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Your pregnancy and baby guide

You and your baby at 36 weeks pregnant

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Your baby at 36 weeks

By 36 weeks, your baby's lungs are fully formed and ready to take their first breath after the birth.

The digestive system is fully developed and your baby will be able to feed if they're born now.

You at 36 weeks

From around now, you may be aware of a tightening feeling in your lower tummy from time to time. These are a normal part of pregnancy, known as Braxton Hicks contractions – your uterus is "practising" for the tightenings, or contractions, of labour.

Find out about signs labour may have started and what happens.

When contractions become longer, stronger and more frequent, it can be a sign that labour is starting.

Information:

Call your midwife or hospital when your contractions are in a regular pattern, coming every 5 minutes and lasting at least 60 seconds.

It can help to keep a record of how long your contractions are and when they come, so you can tell your midwife when you call.

Things to think about

During childbirth, your midwife or doctor may offer to help avoid a tear or help the baby out by making a cut (episiotomy) between the vagina and anus (perineum) – find out why you might be offered an episiotomy and tips to help healing.

The Start4Life site has more about you and your baby at 36 weeks.

You can sign up for Start4Life's weekly emails for expert advice, videos and tips on pregnancy, birth and beyond.

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See 3 to 42 weeks of pregnancy

Page last reviewed: 04/10/2019
Next review due: 04/10/2022