• Dr Amy Norman

Dr Amy’s 5 Tips for Pregnancy Care at 36 Weeks



As a pregnancy Chiropractor, I know that 36 weeks is a pivotal time in your pregnancy. You are getting very close to meeting your little one but there are a few things that are going to pop up before you meet them. You will find your appointments with your primary care provider getting closer as they monitor things like your baby’s size, positioning, engagement as well as how your body is preparing for labour such as your cervix and whether it is softening and ripening towards the tail end of your pregnancy!

It is a big milestone at the practice as we start to have conversations that are focussed on labour preparation and giving your body the best chance of a positive birthing experience and improved postpartum recovery. What a great topic to cover in a blog article in my opinion! I have done my homework with this list and have tried to provide a summary of findings to keep this as evidence based as possible without being too dry and boring!



Here are things I recommend my patients to be doing by the time they hit 36 weeks.


Chiropractic Pregnancy Care (if you have not started yet!)

Eat dates

Antenatal Expressing

SRC Recovery Garments

Probiotic Supplementation

Pregnancy Chiropractic Care

If you have not started some Chiropractic care by this point- I STRONGLY urge you to do so. We often get patients coming in for the first time in this final stretch of the pregnancy for a variety of reasons such as baby not engaging just yet and wanting to make sure they are in a good position. Your discomfort experienced during pregnancy could get stronger as the baby starts to bulk up towards the end of the pregnancy. All of these concerns are always best managed if we get to see you sooner rather than later. However, late is better than never! You can book an appointment here.

Eating Dates (6 dates a day in fact!)

Get into the dates! From 36 weeks there is a recommendation of eating 6 dates a day to help ripen the cervix in preparation for birth. One study found that the women who had been consuming 6 dates a day had a significantly reduced need for induction and augmentation of labour, presented to hospital with a significantly higher rate of cervical dilation compared to those that didn’t consume dates as well as produced a more favourable delivery outcome. Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of the date group compared to the 79% non-date consumers. However the study group for this was small (114 ladies in total) but the results concluded a randomised controlled trial would be warranted. Another study found that the first and late stage of labour was shorter in the group that consumed dates as well as the infant’s APGAR score (a score used to measure foetal well-being) was better for those that ate dates. Similar to the first study, there was a small number of participants (89 ladies). Overall, from the research I have read- you have nothing to lose! They have not found any negative side effects to eating dates as part of labour preparation. If the thought of eating 6 dates feels intense for you- space them out throughout the day, make smoothies or bliss balls and get your hit that way!

Antenatal Expressing

Antenatal expressing- get that colostrum going! I often make this recommendation as part of birth preparation. Number one, this is a great way to get our bodies a bit desensitised for breastfeeding (should you choose to do so) but also can be really beneficial- especially if you have gestational diabetes. Breastmilk has been found to be a more effective way to manage blood sugar levels than formula for those that have gestational diabetes and we also know that women with gestational diabetes can have a delay with their milk to come in as well. This study has also shown that there are no risks with antenatal expressing to you or your baby. There was also a decrease in infants needing the special care nursery post birth which is always a plus! 658 women participated in this study so a pretty well sized study and the study was a randomised control trial which is what we call gold standard evidence!

SRC Recovery Garments

SRC recovery shorts- this is a gift from present you to future you as you prepare for your postpartum recovery. These are medical grade compression garments that will give you the right amount of support postpartum. Regardless of how you birth your baby (vaginal or caesarian birth) these nifty garments will help support your uterus as it shrinks back to original size, reduce lower back pain and pelvic girdle pain as well as help with abdominal separation. From the survey, there were 90 women that wore the recovery garment. The survey found that 99% of the women would recommend the garment to other mothers which is amazing. Other findings included 96%of the women found it more comfortable to lift, feed and bathe their baby while wearing the garment and 88% of women found it easier to get out of bed. They come in 3 different lengths so you can find what works best for you depending on the time of the year. If this is something you want, you must get measured at 36 weeks to ensure the correct size. Do not rely on clothing sizes as they are a medical garment and you will usually order a pair that does not fit correctly. Something really important when it is a medical grade compression garment. Depending on your private health fund you may also get some money back as well!You can book an appointment and we will help you get the right size. Online booking is here.

Probiotic Supplementation

Consider a probiotic! Group B Streptococcus is something routinely tested for during pregnancy. A swab will be taken from inside your vagina to detect if there is any of this bacteria. Usually, if you are positive you may end up having an antibiotic drip which may effect your gut flora as well as your little ones. I have been able to find a practitioner only supplement that has had research to see if it could decrease Strep B during pregnancy. The research pooled data from 18 randomised control trials comprising of 4356 pregnant women. It indicated that probiotic supplementation was associated with a significant decrease in risk of eczema to the baby and atopic eczema of the mother. They also found the more diversity in the vaginal microbiome the better chance you had of your baby being full term when born! A main factor I look at when reviewing anything is possible harm and if you have anything to lose. There has been no risks found with probiotic use during pregnancy so why not?! If a probiotic is something you would like to add to your pregnancy care, please let me know and I can get the right probiotic for you.

So there it is! My 5 recommendations for pregnancy care at 36 weeks! If you have any further questions please do not hesitate in contacting me. Let’s make the last few weeks of your pregnancy enjoyable and prepare you for birth and beyond!



References

  1. Al-Kuran O, Al-Mehaisen L, Bawadi H, Beitawi S, Amarin Z. The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011;31(1):29-31. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2010.522267. PMID: 21280989.

  2. Ahmed IE, Mirghani HO, Mesaik MA, Ibrahim YM, Amin TQ. Effects of date fruit consumption on labour and vaginal delivery in Tabuk, KSA. J Taibah Univ Med Sci. 2018 Nov 27;13(6):557-563. doi: 10.1016/j.jtumed.2018.11.003. PMID: 31435378; PMCID: PMC6695006.

  3. Forster DA, Jacobs S, Amir LH, et alSafety and efficacy of antenatal milk expressing for women with diabetes in pregnancy: protocol for a randomised controlled trialBMJ Open 2014;4:e006571. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006571

  4. Use of compression garments during pregnancy and post-partum: a patient satisfaction survey of SRC Health garments 2015

  5. Dunlop, A. L., Mulle, J. G., Ferranti, E. P., Edwards, S., Dunn, A. B., & Corwin, E. J. (2015). Maternal Microbiome and Pregnancy Outcomes That Impact Infant Health: A Review. In Advances in Neonatal Care (Vol. 15, Issue 6, pp. 377–385). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. https://doi.org/10.1097/ANC.0000000000000218

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