37 Weeks Pregnant Baby Size

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:

37 weeks pregnant

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.

Labor positions
  • Research your options for feeding your baby. The choice of breastfeeding or formula feeding is yours to make, but you may want to find out more about each. You can talk to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant (the La Leche League website can help you find one in your area) to get more information.

  • If you haven’t already purchased one, you’ll need a rear-facing car seat properly installed in time for your baby’s trip home from the hospital. Make sure the car seat you buy meets all safety standards. If you’ll be using a hand-me-down car seat from a friend or family member or re-using a car seat you used with one of your older children, make sure it’s in good condition and is still within the expiration date set by the manufacturer. Learn more about how to choose a car seat, and if you need any help installing your baby’s car seat, your local fire department is a good place to start.

  • You may want to ask some trusted friends, neighbors, or family members to help out with things like grocery shopping, laundry, or looking after your older children or family pets in the first few weeks with your newborn. Make a list of what you might need help with so that your helpers know exactly what they can do to lighten the load.

  • Around this time your healthcare provider may offer a Group B streptococcus (better known as group B strep or simply GBS) test. This routine test (which is usually done by your provider taking a swab of your vagina and rectum) checks whether you carry the GBS bacteria. If your test result is positive, your provider will be able to advise what treatment you’ll need to ensure your baby doesn’t come in contact with the bacteria during birth should you give birth vaginally.

  • You may be wondering when your pregnancy will be considered full term. You can read up all about it in our explainer on full-term pregnancy, but essentially your pregnancy will be considered full term at the start of 39 weeks. Between now and then your baby still has lots of developing to do. You don’t have too long to wait – you’re only weeks away from meeting your newborn!

  • Knowing what kinds of things may be in-store in the first few minutes and hours after your baby is born might help you feel more confident and in control. We’ve curated a list of articles that may be interesting for you at this time:

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.

  • Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips:

How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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