Week 36 of Pregnancy

Your baby is now about 13 and a half inches long from crown to bottom and almost 21 inches from head to toe. She weighs about 6 pounds. She won’t get much longer between week 36 and the big day, but she’s still greedily adding on fat and gaining weight.

The calcium in your diet is giving her strong bones everywhere in her body except for her head. Her skull is still relatively soft and pliable, making it easier for her to squeeze through the birth canal. If you deliver vaginally, she might be born with a slightly pointy or otherwise misshapen head. But don’t worry — her head will be beautifully round again within a few days.

Even though you’re still weeks away from delivery, your baby may already be on the move. Babies at this stage often “drop” into the top of the birth canal. This is called engagement, or lightening. You might just call it a relief, although you could be trading pressure on your stomach for pressure on your pubic bone. Because your baby is no longer pressing against your stomach and intestines, you might have a newfound appetite. And if you’ve been suffering heartburn, it should start to fade.


Campbell, Stuart, MD. Watch Me Grow. St. Martins Griffin.

Curtis, Glade, MD. Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 5th edition. Da Capo Press.

American Academy of Family Physicians. Pregnancy Calendar. http://kidshealth.org/

Gibson, Kathleen, PhD. University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Overview of Development: Late Embryonic and Fetal Development.

Shanahan, Kelly. Your Over-35 Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide. Prima Publishing.

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