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Your Pregnancy - Week 36

You’ve got just 4 weeks to go.

And there’s every chance you could go into labour in the next few days, as more than 90% of babies are born two weeks either side of their expected due date. If you’re having twins or multiples you’re more likely to go into labour (or have a planned induction or C Section) early. More than half of twinnies arrive before 37 weeks and if you’re having triplets more than three-quarters come into the world before 35 weeks. 

You’re now in a pretty safe zone if your baby was born but only 8% of babies are born before 37 weeks, which is when you’re classed as full term. 

You might have finished work and this is the perfect time for some self-care. Some people called this the liminal phase of pregnancy - a time for you to transition between being a ‘you’ carrying a baby and becoming a mum.

Society doesn’t always give us the space we need to come to terms with big changes, we’re just supposed to plough on. But give yourself permission to spend a couple of weeks just thinking about yourself. Put your feet up, read a book, take long slow walks, listen to music - anything that makes you feel relaxed and good. 

Read: Your pregnancy: Week 35

What does my baby look like?

Your baby is now just over 47cm from their head to the heel of their foot and weighs a whopping 2.6kg (give or take a few grams). That’s just over 6lbs and your baby will now put on around half a pound a week (about 250g) for the last four weeks. 

Most babies are now ready for birth in the head down position, but your midwife checks on this as you get closer to labour. 

Baby loss

This is a sensitive topic so please only read on if you feel strong enough. 

Losing a baby is rare but does happen and it’s important we talk about it. 

The facts

  • If your baby is born dead after 24 weeks this is called a stillbirth. Before 24 weeks it’s called a miscarriage. 
  • For every 1,000 babies born, 4 are stillborn. 
  • Sometimes a stillbirth is caused by a problem with the placenta or the baby or mum is ill. Sometimes we don’t know why it happens. 
  • Some factors increase the chance of stillbirth including smoking, a high body mass index and previous stillbirths. 

How do I reduce my risk? 

There are lots of factors beyond your control but you can stop smoking, cut out alcohol and caffeine, maintain a healthy weight and avoid sleeping on your back after 28 weeks (if you wake up on your back just turn over). It’s also important to go to all your scans and other pregnancy appointments so your midwife can monitor you and your baby. 

As mums we can support each other during difficult times and we have a community of 70,000 ready to listen and help. You can also find baby loss advice at Tommy’s. 

Read: Your pregnancy - week 37 

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