36 Weeks Pregnant: Physical Symptoms, Baby Development, and Preparation Checklist

Fact Checked Medically reviewed by Tanja Premru-Sršen


Welcome to thirty-six weeks pregnant! Believe it or not, being 36 weeks pregnant means that you have officially entered month nine.

Many refer to pregnancy as a nine-month-long ordeal, but the reality is that pregnancy often lasts about ten months, sometimes even longer! The due date is still a few weeks away.

Keep reading to learn more about what awaits during week thirty-six of your pregnancy, what your body is going through, what your baby is going through, and what you need to prepare.

Physical Symptoms During Week Thirty-Six of Pregnancy

At such a late stage of your pregnancy, your body is preparing for the baby’s arrival, which means that the symptoms will remain similar from week to week.

Around the week thirty-six of your pregnancy, some of the main pregnancy symptoms you can expect are going to include:


At thirty-six weeks pregnant, you might start noticing that your belly is looking a bit different, which is probably worrying you, especially if this is your first pregnancy.

No need to worry, though; you are probably experiencing lightning, which happens when the baby shifts position and when the baby drops down into the pelvis area.

Once your baby turns and settles down into the pelvis, you will find it easier to catch your breath, and you will likely feel lighter and more energetic.

Just because your baby has dropped does not mean that you will be going into labor immediately; no worries, you do not have to visit your hospital or birthing center right away!

Pelvic and Vaginal Pressure

Due to fetal development, your baby is getting bigger and bigger by the day, which is creating more pressure, aches, pains, and heaviness in your pelvic area, especially after the baby drops and during Braxton Hicks contractions.

Some pregnant women have described this feeling as similar to squeezing a bowling ball with their thighs.

Improved breathing

As the baby’s position changes and then the baby subsequently descends into your pelvis, you might feel like talking, walking, and breathing are much easier than it has been for the last few months!

What Happens to The Baby During Week Thirty- Six of Pregnancy?

At 36 weeks, the baby is almost 18.5 inches long, and it weighs approximately 6 pounds, which is about the size of a cantaloupe!

At thirty-six weeks of baby development, up to 93% of babies are in the head-down position, and after 37 weeks, 97% of babies will manage to turn on their own. No worries if your baby is an outlier, as your healthcare provider can turn the baby manually.

At the thirty-sixth week of your baby’s development, the baby’s sleep-wake cycle is becoming more developed, and your baby is enjoying more organized active and sleeping time periods during the day.

At this point of the baby’s development, the baby’s eyelids are almost fully formed, and they have smooth margins. In the last few weeks, the baby will complete the finishing stages of development.

Pregnancy Checklist During Week Thirty-Six

There are certain tasks you need to fulfill to keep up with the journey and make sure you are staying on top of your and your baby’s needs before the baby arrives, as your due date is slowly approaching.

The list of things you need to complete during your thirty-sixth pregnancy week before the baby arrives will include:

Skip the spiciness

You probably have some cravings for something spicy and greasy, but avoiding that urge will be a good thing for your digestive system during this pregnancy week, and third trimester in general.

Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms at this stage of late pregnancy, and spicy food can only make it worse than it already is.

While you are already there, try avoiding foods rich in citrus or vinegar, as well as fried foods. Bland foods are kind of boring, that is true, but at least you do not have to pay with discomfort later.

Eat earlier

During the third trimester, you should avoid waiting for too long to enjoy your dinner, and do your best to eat your last meal of the day as early as you can, at least a few hours before bed.

Enjoying a big meal close to sleeping time can trigger your heartburn, but it can also cause some trouble sleeping, which you already have in abundance, so stick to smaller meals and eat earlier.

Try a baby bump sling

You might be feeling some extra pressure and pain in your pelvis area, and you might be searching for a way to relieve that pressure.

If that is the case, investing in a sling or band that offers support might be worth it for you since there are a few more weeks to go before the baby arrives.

Wearing a sling is going to feel amazing, but make sure to avoid tightening it too much and wearing it for too long since it can restrict blood flow.

What To Avoid or Begin to Avoid?

To protect you and the baby during the third trimester, avoiding potentially dangerous and harmful things and activities is essential.

During your thirty-sixth pregnancy week, make sure to stay away from:

  • Smoking, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and being exposed to toxic substances.
  • Sleeping on your tummy.
  • Performing demanding workouts and carrying heavyweight.
  • Wearing strappy and tight shoes and high heels.
  • Touching kitty litter or cat feces.
  • Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Getting tattooed as it poses a risk of infection.
  • Eating junk food, deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, eggs, cheeses from unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • Having close contact with anyone with rubella, chickenpox, or the Zika virus.