Your baby is now considered early term at 37 weeks pregnant, and you may start preparing for labor.
At 37 weeks, how big is your baby?
This week, your baby is 19.1 inches long and weighs 6.3 pounds. That is approximately the size of a Pound Puppy.
Here’s what more you should know if you’re 37 weeks pregnant:
- Ultrasound at 37 Weeks for Your Baby and Your Body
- Real Mom Bumps at 37 Weeks in Your Life Pregnant
Your Baby’s Growth at 37 Weeks
Your baby is approaching their due date, which means they might arrive at any time. But, in the meanwhile, they’ll be putting the finishing touches on their growth. Discover what’s going on with your baby at 36 weeks.
- Dexterity: At 37 weeks, your baby’s fingers are getting more coordinated as they learn to grab and hold items, such as the umbilical cord and their own hand. They will clutch your pinkie after delivery. (Aw!)
- Head-down: By now, most newborns are in a head-down posture. If your baby is breech (feet down) or transverse (side-lying), your doctor may suggest a versioning technique (also known as the external cephalic version or ECV) to help turn the baby into position.
- In the short term: Did you realize that your pregnancy is now classified as an “early term”? That implies your kid is almost done and only needs two weeks for critical brain and lung development. If they were delivered this week, they would be more likely to require NICU care than if they were born at full term at 39 weeks.
Ultrasound at 37 Weeks Pregnancy
37 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms in Your Body
To avoid sounding like a broken record, you’re probably feeling fairly pregnant right now. Take special care of yourself and get as much rest as possible. Here’s what you could be feeling at 37 weeks pregnant.
- Spotting: Because your cervix is easily irritated, some spotting is usual in the third trimester, especially after intercourse. However, if you detect a lot of blood, contact your healthcare professional since it might signal a problem with the placenta.
- Bloating and gas: Because of the excess progesterone in your body, you may feel bloated or have more gas. Despite the fact that you’re already running to the bathroom all the time, try eating smaller meals and drinking plenty of water. Additionally, try to avoid meals that cause you gassy. (Such as that bean burrito.)
- Stretch marks: New tiger stripes may appear on your tummy, hips, thighs, arms, or buttocks. These microscopic rips within the skin are produced by stretching caused by your tummy developing or gaining weight fast. Stretch marks are caused by genetics rather than anything you can control (like skincare products! ), but drinking plenty of water and applying oil or cream can’t hurt. Stretch marks will diminish and mix in with your skin tone after you give birth. Promise.
- Sleeping problems: Many pregnant women have difficulty sleeping in late pregnancy. Stress-reduction practices such as yoga and meditation, as well as obtaining enough mild exercise, may be beneficial.
- Nausea and/or diarrhea: Because your kid is so large, he or she is crowding your digestive tract, which can make you feel sick. Furthermore, at this point in the game, nausea and diarrhea might be early symptoms of labor.
Your Body’s Preparation for Childbirth
Your body is preparing for labor while you go about your day. These are a few labor preparations that are likely to occur at 37 weeks—or will occur soon:
- Braxton Hicks contractions: Some physicians feel that these random contractions are training your muscles in preparation for the big event, as well as aiding in the dilation and effacement of your cervix. They may also stimulate your labor contractions in the long run. When they grow more regular, frequent, and intense, you’ll know they’ve progressed to actual labor contractions. This is when you should contact your healthcare practitioner for more advice.
- Baby drops: Your baby will “drop” into your pelvis at some time, preparing you for birth. This can occur just before birth or a few weeks to a month in advance. You may feel yourself breathing a bit easier when baby drops, but you may also find yourself going to the toilet more frequently.
- Cervical changes: The cervix (baby’s departure passage from the uterus) must soften, dilate (open), and efface in order to prepare for a vaginal delivery (thin). At your checkups, your OB will begin to look for indicators that it is making those changes. These changes might occur weeks before birth or on the same day—every pregnancy is different!—but tracking them can help them get a sense of how prepared your body is.
- Mucus plug: It’s hardly the nicest sight, but during pregnancy, a mass of mucus works like a cork, closing the cervix’s doorway. As dilatation and effacement occur, the mucus plug separates and is ejected as discharge. However, because it is thick and unlike your regular discharge, it may be rather frightening! When you detect it, it might be a few weeks or even a few hours before you go into labor.
- The bloodbath: You may notice some little spotting or blood streaks, either at the same time as you shed the mucus plug or a little later. It’s referred to as “the bloody show” because it’s made up of capillaries that surround the cervix and can burst as your lady parts prepare for delivery. When you see this, you may only have a day or a few days till it’s time to depart.
Of course, you won’t know you’re in labor until you have regular, escalating contractions.
Call your doctor if you have contractions that are approximately five minutes apart and last 60 seconds each for about an hour. Or if your water breaks or you suspect you’re leaking amniotic fluid. They’ll tell you when it’s time to get your hospital bag and go.
Here’s a tutorial on timing contractions (there are other apps that will do it for you).
Contractions should be timed.
Contraction Duration from start to finish Frequency
- 1:10:15 — 1:11:10 — 1:18:20 — 1:19:10
- 1:18:20 — 1:19:10 — 1:18:20 — 1:19:10 — 1:18:20 — 1:1
8 minutes and 5 seconds
- 1:25:25 1:26:20
In 55 seconds
7 minutes and 5 seconds
- 1:31:30 1:32:27
Time: 57 seconds
6 minutes and 5 seconds
Your Life When You’re 37 Weeks Pregnant
You are now classified as “early term.” Start the marching band and prepare for the last stretch.
- Top tip: Your baby might arrive at any moment now—even up to a couple of weeks after your due date. Now that you’ve entered the final few weeks, make a list of enjoyable things to do with your remaining pre-baby time. If you need to add a few last-minute duties, go ahead; otherwise, try to think of activities that will keep you occupied and comfortable, such as nature walks, movie evenings, and pregnant yoga sessions.
- Suggestion: Make a “Baby Watch List” containing contact information (email is generally simplest, but texts work too) for everyone you want to notify as soon as the baby arrives. Assign the task of calling everyone on that list to someone else, such as your best friend, boyfriend, or sister.
- Prepare: While you’re putting together your Baby Watch List, you may also prepare the birth announcement if you wish to send it out. Design your own online— Minted and Tiny Prints work well—all you have to do is enter the appropriate photo after you’ve found it.
- Must-have item: Before going into labor, go to the drugstore or Amazon and order a bottle of Colace. The last thing you want to do after giving birth is put unnecessary tension on your lower abdomen or nether regions. These gentle stool softeners (usually suitable for nursing women, but check with your doctor) can help with postpartum toilet anxiety (yes, it’s a thing!) and pain.
Your Pregnant Belly at 37 Weeks
At 37 weeks pregnant, the recommended weight increase is still around a pound each week, but many parents-to-be reports that they aren’t gaining much weight in this final month of pregnancy. Discuss your weight gain with your doctor, but keep in mind that you’ve most likely gained enough weight to sustain your baby until their birth.
You could also note that your bulge doesn’t get much bigger from here on out. This is due to the fact that amniotic fluid levels begin to decrease during 37 weeks of pregnancy. Your doctor will monitor your level to ensure that baby still has sufficient cushioning.
Real Moms’ 37-Week-Pregnant Baby Bumps