Pregnancy Week 36
By week 36 of pregnancy, the uterus has expanded to almost 6 inches from the belly button and will continue to grow until delivery. After delivery, however, it will take only about 6 weeks for the uterus to go back to its normal size. The baby at week 36 is enjoying putting on weight and has grown to about 6 pounds and probably around 20 inches. After this week the baby enters into full term, which means that it could arrive safely anytime from 37 to 41 weeks. Also during this week, and throughout the third trimester, the doctor should be keeping an eye out for a condition known as polyhydramnios. As the baby swallows and urinates amniotic fluid, a very delicate balance is maintained inside the womb. If this balance is shifted in either direction, there is a chance that this condition might arise. Although the bulk of pregnancy in the third trimester cannot be overlooked, swimming is a good way relieve some of the stress of the extra weight on the body, especially when the extra work the body is performing induces more body heat to be generated. About 2400 calories should be consumed from this point on to ensure healthy baby growth.
Although exactly how labor is induced is not certain, new research shows that the baby’s brain delivers the messages to begin when it has entirely developed. Other research shows that the lungs are what initiate labor when they have matured. Either way, a message is sent to the uterus to begin contracting and the body to release prostaglandins. Some signs signaling that labor is approaching include lightening, or when the baby drops into the pelvis, a bloody show, when the mucus plug has been released, or having the membrane holding in the amniotic fluid, rupture. Some women fear that their water will break in a very disquieting situation. However, only about a third of the time will the water actually break before the inception of labor. Because the baby could literally arrive any moment, it is important to keep the hospital bags packed and have the paperwork done by week 36 of pregnancy.
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