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Week 36
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 34 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Check out this week:
Easy Labor Authors Are Here to Answer Your Questions
Dr. William Camann and Kathryn Alexander, authors of Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth are here to discuss how you can make confident, informed choices regarding pain relief preferences. [Click Here]
Healthy Pregnancy Over 35 Author Interview
Laura Goetzl, MD, MPH, author of Health Pregnancy Over 35, is visiting to discuss the unique concerns of women over the age of 35. [Click Here]

Fetal Development:

9th monthWith four weeks to go, our baby is almost ready. S/he could drop into the birth canal at any time now. This week, the fat is dimpling on the elbows and knees as well as forming creases in the neck and wrists. The baby's gums are very rigid.

Multiples: Twins may be around 5 pounds now. The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (NOMOTC) reports that the average birth weight of a twin is 5 pounds, 5 ounces and arrives between the 36th and 37th week.

Maternal Changes:
About a month to go ~ you'll probably be visiting your care provider once a week at this point. The average weight gain now is between 25 and 30 pounds. You should be consuming about 2400 calories per day. Make them count! Your body is working hard now and needs quality fuel.

If you haven't been tested for Group B Strep, ask your caregiver about it. It's also a good time to take a tour of the hospital/birth facilities if you haven't yet.

Multiples: You're probably really ready to get "this over with" as you become increasingly uncomfortable. Discuss your feelings with your doctor. Talk to your local Twins club for support.

Signs of Labor:
Here are some of the signs that labor is approaching. You may not experience all of these symptoms or be aware of them. Visit our Signs of Labor page for more detailed information . . .
  • Lightening ~ aka the baby dropped
  • Bloody Show ~ aka the mucous plug
  • Rupture of Membranes ~ aka your "water broke"
  • The Nesting Urge ~ aka you want to clean everything in sight
  • Effacement ~ aka ripening of the cervix
  • Dilatation ~ aka opening of the cervix
  • Diarrhea ~ aka you know this one
  • Contractions ~ aka OUCH those labor pains!

Ideas for Dad:
It's a bit beyond the scope of this guide to create a parenting "how-to" for newborns. However Dad, there are a few basics you need to know.
  • Yes, you WILL be nervous about picking up a human being that is slightly larger than a football knowing that it is YOUR child.
  • You will NOT be asphyxiated when you change Baby's poopy diaper.
  • Baby's vomit is not toxic waste, and you will NOT die of poisoning when Baby spits up an entire feeding on your new shirt.
Seriously, it is nerve-wracking to hold a squirming baby, especially when their little necks are so floppy. The more you hold and handle your baby, the more comfortable you'll become. You should be able to do whatever Mom does for the baby, except of course, breastfeed. You'll develop a deeper bond with Baby and s/he with you by being involved.

Inspirational Thoughts:
A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Reading:

Easing Labor Pain: The Complete Guide to a More Comfortable and Rewarding Birth by Adrienne B. Lieberman, published by Harvard Common Press, 1992

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