Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 36
How big is my baby?
Fetal size: crown-rump 34 cm (13.5 inches), crown-toe 46cm (20.7 inches). Fetal weight: 2.75 kilos (6 pounds).
How is the baby lying?
From about 24 weeks it is possible for your health care professional to determine what position your baby is in. This may change quite a few times as the baby grows, until some time between 32-36 weeks, when the baby runs out of room. A baby usually lies in the cephalic position, that is head down and legs curled up towards your ribs. This is an ideal position, as a baby's head is larger than the rest of its body, so if the head fits through your pelvis then the rest of the body will have no trouble.
On less frequent occasions the baby can be in a breech position, where its head is under your ribs and the feet are pointing towards your pelvis. If the baby is in the breech position during birth, this can present health care professionals with a problem. Your health care professional will discuss your care if your baby is in a breech position. Another rare position is transverse, where the baby lies across your body. This is more common in women that have had at least one child and there is a more room for the baby to move. The baby usually turns before labour commences.
This is when the baby's head has entered the pelvis. It usually occurs at around week 36 for a first time mother, and later if you have already had a child. You may notice a change in your abdomen, in that the baby does not sit as high under your ribs, or that your belly is protruding a little further. This may happen gradually or quickly. Some women are unaware of any changes, but will be informed by their health care professional. It is a good indication that everything is going to plan and that your pelvis is a good size for the baby.
This is usually a written plan of the way that you would like your labour and birth to be managed. It can be developed in consultation with your partner and/or health care professional. It is recommended that at the very least, you discuss all aspects of your care prior to the onset of established labour, as once labour establishes you may not be able to think clearly or have the time to discuss important issues. A birth plan is used as a guide only. You can never be too sure of what is going to happen during childbirth and is important to remain flexible. Take a look at the Essential Baby Birth Plan information to get some ideas.
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