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You are 36 weeks pregnant

Mar 18, 2010 at 5:32 PM Chime in now

What's New This Week?

13½ inches
Height of your baby

6 pounds
Weight of your baby

Size of your baby

Your Body
At this point, you may be wishing you could fast-forward through the next four or five weeks and be done already. Between your megabelly and pregnancy issues like edema (swelling) and trouble sleeping, life may not be the most comfortable. Your uterus is now probably right up under your ribcage and you may feel like you can’t possibly get any bigger. Though this week you may still gain a pound, the good news: weight gain plateaus or slows for many women in the final weeks. At your regular exam, your doctor will check the baby’s position and whether her head, bottom or legs are presenting first. Starting next week, she may do a pelvic exam to see if your baby has dropped lower into your pelvis, and if your cervix has begun to soften and thin (efface) and dilate at all—and if your baby has dipped lower down into your pelvis yet. But don’t get discouraged if nothing seems to be happening down there. It’s not uncommon for a woman whose cervix is “closed” one day to go into labor and give birth the next. Likewise, a mom-to-be who is partially effaced and several centimeters dilated, with a baby whose head is engaged, may go to full term despite these signs of readiness. You just never know!

Your Baby
Since your baby is still rapidly putting on weight, you may gain about a pound this week, but soon, your weight is likely to stabilize and gain may slow or even stop. Her once-wrinkly skin has now been plumped up by a healthy layer of fat, and her face has rounded out as well (oh, those chubby little cheeks!). By this week she has also developed strong sucking muscles—which will enable her to down her first meal shortly after birth. It’s pretty amazing how the sucking reflex in babies is instinctive, even tough it can take a few tries (or weeks) before both mom and baby figure out just how to do it.

Your Life Right Now
Now’s the time to pick a pediatrician. Generally, once the baby is born, her doc will come to the hospital to check on her—and you’ll need to bring her in for her first office follow-up visit within the first week. Don’t know where to begin to choose a pediatrician? Try asking your Ob or other moms you trust for recommendations. If you’re taking a childbirth or baby-care class, the instructor can also be a great resource for you. Jot down a list of questions to ask the pediatrician; many welcome meeting with you before the baby is born (and if they don’t–take that as a sign). Don’t feel bad if you do decide to change doctors after the baby is born; it happens all the time and the pediatrician won’t be offended—even if your new baby doc is in the same practice.

Moms Like Me/ I wish I had known
"To help our puppies adjust to the baby, our vet told us to take a brand new blanket (just a small one) to the hospital. We wrapped baby Ian up in it for a few hours and then I sent it home with my hubby. He left the blanket for the pups to check out and smell. When we finally brought Ian home, we made sure they could smell his car seat before we brought him to them. We did put both of them on leashes, and I held Ian while standing. We let them smell his feet, and then I gradually sat down with him so they could get a little closer. They did great." -ians-mom



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