Help my growing baby develop in the 36th week of pregnancy

Your growing baby is using his or her facial muscles in week 36 to practice eating. Continue to give you and your growing baby proper nutrition and stimulation.

What’s happening in the 36th week of pregnancy?

By this week, your growing baby's lungs are fully formed, ready to function outside the womb.i

Also, as the facial muscles develop, your growing baby is practicing his or her sucking skillsi. Your growing baby’s brain is well developed, but the bones around it are still soft to allow for further brain growth.

Your growing baby now 5.75 pounds (2.6 kilograms), and measures about 18.6 inches (47 centimeters) from head to toe.ii

What can I expect in the 36th week of pregnancy?

You may notice that you are secreting globs of mucus. Your body is expelling the mucus plug, which covers the opening of your uterus to protect your growing baby from bacteria outsidei. Here’s what you can do to maintain a healthy pregnancy:

  • Take note of the discharge. If it is bright red, call your doctor immediately as it may be a sign of preterm labor.iv
  • Share this update with your doctor. The removal of the mucus plug is your body’s way of readying itself for delivery.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

Maintaining a healthy diet is still important so you can support your growing baby’s well-rounded development. Continue to consume around 200 milligrams of DHA in these last few weeks of pregnancy to give that final support to your growing baby’s mental & physical developmentv. As a building block of your growing baby’s brain, DHA accumulates most rapidly in his/her brain during the last trimester of your pregnancy until the early years of

Check with your doctor that your growing baby is indeed in a head-down position by now. If he or she isn’t, and doesn’t turn over the next couple of weeks, discuss with your doctor the next steps. 

You must be very excited, or even a bit anxious at this stage. Try not to let any anxiety you might be feeling get the better of you as too much stress can affect your growing baby negativelyvii and can interfere in the bonding process. 

Meditation is a good way of easing your worries, as is talking to someone you trust. You could also try penning down any thoughts you might be feeling in a diary or even draw your growing baby. Cherish these last few weeks of pregnancy because surprisingly, you may miss the experience of being pregnant. 

Your growing baby’s development in week 37



i.    You and your baby at 33-36 weeks pregnant. Retrieved 29 May 2017 from,      
ii    Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. (2016). Your Pregnancy Week by Week (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.
iii   Losing your mucous plug. (2015, November 19). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from      
iv   Berghella, V. (2010). Preterm Birth: Prevention and Management. John Wiley & Sons.  
v   Coletta, Jaclyn M, Bell, Stacey J., & Roman, Ashley S. (2010). Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy. Rev Obstet
     Gynecol, 3(4): 163–171.
vi  Carlson, Susan E. (2009) Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in pregnancy. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
     89(2): 678S–684S.
vii  Monk, C., Fifer, W. P., Myers, M. M., Sloan, R. P., Trien, L., & Hurtado, A. (2000). Maternal stress responses and
      anxiety during pregnancy: Effects on fetal heart rate. Developmental Psychobiology, 36 (1), 67-77.