At 36 weeks, a fetus nears full growth and takes up more space in the womb, so the mother may have a smaller appetite, BabyCenter notes. As the baby moves toward the pelvic cavity, the mother experiences reduced heartburn and more intense pressure on the lower abdomen and vagina. Depending on the woman, this dropping process may occur at a later week. Other symptoms include frequent urination and difficulty walking, and the rate of Braxton Hicks contractions may increase.
As the baby has less room to move, the mother may feel less activity at 36 weeks. Many women experience increased flatulence, indigestion, constipation, vaginal discharge and swelling in feet and ankles, explains What To Expect. Restlessness can cause insomnia, but a woman may also notice a surge in energy commonly known as a "nesting instinct."
In preparation for delivery, a woman's body releases hormones that signal the connective tissues around the pelvic bones to loosen and increase their flexibility, according to What To Expect. Pelvic pain develops from the persistent pressure of the baby's head and the weight of the expanding uterus, so many women walk with a characteristic waddle. The dropping process, known as lightening, shifts pressure away from the diaphragm, making it easier for the mother to take deep breaths. It may also relieve stomach pressure enough for the mother to consume full meals.