33-36 weeks pregnant

Towards the end of this period, your baby’s head will probably drop into your pelvis.  With this additional pressure you may notice the appearance of varicose veins and piles, but on the plus side the pressure on your lungs will be relieved so you may be less breathless.



Your baby

Things to do

Towards the end of this period, your baby’s head will probably drop into your pelvis (become engaged), in readiness for the birth. Once the baby’s head is engaged, there will be less pressure on your lungs and you’ll be able to breathe more easily.

There will be more pressure on your bladder, though, plus an increasing feeling of fullness and pressure between your legs. Piles and varicose veins of your vulva may be troublesome.

The size of your bump may make it difficult to find a comfortable position for sleeping. Lying on your side, with a pillow under your bump and one between your knees can sometimes help. It’s best to avoid lying on your back, which can make you feel sick or dizzy and reduce the flow of blood to your baby.

The muscles and ligaments around your pelvis are softening further, getting your pelvis ready to open up during labour. This may make your pelvic joints and your lower back ache.

You may notice increased swelling in your legs and ankles, especially towards the end of the day. Watch for any sudden increase, which could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

You may find yourself feeling anxious about the birth and about your baby. This anxiety, together with feeling heavy and tired, can lead to mood swings, irritability and even depression. Talking about your worries to your partner or a friend or your midwife can help.

Your baby is getting steadily plumper.

All the organs are now almost fully mature, except for the lungs. Although these aren’t completely mature yet, they’ve started to produce a fluid which keeps them open ready for breathing.

Your baby’s eyes can now focus a little and he can blink.

His nails have grown so that they reach the ends of his fingers, though not quite to the end of his toes.

Make sure that you have the basic things that you’ve decided on for your baby, including clothes and nappies. If you’re planning to breastfeed, now is a good time to buy nursing bras. Bear in mind that your breasts will increase in size when they are full of milk and to allow room for nursing pads.

Start writing your birth plan, if you haven’t already done so.

When you do your household shopping, buy two (or more) of everything and stock up your cupboards and freezer, if you have one, so that you won’t need to worry about shopping straight after your baby’s born. Pack your bag to take into hospital with you, or get together the things you need for a home

All pregnancies are different, so don’t worry if you’re not experiencing everything exactly as it says here.