Pregnancy Week 36
From this point on, the 'finishing period' of growth begins, during which your baby prepares for its birth.
Your baby’s gums are now ridged and may look at first like teeth are about to erupt.
It took eight weeks for your baby’s body fat percentage to increase from 2-3 percent (Week 28) to 8 percent (Week 36). By the end of prenatal development, the baby’s body fat percentage will stabilize at about 15 percent. This protective padding of fat will help keep your baby warm after birth.
Your baby may become quite chubby if you overeat during this time. Even with normal weight gain, the baby now fits snugly in your womb and can only turn from side to side.
By the time the baby is born, the fully developed placenta covers 15–30 percent of the space inside the uterus and will weigh 5½ pounds! The placental tissue itself weighs a mere pound and a half, but it takes 4 pounds of blood to keep it functional. While your appetite and energy levels might fluctuate, you’ll probably notice more rather than less swelling of your ankles, feet, hands, and face during these final weeks. About 40 percent of women have slight ankle swelling during the last twelve weeks of pregnancy. This swelling generally disappears with rest and is rarely present in the morning. Any swelling you have that is associated with pain or swelling that does not disappear within twenty-four hours should be reported to your doctor or midwife.