36 Weeks Pregnant: A Month… Or 6 Weeks To Go!“I am strong and resilient and listening to what my body needs.”
With anywhere from two to six weeks left of your pregnancy, it’s now much easier to feel where baby rests inside you—and there’s more to it than simply head-down or breech. Midwife Gail Tully, the founder of Spinning Babies®, created Belly Mapping® to empower pregnant parents and doulas to figure out baby’s position in the womb and to do something about it if needed.
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If you haven’t already, take a couple of evenings to tune into your baby’s kicks and wiggles. You will notice more details of baby’s movements when you’re *semi-sitting and breathing deeply and slowly. Mark your baby’s kicks and wiggles as indicated on this free Belly Mapping® download. This will help you map baby’s body parts to understand their position. Learn more about how to do Belly Mapping in the Activity of the Week below.
Belly Mapping helps you learn whether your baby is head-down, head-up, or sideways. If head-down, it helps clarify the details of an anterior position (facing your back—an ideal starting point for birth) or a posterior position (facing your front—may need some help rotating).
If your baby is posterior, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a difficult labor. Some posterior babies will need help getting born, while others are born more easily. If your baby is posterior, begin now with body balancing activities (or keep them up), including the Forward-leaning Inversion. Abdominal Lifts and Lunges also help encourage rotation for different levels of the pelvis, as explained in Spinning Babies® Parent Class video download.
If baby is breech, Spinning Babies offers a series of suggested activities to create space for baby to get themselves head down. We’ve compiled this advice in an easy-to-follow, 6-day program in our Helping Your Breech Baby Turn eBook. Ask your provider if there is any medical reason not to go upside-down in an inversion, such as high blood pressure or risk of stroke. Many babies will have turned head down in two weeks. Other babies will need professional help, and a few won’t turn, even with these activities. These activities can help to create space for babies to turn.
After Spinning Babies activities, when you suspect baby may have changed position, take a long walk. Use Belly Mapping® to get a sense of how baby’s position feels now, and check when you suspect a change. Enjoy stroking your belly and your baby. You may notice a variety of feelings—surprise to have heard your baby was breech; worry if you wanted a straightforward head-down birth; hope that baby turns. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
Spinning Babies Activity of the Week
Can I still make a difference in my baby’s position? Many times—yes! Belly Mapping® helps you figure out where baby rests so you can be proactive before labor begins. First, download Spinning Babies free Belly Mapping® handout in English or Spanish, or purchase our Belly Mapping® Workbook for a fuller Belly Mapping experience.
How to do Belly Mapping®:
- Lie down on your back with your shoulders and upper back propped up on pillows. Slip a pillow or rolled blanket under your knees. *This is the position we call semi-sitting.
- Using the pads of your fingers, gently but deeply feel your bare abdomen for the contours of your baby’s body.
- Feel the left side of your navel. Then feel the top half of your left side. Can you find a large bulge or little feet kicking there? Which? Write it down.
- Feel the lower left side. Do you feel the hard part of baby’s back?
To simplify, draw a circle around your abdomen and divide it into four quadrants. Draw little marks to show the type of movement.
Note: firm tone, abundant amniotic fluid, a placenta in front or a well-padded tummy can mute the kicks and bumps you feel.
Your Baby This Week
Baby may be nearly 19 inches long and 6 pounds (or a bit less) if heading for the average 40-week weight of 7 to 7.5 pounds. Keep up your great nutrition by drinking plenty of water and eating 4 to 6 protein servings, a dark leafy green, a yellow or orange veggie, a calcium source (but not an antacid), and salt-to-taste. Select a salt with iodine or seek a medically-sound alternative.
You This Week
Many women find they can soon breathe easier once baby drops into the pelvis—something to look forward to if this hasn’t happened for you yet! On the flip side, you may notice some pelvic discomfort as baby gets lower and puts more pressure on your pelvis.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy: