36 Weeks Pregnant

Reviewed by
Dr. Waleed Abdelghani MD

You’ve finally made it to the thirty-sixth week of your pregnancy, and now you are considered late preterm, nine months exactly from conception  (full term is not until 37 weeks). Congratulations! Your baby will be born any time now, as most births take place between weeks  37-40. Although this is an exciting time, it can also be a time of anxiety. You should be seeing your doctor on a weekly basis to ensure that everything is moving along just fine. During this time all women should undergo screening for Group B Streptococcus. This bacteria is commonly found in healthy women, but if passed to the baby during birth, it can cause serious lung infections. By undergoing screening between the thirty-fifth – thirty-seventh weeks, you can find out whether you carry this type of bacteria and be treated with antibiotics during labor to prevent these infections in the baby.

Symptoms and Body Changes at 36 Weeks

Most women feel like they are “done being pregnant” by the thirty-sixth week, but don’t rush it. According to the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians & Gyencologists) recent research shows that scheduling births even a few weeks too early (before 39 to 40 weeks), may result in babies having feeding, breathing, and learning problems. They are also more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You are not full term until 37 weeks, and during this late stage you should be gaining minimal weight.

You are probably still suffering from fatigue, constipation, insomnia, pregnancy pains, restlessness, hemorrhoids, and everything else. Pressure in your lower abdominal area is referred to as lightening or engagement. Some women find that walking is incredibly difficult, while others have adapted to their pregnant bodies. Some women experience urinary tract infections, or UTIs, at this point. These are caused by constant trips to the restroom and hemorrhoids. There are creams to help with the hemorrhoids, but there’s nothing that can be done to reduce the frequency of urination. You may be feeling your baby resting on your pelvic bones. This is normal as he or she awaits labor and childbirth. You may also experience higher blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Baby’s Development

At the thirty-sixth week, your baby has pretty much finished growing, although he or she will continue to build fat under the skin, causing the arms, legs, knees, cheeks, and face to plump more and more. He or she is one week away from being considered full term, at 19 inches in length and weighing around six pounds.


Pregnancy Week 36 Tips

If you haven’t done so yet, pack a hospital bag in preparation for labor. If you have other children, talk to them about what’s happening and the arrival of their sibling. Now would also be a great time to make arrangements for childcare. You, as an expectant mom, don’t need a babysitter for yourself, but having someone around like a relative, parent, friend, or even your partner as often as possible can help reduce your anxiety. Daily walks, even if they are difficult, can help relieve the aches and pains you are still experiencing. Talk with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have as you continue to wait for your water to break. Next is pregnancy at 37 weeks.

[Page updated April 2014]