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When you’re 37 weeks pregnant, your baby may weigh between 6 and 6.5 pounds and measure more than 19 inches long. By now, she’s pretty much at her final birth weight, but she’ll keep putting on a little more fat each day. She might have made the “drop,” which means descending lower into your pelvis in preparation for birth. If your baby has dropped, you might be feeling more pressure in your pelvic region, along with the urge to urinate more frequently. If your baby hasn’t made the drop yet, then you might be feeling short of breath. Your pregnancy is almost full-term, and exciting times are ahead;  here are some things to keep in mind for this week. You may even go into labor this week, so make sure your hospital bag is packed and ready to go. Read on to learn more about what's happening this week.

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37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

These are some of the ways your baby develops around this week of pregnancy

  • Nearly at birth size. Your baby is nearing her final birth weight, but she'll continue gaining half an ounce of fat per day to help regulate her body temperature and keep her blood-sugar levels even. Her brain and skull also continue to grow.

  • The "drop."  Your baby might start descending lower into your pelvis in preparation for birth.

pregnancy week 37 fetus

37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Here are some of the pregnancy symptoms you might be experiencing at this time:

  • Pelvic pressure and urge to pee. 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. It might cause pressure on your lower abdomen and pelvis, or as your baby pushes against your bladder, you may have the urge to pee more often. Although the bathroom breaks can be a hassle, resist the urge to drink less water, because it's important to stay hydrated. The flip side of this new, lower position is that it may take some pressure off your lungs and diaphragm, making it easier for you to breathe.

  • Shortness of breath. If your baby hasn’t dropped yet, then she might be pressing up against your lungs, causing you to feel short of breath. Try to rest more, and take plenty of breaks while walking.

  • Unstable on your feet. As your center of gravity changes when your baby drops, you may be a little clumsier than you were before.

And just how many months is 37 weeks pregnant? You’re nearing about the end of your eighth month of pregnancy.

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FAQ at 37 Weeks

Why does my doctor perform pelvic exams?

Because preterm labor can only be diagnosed when changes in the cervix are found, your healthcare provider may perform a pelvic exam to check your cervix. Your provider may also start performing pelvic exams at your weekly prenatal visits. She will check to see if your cervix is dilated (opening up) or effaced (thinning), and she will look for any signs of labor.

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

Most babies assume a head-down position in preparation for birth. Rarely, in about 3 to 4 percent of full-term births, the baby’s buttocks or feet are positioned to come out first during birth. This is called a breech position. Your healthcare provider will determine the position of the baby by feeling your belly, and sometimes, she will perform an ultrasound or pelvic exam to make sure. Your provider may attempt to turn the baby in order to increase the chance of a vaginal birth.

When I go into labor, when should I call my doctor or midwife?

First, it’s important to recognize the signs of labor, because at 37 weeks, you may still experience the false contractions known as Braxton Hicks contractions. Whether you’re unsure if it’s the real deal, or you’re certain you’re going into labor, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or midwife if you have that option available to you. Have your symptoms written down, and if you’ve been timing your contractions, have this information on hand, as well.

37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Stock your freezer with meals you can heat up after the baby is born.

Finalize your baby's nursery, and get the baby essentials you'll need. Remember, many babies don't arrive on their due date and could come early, so it's best to have everything ready, just in case.

Sign up for the Pampers rewards app, so you can collect points and earn rewards each time you buy diapers.

Are you 37 weeks pregnant and exhausted? It's no surprise! Take this chance to rest up.

If you happen to have a prenatal appointment this week, you can ask about cord blood banking, and whether it’s something you should consider. You can ask your provider what circumstances would cause her to recommend a cesarean section for me. And, you can ask about hospital policies and procedures during and after the birth. For example, who can be in the room with you during labor, and is skin-on-skin contact allowed right after delivery?

Twins and multiples 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.

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37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Stock your freezer with meals you can heat up after the baby is born.

Finalize your baby's nursery, and get the baby essentials you'll need. Remember, many babies don't arrive on their due date and could come early, so it's best to have everything ready, just in case.

Sign up for the Pampers rewards app, so you can collect points and earn rewards each time you buy diapers.

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