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Pregnancy at week 36

5-minute read

Your baby

In just one week’s time, your baby will be considered full term.

Your baby is fully developed and is tightly curled up ready to be born. If this is your first baby its likely, that their head will have moved down into your pelvis. This is called ‘engagement' and is a sign your baby is getting ready to be born. If you have had babies before, your baby’s head may not engage in your pelvis until you have some contractions. You often notice that your baby has moved into your pelvis as you start to feel increased pressure on your lower abdomen.

Your baby should continue to move in their normal pattern right up until they are born. If you are concerned about a change in your baby’s movements, contact your midwife or doctor immediately, it may be a sign that your baby is not well.

Your body

Your uterus reaches all the way up to your ribcage by now. Although, if your baby has engaged in your pelvis, you might notice your bump has moved down slightly. You might also feel more pressure in your lower abdomen and pelvis, and will probably need to go to the toilet more often.

You may also notice more vaginal discharge than usual. This is normal – but tell your doctor or midwife if the discharge is smelly, green or brown, or if it’s making you itchy or sore. In the last month of pregnancy, you might feel breathless at times as your baby presses against your diaphragm. This should ease as the baby moves lower in your pelvis.

Things to remember

You may be offered a test this week group B streptococcus (‘GBS’, or ‘group B strep’). GBS is one of many bacteria that normally live in our bodies. GBS is commonly found in the intestines, rectum, urethra, or vagina. Many people have it, and it usually causes no health concerns or symptoms. This bacterium is transient, meaning that it comes and goes from your body. GBS is not sexually transmitted. Being a carrier of GBS in pregnancy is not usually harmful to you but there is a small chance your baby will develop a severe infection. To prevent this from happening, women with group B strep are typically recommended antibiotics during labour.

Speak to your doctor or midwife to understand how GBS is tested and managed at your care provider. They can help you to decide if this test is right for you.

Questions you may want to ask your doctor or midwife

  • What are the risks and benefits to me and my baby if I test for GBS?
  • If I have GBS, what does this mean for my pregnancy and birth?
  • What is the rate of GBS infection in newborn babies?
  • Can my baby become unwell if my test is negative?

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 37 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: August 2023

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