At 36 weeks pregnant, you're officially nine months along, and hopefully, that hospital bag is packed! At this point, your baby is already head-down. But if not, your doctor may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version in which pressure is applied to your abdomen to try to manipulate your baby into a head-down position. For some of you, the baby may have dropped, adding an additional pressure in your lower abdomen. That might increase visits to the loo and if too low, you might feel like you are carrying a cannon ball between your legs!
तस्मिन्नेकदिवसातिक्रान्तेऽपि नवमं मासमुपादाय प्रसवकालमित्याहुरादशमान्मासात। एतवान प्रसवकालः, वैकारिकमतः परं कुक्षाववस्थानं गर्भस्य ॥ (चरक शारीरस्थान)
Ayurveda says that the period between the 1st day of 9th month to the end of the 10th month is when labour can occur naturally. Beyond this, the intrauterine stay of the foetus is abnormal.
Your Baby's Development
If you have been playing the baby’s favourite music for a few months now, this is the week when he hears it best. Memories of the song have formed and he will recall it post birth.
By 36 weeks, the baby's eyelids have smooth margins and are almost fully formed. The face is fully rounded, in part because his powerful sucking muscles are now developed and ready to get to work. Although your baby's bones are hardening, his skull remains soft and flexible for his birth. Also , they are not fused together yet so the head can easily maneuver through the birth canal.
Baby may drop
If this is your first birth, your baby may drop lower into your pelvis this week in what is called “lightening” or “dropping.” First-time moms can experience this drop 2 to 4 weeks before childbirth. The second time around, however, it might be later and not until labour begins. By 36 weeks, up to 93% of babies turn down, and after 37 weeks, 97% of babies are in the head-down position for birth.
Bones and blood
Like her skull, most of her bones and cartilage are quite soft as well, allowing for an easier journey during delivery. But don't worry — they'll harden over the first few years of her life. Most of your baby's systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms, and just about ready for life on the outside. Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and your baby's immune system has developed enough to protect your little one from infections outside the womb.
Shedding and secretions
Your baby's shedding most of his downy covering of hair (lanugo), as well as the waxy substance (vernix caseosa) that protected his skin during his long amniotic bath. He swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture called meconium that will form the contents of his first bowel movements.
Your Pregnancy Symptoms
It’s still early, but do watch for signs of labour. Contractions may feel like a tightening or cramping in your uterus, similar to menstrual cramps. Some women feel them in their back, as well. Your stomach will feel hard to the touch during a contraction. Here is a quick guide on how to distinguish between false and real contractions.
The hormones that make your joints flexible are also responsible for your pelvic pain. That is made worse by the pressure from your baby's head digging deeper and deeper into your pelvis and your heavier uterus weighing you down. Try yoga on the iMumz App to give relief to your pelvis.
You might be experiencing gas in the abdomen, and a feeling of bloatedness. Try to eat smaller meals, which will help the heartburn, and try not to rush while eating, which will only cause you to swallow more air.
Vaginal discharge streaked with blood
The discharge from your vagina may be increasing and getting thinner. Don’t be shocked if you notice the mucous is pinkish, red or brownish after a vaginal examination. That just means that your cervix, which is sensitive now and may be starting to dilate, has been bruised.
For a few months now, the belly has been stretching and feeling itchy. Apply coconut oil for relief. Wearing loose clothes may help prevent itching, as your clothes are less likely to rub against your skin and cause irritation.
You may also want to avoid synthetic materials and opt for natural ones, such as cotton, instead. These are "breathable" and allow the air to circulate close to your skin. You may find having a cool bath helpful. Some women find that products with strong perfumes can irritate their skin, so you could try using unperfumed lotion or soap.
Edema (swelling in feet and ankles)
Edema (pregnancy swelling) may be getting more noticeable now as your body retains more fluids. Avoid standing for long periods. prop up your feet when sitting and avoid crossing your legs, stretch often when sitting for long periods and lie on your left side when sleeping. Drink lots of water to flush out Sodium accumulation.
A 2015 study in the journal Obstetric Medicine concluded that meditation was useful to curb insomnia in pregnancy. The study said that meditation was a safe way of managing insomnia and that yoga also helped. Try Yog Nidra on the iMumz App.
iMumz Wellness Tip
- Walking- walking protects the blood from pooling down in the lower limbs as the tendency of pooling increases due to the heavyweight and the gravity. Walking regulates the circulation in the lower body.
- Saindhav lavan (sendha namak) usage - replacing regular salt with the rock salt. Limiting sodium (or salt) intake helps reduce swelling . Regular salt makes your body hold on to extra water.
- Elevation - Sitting with your feet elevated for a little while, especially at the end of the day can help drain the fluid that’s been collecting in your legs over the course of the day.
- Massage- A warm oil massage (use sesame oil) with gentle pressure helps to circulate the body fluids and reduce edema.
Your Pregnancy check-ups
Be Prepared to Discuss
As you enter the final weeks of your pregnancy, your doctor will want to make sure that you're attuned to your body. Be prepared to discuss:
Signs of preterm labor. Your doctor will ask if you have experienced any signs of preterm labor, such as cramping, mild contractions, or a change in your vaginal discharge. Your urinary habits. Do you leak a little urine when you cough or sneeze? Do you have the urge to go frequently because your baby is pressing on your bladder? Your doctor may be able to offer suggestions to ease your discomfort.
You will be seen every week from 36 weeks until delivery. Beginning at 36 weeks, we will check your cervix for signs of impending labor.
If not done already, at one of your appointments between this week and 38 weeks, you will have a screening test for Group B strep (also known as GBS or beta strep).
For this test, your provider will take a sample of the bacteria in your vagina and rectum with a swab. The swab will be sent to a lab to be cultured and checked for Group B strep It is commonly found in both women and men, but not everyone has it. About 25% of expecting mothers (1 in every 4) carry it. In most healthy adults, it doesn't cause any symptoms and is not harmful. However, it can cause serious infection or even death in newborns.
What should you eat in this week of pregnancy?
This week, let’s focus on Choline. Choline helps your baby’s brain and spinal cord form. How much choline do pregnant women need? Your need for choline increases somewhat during pregnancy as your baby draws on your supply. Pregnant women: 450 milligrams (mg) per day Breastfeeding women: 550 mg per day Nonpregnant women ages 14 to 18: 400 mg per day
Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry
Not a very popular veggie, this has its benefits when it comes to Choline. Add some Broccoli, and voila, you have a great Choline-packed dish!
4 ounces Brussels sprouts, boiled: 32 mg
4 ounces broccoli, chopped, parboiled, and drained: 31 mg
2 ounces dry-roasted peanuts: 24 mg
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Tomato puree: half cup
8 ounces long-grain brown rice, cooked: 19 mg
Chop and parboil the brussel sprouts and broccoli and get ready!
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the quartered brussel sprouts and broccoli florets, sprinkle some salt and stir fry till tender. This will take about 5 minutes. Once done, turn off the heat and transfer the brussel sprouts to another bowl.
In the same wok, add a teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and allow them to crackle. Add the ginger, garlic, onions, bell pepper and saute until the onions are translucent and cooked through. Add the tomato puree, along with the bay leaf and the remaining powders for the masala and saute them for a couple of minutes until the tomato puree comes to a bubble.
At this stage add the stir-fried brussel sprouts and broccoli and toss them in the masala for a couple of minutes until it gets coated well in the masala. Sprinkle peanuts on top.
Have with rice!