At week 36 your baby continues to pack on the weight, gaining about an ounce a day. She weighs about 6 pounds and measures more than 18 1/2 inches. She’s shedding most of the hair that covered her body together with the waxy substance that she was surrounded by to protect her from the amniotic fluid. Her nails are really long and she may even scratch herself in your uterus.
Now that your baby’s body is more independent the placenta is producing fewer hormones. Your baby has developed functioning kidneys, and her liver can now process some waste products. You still continue to provide antibodies for your baby via your bloodstream. These antibodies can protect your baby from measles, mumps and the common flu.
Because your baby is taking up so much room, you may have difficulty eating a normal size meal. Try eating smaller meals more often. A few weeks before labor, your baby is going to drop into your pelvis and you may experience less heartburn and a much easier time breathing. If your baby drops, there is a good chance that you may feel an increase in pressure in your lower abdomen. Because of this pressure it may be really uncomfortable to walk and you may have to go to the bathroom more often.
Your contractions may be more frequent now so make sure to find out from your doctor when he wants you to call him. If your pregnancy is not complicated and your water did not break yet, he’ll probably tell you to wait until you’re having contractions that last for about a minute each, that come every five minutes for an hour. If you realize any change in your baby’s activity be sure to call your doctor.
In response to the question, “How can I prepare for the hospital?” – Jennifer L. from Canada
Way before you’re due to go to the hospital you and your partner should try finding the most direct route to take. Look out for places to park but remember it may be for longer than 24 hours. Go into the hospital and find out where to go if you arrive after hours. Many hospitals offer tours at specific times. Taking a tour may relax and comfort you because you’ll be at ease when the big day comes.
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