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36 weeks pregnant – my bump is huge!

Measure pregnant bump
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I had my midwife appointment this week and I asked my midwife if my bump was too big because it’s massive and I can’t see how much bigger Boxer can get with still 4 weeks to go!

36 weeks pregnant

The midwife measured my bump and said that it was a perfect size at 36.4cm. Woohoo! I was worried that I was going to give birth to a 10-pound baby! I recorded the heartbeat to send to hubby, which sounded like a little train. I love hearing Boxer’s heartbeat because it means that I am still keeping him alive inside me. 

At the antenatal classes, we had a women-only session and the lads went out for a drink to bond and talk about their anxieties as fathers. It was really nice actually to just talk with the ladies, as we got to talk about the niggles of pregnancy that perhaps our husbands/partners didn’t really understand. For example, if I sit down for too long, then get up, my pelvis and lower back start to ache. And, I’ve really felt my belly drop down this week, which is great as I can finally breathe and I don’t get heartburn as much. But, it’s not so great that the baby now puts direct pressure on my pelvis and bladder. Still only getting up once a night though, so I am able to sleep well. Thanks, Boxer  

The NCT Counsellor, at the women-only session, talked about perineal massage which is meant to prevent tearing during birth. I’m not sure I want anything to touch me down there, let alone have my husband to massage me! That’s what the water birth is for, right? You’re less likely to tear with a water birth and I’ll just aim to pant hard when I first feel the urge to push, so I let the cervix open up naturally. The NCT Counsellor also stressed doing pelvic floor exercises every day, so in my yoga sessions, I practice those pelvic floor exercises and I really think they’re working actually as I think the baby is front to back now and my bladder feels stronger. 

Our last class was all about Caesareans and how and when a woman is expected to have a Caesarean section. The discussion definitely left me scared and wishing that I won’t be in a position to ever have one. It’s such a major operation and it can take up to six weeks to heal. It must be difficult if don’t recover from an operation in the normal way as you’ll have a newborn baby to tend to. 

When I went home that night I watched a really good DVD called Great Expectations, Laugh and Learn about Childbirth. The DVD is a bit out-dated, but the woman, Sheri Bayles, hosts childbirth classes on the DVD and explains everything so well, from pregnancy to having the baby. And she’s quite funny too! I learned a lot, especially the really useful breathing techniques she claims works like a charm during labour. I’m definitely going to try them out. 

A fun fact – Your baby weighs as much as a crenshaw melon! 

The science part

Your baby at 36 weeks

  • The amount of space in your womb is ever shrinking but your baby is still kicking away.
  • Your baby is getting ready for their first breath of the world’s air when they are born. Their lungs are developed now and ready to be used. However, they are still deflated as they are currently getting oxygen through the placenta (which is why there is no risk of drowning during a water birth)
  • If they were born now they’d still be considered premature, but they would be able to suckle and their digestive system is ready to take in breast milk.

Your pregnancy signs and symptoms

  • Your womb is getting ready for labour now, so you may experience more Braxton Hicks contractions – they can be quite strong and some women mistake them for labour contractions
  • Are you leaking a bit of pee when you’re coughing, sneezing or laughing? This is normal, but it means that your pelvic floor needs a bit of strengthening. Work on your pelvic floor every day so you can prevent any further leakages when the baby is born

Your next steps

  • Get in touch with your midwife if you feel a reduction in movements
  • Make sure you are going to sleep on your side when you reach the third trimester because research has shown that sleeping on your back increases the risk of stillbirth. This includes naps during the day as well as sleeping at night time.
  • Practice massaging your perineum (the bit between your vagina and anus) in the weeks coming up to birth to reduce the chances of an episiotomy (cutting the perineum) during birth
  • Have you thought about what kind of pain relief, if any, you want during labour? Speak to your midwife who can explain the different kinds of pain relief available.

Note:  These are just general ideas of how you and your baby are getting on. Don’t forget that every baby develops differently. If you are concerned about your baby’s development, please consult your doctor or midwife.

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*Illustrations by Charlotte Watkins. 

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Leyla Preston (602 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/


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