The following information -- and much more -- can also be found in the free weekly email Lamaze Pregnancy Week by Week. Sign up now to receive helpful information for your stage of pregnancy. Subscribers will be given the opportunity to complete a Lamaze Parent Satisfaction Survey after their pregnancy and receive a Lamaze Toys coupon. We want to hear about your birth experience and the impact that childbirth education may have had so that we can continue to make sure parents have the information they need for the safest, healthiest birth possible.
You're in week 36 of your pregnancy!
What's New with Baby
At 36 weeks, your little one now measures more than 18 1/2 inches from head to heel and weighs almost 6 pounds – about the size of a spaghetti squash. Other changes are happening inside your uterus as well. As your placenta ages, it allows larger substances to pass to your baby. Therefore, in these last few weeks, your little one is accumulating beneficial things that she could not get from a younger placenta, such as your antibodies. These antibodies will help protect your little one from infections in his early months. If you plan on breastfeeding, this passage of antibodies through your breast milk will continue for as long as you breastfeed.
What's New with You
Has your “innie” turned into an “outie” in the last few weeks? The expansion of your uterus pushes other body parts up, down, or in the case of your belly button, out! Although not every woman will experience this transformation, a protruding belly button is one of the hallmarks of later pregnancy. As with most pregnancy changes, expect this one to fade away after birth. It may look a little different after birth, but for the vast majority of women, the navel will return to an “innie” position (unless you had an “outie” to begin with).
Healthy Tip: FaceYour Fears
Nearly every expecting parent has fears or worries at some point in pregnancy. Those fears can change throughout pregnancy. Knowing fear is common, however, does not make it go away.
Here are some ways to handle your concerns:
- Identify your fears. Write them down, journal about them or talk about them with your partner or a close friend. Think about where each fear is coming from and how it is manifesting itself. Is it a constant thought in the back of your mind? Is it something you dreamed about? Did it come from a bad birth story someone told you, or something you saw on TV?
- Identify questions to ask. What questions does the fear bring up? If you fear labor pain, you may ask, “What affects labor pain? What are ways to cope with it?”
- Educate yourself. Becoming more knowledgeable about your fears can bring relief. Read evidence-based resources about pregnancy and childbirth. Ask your provider, doula or childbirth educator questions related to your fears. Get answers.
- Accept your fears. Even armed with knowledge, you still may have fears. Recognize their value and the strength they bring you.
Find time to relax. Stress can increase your fears—and decrease your ability to cope with them. Have some quiet time each day, take a walk, pray, meditate or enjoy a soak in a warm tub.
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