What should I be concerned about?
By week 36 of pregnancy baby development, it is important to always be mindful of possible labor signs, like regular contractions. This is because some babies may come to term earlier than expected.
Contractions can feel like your uterus is tightening or cramping up. Some describe the sensation to be similar to menstrual cramps. During a contraction, your stomach will feel hard when you touch it. Contractions come in waves. They will intensify, climax, and then subside. As the gap between each contraction shortens, the peaks will come sooner and last longer. It is important to track your contractions as this can help your doctor when delivering the baby.
An occasional tightening of the uterus or stomach may lead most mothers to think that they are experiencing labor. This may be “Braxton Hicks” or false labor contractions. Mild and irregular in nature, these contractions are usually your body’s way of practicing for the real thing. These contractions usually stop when you switch positions, drink fluids, or have a warm bath. If you don’t know if you are experiencing Braxton Hicks or real labor symptoms, consult with your doctor.
Besides contractions, you will likely experience symptoms that have been constant throughout your third trimester. Here are some of the symptoms that you could be experiencing:
- Leaky breasts (colostrum or breast milk)
- Frequent urination
- Swelling of ankles, fingers, or face
- Trouble sleeping
Your doctor may check-up on your baby if it is ready for delivery. Most babies will turn by the 36th week of pregnancy, but not all do. Some babies choose to turn later than the 36th week.