pregnancy week 36 developmentHelp your baby develop in the thirty-sixth week of your pregnancy

Your baby is using his or her facial muscles in week 36 to practice eating. Continue to give your little one a healthy start to life with proper nutrition.

What’s happening this week?

By this week, your baby's lungs are fully formed, ready to function outside the womb and take their first breath after the birthi.

Also, as the facial muscles develop, your baby is practicing his or her sucking skills i - this will help your baby eat after being born.

Your baby’s brain is well developed, but the bones around it are still soft to allow for further brain growth. Baby now 5.75 pounds (2.6 kilograms), and measures about 18.6 inches (47 centimeters) from head to toeii.

What can you expect? 

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 baby from bacteria outsideiii. 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 laboriv.
  • Share this update with your doctor. The removal of the mucus plug is your body’s way of readying itself to deliver your baby.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

Even though your due date is just around the corner, maintaining a healthy diet is still important so you can support your 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 baby’s brainv. As a building block of your baby’s brain, DHA accumulates most rapidly in his/her brain during the last trimester of your pregnancy until the first year of lifevi.

Check with your doctor that your 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 different options for labor and delivery.

By now, you must be very excited, or even a bit anxious about your baby’s arrival. Try not to let any anxiety you might be feeling get the better of you as too much stress can affect your baby negativelyvii and can interfere in the bonding process that should take place both before and after he or she is born. 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 drawing your baby the way you visualize him or her to be.

Mums-to-be, your long wait to finally meet your little baby is almost over! Cherish these last few weeks of pregnancy because surprisingly, you may miss the experience of being pregnant after baby is born.




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.