks, you are in the final stretch of your pregnancy. With only a few weeks left until your due date, it’s important to start preparing for labor.

Knowing the Signs of Labor

As you enter the ninth month of pregnancy, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the signs of labor. From the 252 days or 36 weeks of carrying your baby, you may experience various symptoms that indicate the onset of labor. These can include:

  • Strong and regular contractions
  • Lower back pain or cramps
  • Fluid leakage

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to contact your healthcare provider.

Preparing Your Hospital Bag

As you approach the 9-month mark, it’s a good idea to prepare your hospital bag. Make sure to include essentials like:

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Any necessary paperwork

Having your hospital bag packed and ready will give you peace of mind as your due date approaches.

Remember, every pregnancy is different, and labor experiences vary. It’s essential to listen to your body and seek guidance from your healthcare provider as you get ready for the exciting journey ahead.

Preparing the Nursery

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you are in the ninth month and approaching the final weeks of your journey towards motherhood. One important task to focus on during this time is preparing the nursery for your little one’s arrival.

With only 4 weeks left in your pregnancy, it’s essential to ensure that the nursery is ready and welcoming for your baby. Here are a few things you can do to prepare:

1. Clean and organize: Start by giving the nursery a thorough clean. Dust, vacuum, and wipe down all surfaces. Organize your baby’s clothes, toys, and other essentials. Creating a neat and tidy space will help make it easier to find things once your little one arrives.

2. Set up the crib: Assemble the crib and ensure that it meets all safety standards. Make sure the mattress fits snugly and that there are no loose screws or sharp edges. Add a fitted sheet and a cozy blanket to make it comfortable for your baby.

3. Arrange the furniture: Position the changing table, dresser, and other furniture items in the nursery. Consider their placement for convenience and functionality. Make sure they are easily accessible and within arm’s reach.

4. Decorate the nursery: Choose a theme or color scheme for the nursery and decorate accordingly. Hang up curtains or blinds to control the lighting. Add some wall decals or artwork to make the space visually appealing for your little one.

5. Stock up on essentials: Make sure you have all the necessary supplies for your baby’s arrival. This includes diapers, wipes, baby clothes, bottles, and any other items you may need. It’s good to have a stockpile ready so that you don’t need to worry about running out in the first few weeks.

By taking the time to prepare the nursery now, you can ensure that everything is in place for your baby’s arrival. This will allow you to relax and focus on other aspects of your pregnancy during the final weeks.

Remember, you’re only a few weeks away from meeting your little one, so enjoy this time of anticipation and excitement!

Choosing a Pediatrician

As you approach the end of your pregnancy at 36 weeks, it’s important to start thinking about choosing a pediatrician for your newborn. Within the first few days, or even hours, after your baby is born, you’ll want to have a trusted professional who can provide medical care for your little one.

Here are some tips to consider when choosing a pediatrician:

  • Start your search early: Begin looking for a pediatrician around your 7th or 8th month of pregnancy.
  • Ask for recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or your obstetrician. They may have suggestions for reliable pediatricians in your area.
  • Consider the location: Find a pediatrician’s office that is conveniently located near your home, as it will make it easier for you to access medical care when needed.
  • Check credentials and experience: Look for a pediatrician who is board-certified and has experience working with infants and children.
  • Visit the office: Schedule a consultation or meet-and-greet with potential pediatricians to get a feel for their practice and ask any questions you may have. Pay attention to the staff and cleanliness of the facility.
  • Discuss your parenting philosophy: Make sure to find a pediatrician who aligns with your values and approach to childcare. This will ensure a good partnership in caring for your child.
  • Check availability: Inquire about the pediatrician’s availability for appointments, especially for urgent matters or after-hours care.

Remember, choosing a pediatrician is an important decision that will impact your child’s health and wellbeing for years to come. Taking the time to find the right doctor will provide peace of mind and ensure that your baby receives the best possible care during the early stages of life.

Packing Your Hospital Bag

As you enter the ninth month of your pregnancy, it’s time to start preparing for your baby’s arrival. One important task on your to-do list is packing your hospital bag. While it may seem like you have plenty of time, you never know when your little one might decide to make their entrance into the world, so it’s best to be prepared at 36 weeks pregnant.

When it comes to packing your hospital bag, think about the essentials you’ll need for your stay. You’ll likely be at the hospital for a few days, so it’s important to pack enough clothing and personal items to last you through your stay. Here are some things to consider:


Pack comfortable clothes that are easy to put on and take off. Loose-fitting pajamas or nightgowns are a good option, as well as a robe and slippers for walking around the hospital. Don’t forget to bring comfortable underwear and socks too.


Bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, and any other toiletries you use on a daily basis. You may also want to pack items like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, as well as a hairbrush and hair ties.


While you’re at the hospital, you may have some downtime, so it’s a good idea to pack some entertainment to keep you occupied. Books, magazines, or a tablet with movies or games can help pass the time.


Don’t forget to bring any necessary documents, such as your ID, insurance information, and birth plan. It’s also a good idea to have a pen and paper on hand for taking notes or jotting down any important information.

For the Baby:

Remember to pack some essentials for your newborn as well. This can include clothing, diapers, wipes, and blankets. It’s also a good idea to have a going-home outfit picked out and ready for your little one.

Remember, it’s never too early to start packing your hospital bag. By 36 weeks, you’re in the final stretch of your pregnancy, and having your bag ready to go will give you peace of mind as you eagerly await the arrival of your baby.

Birth Plan

At 36 weeks of pregnancy, you are in the ninth month and on your way to meeting your little one very soon. With just 4 weeks (or 28 days) left until your due date, it’s a good time to start thinking about your birth plan.

What is a Birth Plan?

A birth plan is a document that outlines your preferences and desires for your labor and delivery experience. It’s a way to communicate your wishes to your healthcare provider and birth team. While it’s important to remember that birth can be unpredictable, having a birth plan can help guide your care and ensure that your preferences are considered.

What to Include in Your Birth Plan?

When creating your birth plan, consider including the following elements:

  • Your preferred birthing environment
  • Positions you would like to labor in
  • Pain management options you are open to
  • Who you would like to have present during labor
  • Your preferences for monitoring and interventions
  • How you would like to manage the third stage of labor (delivery of the placenta)
  • Any cultural or religious practices you would like to incorporate

Remember, a birth plan is a flexible document, and it’s important to discuss your preferences with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance and help you understand what options are available to you based on your specific circumstances. Keep in mind that birth can be unpredictable, and it’s essential to remain open to changes and interventions if medically necessary.

As you approach your due date, take the time to educate yourself about labor and delivery, and discuss your birth plan with your healthcare provider. By being informed and prepared, you can feel more confident and empowered as you enter this exciting stage of your journey towards motherhood.

Taking Care of Yourself

During the ninth month of pregnancy, which is also known as the 36th week, it is essential to take extra care of yourself to ensure a healthy and comfortable pregnancy journey.

Here are some tips to help you take care of yourself during these final weeks:

1. Rest and relax: As your due date approaches, it is important to take ample rest and relax as much as possible. Listen to your body and give it the rest it needs to recharge.
2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Water helps maintain the amniotic fluid levels and prevents dehydration.
3. Eat a balanced diet: Make sure you are consuming a nutritious, balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. This will provide you with the necessary nutrients for both you and your baby.
4. Monitor your weight gain: Keep an eye on your weight gain and make sure it is within the recommended range. Excessive weight gain can increase the risk of complications.
5. Stay active: Engage in light to moderate physical activities such as walking or prenatal exercises, as recommended by your healthcare provider. Staying active can help relieve discomfort and prepare your body for labor.
6. Take prenatal vitamins: Continue taking your prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your doctor. These supplements provide essential vitamins and minerals that support your baby’s growth and development.
7. Manage stress: Find ways to manage stress and practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises or prenatal yoga. High levels of stress can negatively affect both you and your baby.
8. Prepare for labor: Use this time to learn about the signs and stages of labor, create a birth plan, and pack your hospital bag. Being prepared can help ease any anxieties you may have about the upcoming delivery.
9. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider: Stay in regular contact with your healthcare provider and attend all prenatal appointments. They will monitor your health and the progress of your pregnancy, ensuring a smooth delivery.

Remember, these final weeks of pregnancy are crucial for both you and your baby’s well-being. Taking care of yourself will help ensure a healthy and happy start to motherhood.

Preparing for Your Baby’s Arrival

As you approach the 36th week of your pregnancy, you are in the final days of the ninth month. This is an exciting time as your baby’s arrival is just around the corner.

You may be feeling a mix of emotions – anticipation, joy, and perhaps a touch of anxiety. It’s completely normal to feel this way as you prepare to welcome your little one into the world.

During these last few weeks, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready for your baby’s arrival:

1. Finalize your birth plan: Discuss your birth preferences with your healthcare provider and make any necessary revisions. Knowing your options and having a plan in place can help you feel more in control during labor and delivery.

2. Pack your hospital bag: Gather all the essentials you’ll need for your stay at the hospital, including comfortable clothing, toiletries, and any important documents. It’s a good idea to have this bag ready well in advance to avoid any last-minute scrambling.

3. Prepare your home: Create a welcoming and safe environment for your baby by babyproofing your home. Install safety gates, outlet covers, and anchor heavy furniture to prevent accidents. Set up the nursery and wash your baby’s clothes and bedding.

4. Stock up on necessities: As you’ll be busy taking care of your baby in the weeks following their arrival, make sure you have enough supplies on hand. Stock up on diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and other essentials.

5. Take care of yourself: In the midst of preparing for your baby’s arrival, don’t forget to prioritize self-care. Get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet, and stay active with gentle exercise. Take time for activities that help you relax and reduce stress.

These final weeks of pregnancy are a special time as you eagerly await your baby’s arrival. By taking these steps to prepare, you can feel more confident and ready to welcome your little one into your home.