Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 36

WEEK 36:
CRENSHAW MELON born, baby fat is a very good thing. Your baby is working hard to accumulate all the fat he can at this point -- his body is growing rounder, and those adorable dimples are forming at elbows and knees. This build-up of fat -- about 15 percent of his total weight--will help him maintain his body temperature and give him a store of energy. Because the fat beneath his skin is white in color, it makes his skin appear lighter and less ruddy.

In a first-time mother, the baby often "drops" two to four weeks before delivery, as the baby's head descends into the mother's pelvic cavity. This is called "engagement," or "lightening," and it means it won't be long now before the big day!

The Bump: She's still in the 17.2- to 18.7-inch and 4.2- to 5.8-pound range and continues to beef up. She's getting closer and closer to being able to breathe on her own. Her skin is getting smooth and soft and her gums are rigid. Her liver and kidneys are in working order. Circulation and immune systems are basically good to go, too.

Baby Center: Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position. But if she isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly

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