37 Weeks Pregnant

37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Your pregnancy is quickly coming to an end, but your little one still has a bit more growing to do. This week, she’s probably gaining about a half an ounce each day, adding fat and plumping up before birth. Keep in mind that although you’re super close to your due date, your pregnancy is still considered to be in the “early term” stage at this point. Your pregnancy won’t be considered “full term” until the start of 39 weeks. In other developments, your baby has now shed most of the lanugo, the fine body hair that covered her little body while in your uterus. She’s now able to make grasping motions with her fingers. Plus, she may also respond to bright lights in the outside world by moving or turning toward the light. If she hasn’t already, she may also be moving into a head-down position in preparation for labor.


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The Size of the Fetus at 37 Weeks Pregnant

At 37 weeks, the average fetus is about the size of a Swiss chard. Wondering how your baby may be positioned at 37 weeks? Although we can’t say for sure exactly how your little one is curled up inside your belly this week, check out this illustration for a general idea of what you might see if you could take a sneak peek inside:

Mom's Body at 37 Weeks Pregnant

Are you wondering how many months along you are at 37 weeks pregnant? Because pregnancy doesn't divide neatly into months, it’s possible you’re either 9 or 10 months pregnant at this point. At 37 weeks pregnant, your cervix may be beginning to dilate. When this starts to happen, you may lose the seal that protected your uterus from infection throughout your pregnancy. This seal is known as the mucus plug. If, at 37 weeks pregnant, you notice some extra vaginal discharge that is clear, pinkish, or slightly bloody, this may be the mucus plug. Seeing this mucus discharge is an indication that labor is starting or is not far off. Keep in mind, you can lose the mucus plug hours, days, or even weeks before labor begins. Some moms-to-be don’t notice it at all. At 37 weeks, if you do notice the mucus plug on your panties or on the toilet paper after you wipe, or if you are unsure if this means your labor has started, you may want to call your healthcare provider for advice on what to do next. Twins and triplets are more likely to be born earlier than a single baby, so keep an eye out for signs of labor if you’re 37 weeks pregnant with twins or more.

37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At 37 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Pelvic pain or pressure. Is your baby sitting lower in your pelvis these days? This dropping — also called lightening or engagement — can occur a few weeks before your baby is born, and you might notice it if you feel a little extra pressure on your lower abdomen. This pelvic pain can even make it hard to walk. If pelvic pressure is causing you discomfort, a warm bath may provide some relief. Contact your healthcare provider for more advice on what to do to relieve pelvic or lower back pain.

  • Shortness of breath. If your baby hasn’t dropped yet, she might be pressing up against your lungs, making breathing a little more difficult. Try to rest more, move slowly, and sit or stand up straight to help give your lungs more room to expand with each breath. Once your baby “drops” lower into your pelvis, this may take some pressure off your lungs and diaphragm, making it easier for you to breathe.

  • Nausea. Some moms-to-be experience nausea around 37 weeks pregnant, and it could be a sign that labor is about to start. Try to eat four or five smaller meals instead of three larger meals. Bland foods like rice, toast, or bananas can also help get you through these bouts of nausea.

  • Snoring. This one might not trouble you as much as your partner. Most moms-to-be go through some breathing changes during pregnancy thanks to hormonal changes, and toward the end, some snoring is not uncommon as the mucus membranes in your nasal passages tend to dry out. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, and use a humidifier in your bedroom if your partner starts to complain about your snoring.

  • Unstable on your feet. By now, your pregnancy weight gain means your center of gravity has shifted, making it easier for you to lose your balance. This extra weight from your baby, the placenta, amniotic fluid, and more can make it challenging to move around. Once your baby drops lower into your pelvis, the distribution of your weight may even change again, so be extra careful whenever you’re on your feet! To keep yourself steady, stand with your feet pointed in the same direction with your weight balanced evenly on both feet. Try not to tilt your pelvis forward or backward, and avoid lifting or carrying heavy or bulky items.

  • Contractions. At 37 weeks pregnant, you could start to feel contractions that you might recognize as being similar to menstrual cramping. Contractions that are irregular and go away when you move or change positions are likely Braxton Hicks “practice” contractions. But, if you feel contractions that occur regularly, get progressively stronger, and don’t subside if you move or change positions, you’ll want to call your healthcare provider for advice. Timing your contractions and having this info to give your provider on the phone, will give your provider important information. Learn how to time contractions here.

37 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • There are a variety of different birthing positions and comfort measures that can help during labor and delivery. Some require equipment such as a birthing bed, chair, pool, or ball. It’s a good idea to ask ahead of time what’s available at your hospital or birth center. Also, try to keep an open mind; once you’re in labor, you may find that what you actually find comfortable is different from what you expected to find comfortable.

37 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • What happens if your baby doesn’t turn head-down?

  • Under what circumstances might you need a cesarean section?

  • Is your birth partner allowed to be with you when you give birth? What if you’re having a cesarean section?

  • How many people can you have with you during labor?

  • What happens right after you give birth?

  • How long are you likely to stay in hospital after you give birth, and what happens during that time?

37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • If you haven’t already done so, pack your hospital bag. The big day could be just around the corner!

  • Stock your freezer with meals you can simply heat up. After your baby is born, you may not have time to cook.

  • Finalize your baby’s nursery, and get any baby essentials you haven’t bought yet. Keep in mind that most babies don’t arrive exactly on their due date and that yours could come early.

  • Consider getting a waterproof sheet to protect your mattress in case your water happens to break while you’re asleep.

  • If you see breastfeeding or pumping in your future, make sure you have several quality nursing bras.

  • Consider setting up a comfortable “feeding station” in your baby’s nursery or elsewhere in your home. For example, you might like to buy a comfy nursery glider, place a lamp or night light next to it, and have a nursing pillow and a quilt on hand to help you feel comfortable. Some parents also have a nursing basket nearby with supplies like tissues, burp cloths, nipple cream (if you’re planning to breastfeed), and snacks for you.

  • Start stocking up on diapers and collecting rewards points from our Pampers Club app.

  • If you have a little downtime this week, spend a little of it browsing the net for the best baby gear as voted by Pampers Parents. You might already have your eye on lots of what you’ll need, but you may like to check out some feeding essentials (and nice-to-haves) like the best baby bottles and the best bottle warmers.

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