Your growing baby now measures up to 47.5cm from crown to heel and weighs approximately 2.7kg. Your baby should be consistently moving 10 times a day.
Ultrasound image of the femur of a fetus at 36 weeks gestation.
Babies born at 36 weeks tend to be smaller that full-term babies but are generally healthy and require only minimal medical support or intervention.
By the end of this week, the fetus is classed as being full-term, and labour usually begins at some point between 37 and 42 weeks. By week 36 of pregnancy fetal weight is approximately 2.7kg and fetal length is around 47.5cm from crown to heel. Weight gain is continuing steadily at a rate of around 25g per day Although bones and cartilage have been hardening over the past few weeks, they will remain relatively soft and pliable, allowing greater flexibility and ease of passage during the birthing process. All major organs and systems, such as the circulatory system are now fully developed and functional and the digestive and intestinal systems are fully matured and will start to function during the first feed after birth.
You may notice that the position of your bump is altering and appears lower. This could be a sign that the baby is engaged, ready for birth. Engagement means that the baby has turned head-down, with its head pressing against your cervix. Your midwife will be able to confirm the position of your baby by feeling your stomach and should be able to tell you if the baby is engaged. If your baby is engaged, you may find it easier to breathe and have less digestive discomfort as more of the baby is now housed in your pelvic area and your lungs and stomach now have more room to move and function normally. However, you may also find that walking is somewhat more uncomfortable due to the added pressure in your pelvic area.
The increased pressure in you pelvis and lower abdomen can also lead to constipation – or worse constipation if you are already suffering from it. Eating several smaller ‘mini meals’ can help, as it will place lower demands on your digestive system. It can also help to alleviate digestive discomfort such as heartburn and trapped wind. Ensuring that you drink plenty of fluids can also help to manage constipation. Ensuring that you keep up your fluid intake can also help to lessen any swelling that you may be experiencing in your legs, ankles and feet by helping to flush out any excess sodium and other waste products from your system.
Many women find that, by this point in their pregnancy, their breasts have started to leak a little colostrum. Colostrum is the rich, first breast milk that will help to boost your baby’s immune system. Production of colostrum before your baby is born is normal for many women and is part of your body’s preparations for looking after your baby after birth.
You may also be experiencing Braxton Hicks or ‘practice’ contractions. Although they are common during the third trimester, many women are concerned that they are actually the beginning of labour. Braxton Hicks differ from actual contractions because they are not usually painful and they do not increase in length and intensity over time. ‘Real’ contractions, as opposed to Braxton Hicks, will become increasingly strong and more painful and will occur more frequently (become closer together) over time.
Movement of the baby remains very important. There should be ten movements a day which are changing from kicking to rolling. Headache, swelling, disturbances of vision and swelling of the ankles and face remain as possible signs of pre-eclampsia. Itching of the hands and feet suggests obstetric cholestasis. Contractions of the tummy may become more frequent and painful. This may be associated with change in vaginal discharge. There may be pressure in the pelvis when upright and walking.
Any of the above symptoms should prompt a review by the midwife or doctor. Serious concern might prompt admission to hospital for observation.
An additional scan, midwife or consultant opinion can be accessed in a private clinic. There is no need for a referral letter. This can help you with decisions about delivery. You can have more time to discuss. In a private clinic you can have a swab to screen for Group B Streptococcus.
You can have a private, one to one birth preparation session with an experienced midwife, including relaxation techniques for labour.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
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