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Pregnancy At Week 36

Pregnancy At Week 36

When you reach week 36, you will most likely only have a couple more weeks to go until you meet your newborn child. Before that happens, there are a few things you need to know about the stage of week 36 pregnancy.

Baby’s Growth by Week 36

Romaine Lettuce

    The 36th week is a big one in terms of your baby’s physical development. By this point, your daughter or son weighs approximately six pounds and is more than a foot-and-a-half in length. To help you better envision these dimensions, your baby is about as a tall as a head of romaine lettuce.

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    Your soon-to-be newborn is also undergoing some necessary changes to prepare to exit the womb. A waxy substance known as vernix caseosa has protected his or her skin up until now, but it is starting to shed away. Additionally, your baby’s body will start shedding the downy hair that has covered their entire body.

    Week 36 Pregnancy: The Mother’s Body

    By the time you enter the week 36 pregnancy stage, your baby will be taking up a lot of room inside your body! Because of this, it is common to have a difficult time eating large meals. Instead, focus on eating several smaller meals throughout the day in order to provide you and your almost newborn with enough nutrition.

    Some women experience a sensation known as lightening during the 36th week. This is most common with first-time mothers, and it can give you some much-needed relief from heartburn. On the other hand, it is not unusual for the baby to drop far enough this week that women begin feeling a lot more pressure in their lower abdomen. If this happens, you may need to urinate even more frequently. It is also possible that you will start having difficulty walking this week.

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    Common Symptoms During Week 36

    One of the most common issues that women deal with during the 36th week is an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions can fool you into thinking that you have gone into labor, but there is one big thing that sets them apart: Braxton Hicks contractions do not become steadily more intense and closer together, unlike the real thing.

    Even though they will not lead to the birth of your child, Braxton Hicks contractions can still be painful and uncomfortable. If this happens to you, there are several techniques you can utilize to relieve the pain. For example, changing positions may make the pain stop. Please note that this method will not work if you are in true labor, so this is something to try if you are uncertain. You can also drink two glasses of water, take a warm bath, or do some deep breathing to relieve the pressure of false contractions.

    Week 36 Activities

    The vast majority of women give birth between the 38th and 40th week of their pregnancy, so it is definitely time to start preparing. You should not travel any long distances this week. Even if an emergency situation arises, you may find it difficult to find an airline that is willing to let you board this close to going into labor.

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    If you have not already built a phone tree for spreading information after you go into labor, now is the time to do so. Get people involved so that you or your partner only need to make one or two calls in order to let everyone know.

    You may also wish to start putting together an overnight bag for the hospital. After all, your baby could technically come at any point during the next four weeks. Right now, any birth would be considered early, but not pre-term. In fact, you are only about a week away from having a full-term baby.

    When Should I Go to the Hospital?

    Because it is possible to go into true labor this week, it is important to have a good understanding of when you should seek medical attention. Pay close attention to any contractions that you experience so that you can determine whether or not they are the real thing versus Braxton Hicks. If your contractions become closer together, longer, and more painful, you have entered the first stage of labor. You will be able to ride out most of this stage in the comfort of your own home, but you will know that you are officially in the transition between stage one and stage two when your contractions start lasting at least a minute and have gaps of only two to three minutes. When this happens, it is time to be at the hospital or in the presence of your midwife!

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    Now that you know more about what to expect throughout your 36th week of pregnancy, it is time to make sure your house is ready for its new occupant. Your baby will have many needs during the first year, including a crib, diapers, clothing, and a car seat. Acquiring these items in advance will make your life much easier when it is time to bring your newborn home.

    Romaine Lettuce Photo Credit: Forest and Kim Starr via flic.kr 

    Featured photo credit: David Veksler via flic.kr

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    Published on January 30, 2019

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

    The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

    According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

    This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

    Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

    This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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    The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

    Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

    What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

    Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

    1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

    Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

    Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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    As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

    2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

    However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

    Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

    When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

    3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

    This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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    I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

    Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

    4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

    No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

    Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

    5. Don’t keep score or track time.

    At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

    In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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    The Bottom Line

    To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

    The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

    But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

    On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

    Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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