Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Guide to Being 36 Weeks Pregnant

What You Might Be Feeling

Ponderous might be a good word to describe your 36th week of pregnancy. Your back, muscles and pregnancy hormone-loosened joints are supporting about a 6-pound baby and several more pounds of pregnancy fluids that bulge far out over your hips. You're slower than ever, and not just in your movements.

Your growing baby is filling most of the space in your body and your mind. Between fatigue and anticipation, it's harder to concentrate and process thoughts that aren't related to your baby and the immense changes that will soon take place in your life. People around you may say you've become absent-minded, but that's not true. Your thoughts are highly focused -- they're just not focused on the outside world. Your mind may also be divided: Part of you is impatient for the birth, and another part wants to ensure your baby gets all the development he needs for a healthy start.

Physically, you may be feeling:

  • More fetal squirming and less kicking
  • Periods of inactivity as your baby develops sleeping patterns
  • Stronger and more frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions (contractions not associated with labor)
  • Bursts of nesting activity
  • Bouts of can't-do-another-thing-until-I-have-a-nap

Meanwhile, the little person inside you is…