You and Your Baby at Week 37 of Your Pregnancy

(10 minute read)

You and Your Baby at Week 37 of Your Pregnancy

Week 37

At 37 weeks, your baby is now considered to be "full term", which means that he or she is now big enough and mature enough to survive in the outside world if born right now. You may, however, need to wait another few weeks before giving birth.

Your Body and Baby Are Preparing for the Imminent Birth

At 37 weeks, the vast majority of babies are now "engaged", which mean they are in the optimal birth position - that is, heads down in your pelvis, and facing towards your back. When this happens, you will notice that your bump has moved downwards. There is nothing to worry about if this hasn't happened yet, as some babies don't engage until the start of labour.

Look out for "Braxton Hicks" contractions, which are practice contractions. These are not painful but can be uncomfortable. You may also experience the "nesting instinct" kicking in, where you get a sudden urge to do a massive spring-clean.

Week 19 Fetus (25)

How Big is Baby at 37 Weeks?

At 37 weeks, the average size of a baby is about 48.5cm in length (or roughly the same length as a leek), and weighing around 6.5 to 7 pounds, or about 3 kg. However, it's important to remember that babies vary in size and weight.

During this week, as your baby is now full-term, the lungs are now completely developed and ready for breathing outside the womb. The baby continues to gain fat, which will help regulate their body temperature after birth.

 


Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 37

Week 37 brings a mix of continuing and new symptoms. Here are some common experiences:

  • Relief from some of the symptoms of pregnancy: As your baby drops down into your pelvis, you will experience relief from heartburn, indigestion, breathlessness and the constant need to wee.
  • Pelvic Pressure: As the baby drops, you may feel increased pressure in your pelvis, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Backache and Leg Cramps: The additional weight can cause back pain and leg cramps, especially at night.
  • Swelling: Swollen feet and ankles are common due to increased fluid retention.
  • Sleep Challenges: Finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult with a full-sized baby bump.

Health and Care

Maintaining your health and well-being is essential during this final phase of pregnancy. Continue to eat a balanced diet rich in proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Staying hydrated is also crucial.

 

Gentle exercises like walking or prenatal yoga can be beneficial, but avoid strenuous activity and consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.

 

Ensure you get plenty of rest. Napping and relaxing can help conserve energy for the labour and delivery.

 

How Do I Know if I'm in Labour?

There are a few signs that let you know labour has started. They are:

  • The "show" - There will be a sticky blog of mucus in your underwear, which is the plug that has been blocking your cervix. Labour can still be days or even weeks away, however.
  • Your waters break - There will be a "pop" and a trickle of clear liquid. (No, it won't gush out as seen on TV!)
  • Back pain - This is caused by your baby's head pressing on your lower spine.
  • Incontinence - You may wee or poo yourself! This is embarrassing but perfectly normal.
  • Contractions - These feel like period pain at first, and will eventually increase in length and duration. Once they last for about a minute and occur every 5 minutes, it's time to call your midwife or hospital.

What Should I Be Worried About?

Get help immediately if you're in agony, are losing blood, or if your baby stops moving.

Emotional Well-being

The anticipation of childbirth can evoke a mix of emotions. It's normal to feel anxious, excited, or even a bit overwhelmed. Talk about your feelings with your partner, family, or a professional. Joining a support group or connecting with friends who have been through similar experiences can also be helpful.

Now you're in the final stages of preparing for labour, you can hopefully navigate this exciting time with confidence and anticipation for the new life you're about to welcome into the world!

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