Your babys progress - Week 36
By now baby could weigh around 2.6kg and measure about 47 cm from head to toe. Baby won’t grow as much in length now but will put on approximately 230 grams per week until she’s born. At this stage, baby's lungs are likely to be fully mature (though if you’re suffering gestational diabetes, that might not be the case). Her muscle tone is improving, and you’ll be impressed by her steel-like Ulnar grasp once she’s born in a few weeks. (The Ulnar grip is the newborn reflex you will see when you lie your finger in baby’s palm.)
The most important thing your baby is developing right now is the final touches to the lungs and respiratory system, which allow baby to take her first breaths outside the watery world of your womb. Your baby's 'breathing and eating exercises' – which occur as she breathes in the amniotic fluid and tastes the various flavours - will naturally stop about 24 to 48 hours before labour commences in a few weeks’ time. During labour in a few weeks’ time, hormones will be released by you to encourage baby to reabsorb fluid from her lungs back into her blood stream before birth. A small amount of fluid remains in baby's lungs after birth but is usually fully absorbed within 24 hours. Babies born by caesarean section may have 'rattly lungs' as they haven’t fully expelled all the amniotic fluid during the birthing process.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby's development and progress.
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This article was written by Alex Brooks for Kidspot, New Zealand's pregnancy resource.
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