Weeks 33 to 36

If you’re busy washing onesies and cleaning the nursery, you’re probably “nesting.” You may be feeling more energetic, but make sure you’re also getting plenty of rest.

About your baby

Illustration of baby's development weeks 33 to 36Your baby is busy preparing for life outside the womb by storing iron in his or her liver. Things have become crowded inside your uterus and there’s not as much room for your baby to move around.

Your baby’s skin is now pink and smooth and the arms and legs look chubby. Bones in his or her head are firm but flexible enough to pass through the birth canal without damage. The vermix caseosa, a white creamy substance that protects the skin, is disappearing. The lanugo is almost completely gone except for some soft, fine hairs on your baby’s back and shoulders.

During this final month, your baby’s lungs are almost fully developed. By week 36, your baby weighs about 5 to 7 pounds and measures around 18 to 20 inches from head to heels.

About you

This month you’ll have a test for Group B streptococcus (GBS). This bacteria is usually harmless in adults, but if you pass it on to your baby during birth it can cause serious complications.

What’s normal:

  • You’re likely making frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • Leg cramps, breathlessness, contractions, the frequent need to urinate, and an active baby may all interfere with your sleep. If you’re having trouble finding a comfortable position, get tips on how to sleep better during pregnancy.
  • Feel aching or numbness in your fingers, wrists, or hands? You may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Tips for staying healthy

  • Prevent or ease leg cramps by elevating your legs or having a massage.
  • Continue walking for exercise.
  • Eat, even if you’re not especially hungry.

Your to-do list

  • Discuss labor and delivery options, including pain management, with your doctor or midwife and write your birth plan.
  • Try to tie up loose ends at work or home.
  • Make a note in your calendar to add your newborn to your health plan within 31 days of birth.
  • Practice the breathing and relaxation techniques you learned in your childbirth preparation classes.
  • Know the signs of labor.
  • Keep track of your baby’s movements.
  • Start thinking about names for your baby. See how popular your favorite names are on the Social Security Administration website.


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