Pregnancy weeks 36, 37 and 38

Your womb will gradually drop and you will find it a little easier to breathe. Some women find it difficult to sleep because they cannot get comfortable when lying down.

Big pregnant belly

Illustration: Igor Stevanovic / Mostphotos

Frequent visits to the bathroom

Because the womb is pressing on the bladder, frequent urination is common. The breasts sometimes leak milk even though the baby has not yet been born.

It is normal to experience mood swings and be sad and irritable. The birth is approaching and most people both dread and look forward to it at the same time.

Brain fully developed

The baby’s brain is now fully developed. Weight increases as the amount of subcutaneous fat increases, while growth in length stagnates. The volume of amniotic fluid gradually decreases. The lungs are the last organ to mature.

The head should now be resting against the birth canal. If the baby is in the breech position, an attempt will normally be made to turn it at this stage.

The baby will normally be between 45 and 50 centimetres long and weigh between 2,800 and 3,200 grams.