Third Trimester

Your 36th Week

Get together with your partner and talk through your birth plans.
Don't leave crucial arrangements until the last minute. Have an action plan ready for when you go into labor-it might be sooner than you think. Babies can arrive ahead of schedule, so make sure you and your partner feel confident about managing. Figure out practicalities, such as arranging care for other children, or even the cat. Rope in your parents or friends to help if need be, pack your hospital bag, and relax.
1. The uterus has very little remaining space, so most babies lie curled up, with their limbs folded closely against their bodies.
2. At 36 weeks the average crown to heel length is 17.7 in (45 cm) and the average weight is 4.7 lb (2.1 kg).
3. The head may be starting to engage, dropping down lower in the pelvis toward the birth canal in readiness for the start of labor. Your doctor will be keeping a close check on the baby's position.
4. The lungs are structurally complete and the air sacs, or alveoli, are producing a lubricant called surfactant, which will help keep the sacs open when the baby takes her first lungful of air.
The uterus has very little remaining spaceAt 36 weeks the average crown to heel length is 17.7 inThe head may be starting to engageThe lungs are structurally complete

Pregnancy Day by Day

By Consultant Editor, Paula Amato, MD

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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