36 Weeks Pregnant: Week-by-Week Guide
Your Pregnancy at 36 Weeks: What's Happening in There

36 Weeks Pregnant: Week-by-Week Guide

Congratulations! You’re 36 weeks pregnant and have reached the next milestone in your pregnancy journey—your ninth month! So much is going on as you count down the weeks to your baby’s arrival. Check out this guide to find out what’s in store for your body and your baby at 36 weeks.

What trimester is 36 weeks? Third trimester
How many weeks of pregnancy are left? Four
How many months is 36 weeks pregnant? You’re in your ninth month.

With week 35 of your pregnancy complete, you’re on week 36. Enjoy it, as week 37 is on the horizon!
One of the most exciting things about pregnancy is how many changes you’ll experience with your little one over the span
of just seven days! Here are some tips and tricks to keep on top of all that’s happening.

Your baby at 36 weeks pregnant:

What’s happening in there

  • Your baby is the size of a papaya.

  • You’re in the ninth month of pregnancy and the third trimester.

  • The countdown continues: You’ve got four weeks to go!

What happens during the 36th week of pregnancy?

  • Getting cheeky: Your baby’s facial muscles are maturing. They have been busy practicing sucking skills, getting ready for breast or bottle. The cheek muscles have developed, and they’re now giving your little’s face a nice round look.

  • Ready for action: At 36 weeks pregnant, your baby’s circulatory and immune systems are as developed as they’ll be when they’re born. One exception is the digestive system. Because your baby is still taking in nutrients through the umbilical cord, digestion won’t be fully functional until after birth, and even then, it takes months to mature.

36 weeks pregnant: baby movement

At 36 weeks, your baby’s amniotic sac home is getting pretty crowded. With limited room, your growing peanut isn’t flipping and floating around like they used to, but they'll still be kicking, wiggling, jabbing, and poking. Doctors may recommend that you count your baby’s kicks to keep track of their movement and contact your doctor if something seems out of the ordinary for your little one.

What should I be feeling at 36 weeks pregnant?

  • Sometime during the next few weeks, you may lose the mucus plug, which has been protecting your baby from the world outside. If you do, you’ll notice a clear or yellowish discharge. It doesn’t necessarily mean labor will start soon. The big day could still be weeks away. Call your doctor immediately if the discharge soaks a pad in less than an hour or is bright red; otherwise, simply share the update with your doctor at your next checkup.

  • You may also notice mucus tinged with blood. This discharge has earned the nickname “bloody show.” While both the mucus plug and the bloody show are similar, the bloody show signals that labor is near—possibly within the next day or two.

How big is your baby at 36 weeks pregnant? 

35 Weeks Pregnant
Baby Weight 6 lbs
Baby Length 20 inches from head to toe
Baby Size Comparable to a papaya

Week 36 pregnancy symptoms 

During week 36 of pregnancy, your body is changing quickly. As your baby grows, you will too, and there are certain pregnancy symptoms you may experience at this time.

6 common week 36 pregnancy symptoms

  1. You may be breathing easier. Baby has descended low into your pelvis, so there’s less pressure on the lungs and stomach. The drawback? More pressure on your bladder, and subsequently, the need to pee frequently. 
  2. You may experience sharp, shooting pains in the pelvis, vagina, or rectum. This symptom, known as lightning crotch (the medical term is symphysis pubis dysfunction), may be caused by the baby’s movement, pressure from the baby on pelvic nerves, or stretching of your ligaments supporting your belly. Staying active, wearing a belly support belt, and changing positions may provide some relief. 
  3. You may be noticing an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. These false alarms are nature’s way of getting you ready for the real deal.  
  4. Are your rings or shoes tight? It’s probably due to edema caused by water retention. Swelling in the hands, legs, feet, and ankles is common during pregnancy. But hang in there—you’ve got only weeks to go and it’ll go away after giving birth. If you experience severe swelling, swelling in your face, and rapid weight gain, call your doctor as it could be a sign of preeclampsia.
  5. Insomnia is kind of a given at this point in your pregnancy, whether due to aches and pains, your belly size, a stuffy nose, or feeling overheated. Try some sleep strategies for getting the rest you and your baby need.
  6. While you may be tossing and turning at night, by day you may suddenly get the urge to clean, fix up the baby’s room, and reorganize and redecorate your entire home. This nesting instinct may seem like an old wives’ tale, but it's a common phenomenon. And while you're channeling your favorite HGTV start, be extra careful and avoid lifting heavy objects, standing on ladders, and using toxic chemicals. 

Mom tip at 36 weeks pregnant

Did you know...?

Your baby’s position at 36 weeks will help you breathe easier. Right now, your baby is getting into position for entry into the world. To do this, they most likely drop head-first into your pelvic area. When this step—called lightening—takes place, your lungs (and stomach!) will have a bit more room to expand. Walking may be tougher, though, so be prepared to waddle at 36 weeks pregnant. If your baby’s head isn’t down, they’re considered breached, and your doctor might talk to you about different options for labor and delivery.

Baby brain waves

Your baby’s brain is developing.

Though your baby at 36 weeks has a well-developed brain, the bones surrounding it are still soft, allowing for further growth. Those bones can also move around and overlap to make it easier for your baby to travel down the birth canal. Don’t be surprised if your little one comes out with a pointy or misshapen head; it’s quite common, and it’s not going to hurt their brainpower. Usually, the baby’s skull will take on a more traditional shape soon after birth.

Pregnancy health

Real issues, real solutions

The issue: With just a few weeks left until your little one’s arrival, you may still be considering whether you want to breastfeed or feed your baby formula—or a bit of both.

The solution: Explore your options and learn more about formula feeding and breastfeeding. More info you might find helpful:

Join Enfamil Family Beginnings

You're 36 weeks pregnant and doing great. You’ll be seeing your sweet baby face-to-face before you know it. Start preparing for your new arrival with Enfamil Family Beginnings. It’s the perfect resource for new and expecting moms. Save on Enfamil products, track your bump and baby’s growth, and get helpful articles each week relevant to your journey. Join now for up to $400 in free gifts.