37 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips 2021
Time for some good clean fun? Around the 37th week of pregnancy, many expectant moms find themselves organizing closets and scrubbing floors. That’s the phenomenon that people affectionately refer to as “nesting.” It can be instinctive – your body feels that the baby is coming very soon.
After all, you are 37 weeks pregnant, which is considered an “early term,” meaning the baby is almost ready. Nesting can also be your brain’s way of trying to make sure that it is prepared for, well, whatever it might be prepared for. Having a baby pad definitely gives you a head start on this whole new parenting thing. At least that’s something you can control!
At 37 weeks pregnant, you and your baby are officially considered “early term.” Your baby will put the finishing touches on vital skills like sucking and swallowing, while her body may be giving signs that she is preparing for labor and delivery.
BABY’S KICKING AND MOVING
At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby’s lungs are likely to mature – but that doesn’t mean he’s finished growing yet. In fact, until the end of week 38, he’s technically considered “early term,” and he’s still packing on about half an ounce per day or half a pound a week. At this age, the average fetus weighs about 6½ pounds – though boys are likely to be heavier at birth than girls.
And here’s a bit of baby boy trivia to back that one up: Moms carrying boys tend to eat more than those expecting girls – a foreshadowing of teenage refrigerator raids to come? Regardless, that makes it a little crowded in your uterus, so he may not be kicking as much, though he’s probably stretching, rolling a bit, and wiggling – all of which you’ll be able to feel!
37 WEEKS PREGNANT IS HOW MANY MONTHS?
If you’re 37 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 9 of your pregnancy. Only a few weeks left to go! Still, have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months, and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
PRACTICING FOR BIRTH
So what’s keeping your little one busy while waiting it out until delivery day? Practice, practice, practice.
Right now, your tiny superstar is rehearsing for his big debut, simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking his thumb, blinking and pivoting from side to side. One day you feel his bottom on the left side, the next it’s flipped around to the right!
BABY’S HEAD IS HUGE!
Here’s an interesting fact: At birth, your baby’s head – which, by the way, is still growing – will be roughly the same circumference as his chest.
And guess what’s making a quite literal impression these days on those shoulders and hips? Fat – causing little dimples in those cute elbows, knees, and shoulders, along with creases and folds in the neck and wrists.
YOUR BODY AT WEEK 37:
DILATION AND EFFACEMENT
It’s anyone’s guess when your baby will decide to make his appearance – will he be sociably early, fashionably late or right on time? – but that doesn’t stop your practitioner from guessing when labor will begin.
Just what is your doctor looking for? First, for dilation, or how far your cervix has opened. Specifically, your cervix needs to open to 10 centimeters for the baby to pass through into the birth canal.
Your doctor is also looking at cervical ripeness – aka, the consistency of the cervix. It starts out being firm like the tip of your nose, then softens to the same texture as the inside of your cheek before labor. Next, he or she will check for effacement, or how thin your cervix is; it’ll be 100 percent effaced before you push your baby out.
The position of your cervix, which moves from the back to the front as labor approaches, will also be assessed. And last but not least, your practitioner will measure the position of the baby in relation to your pelvis. The lower down your baby is, the closer you are to delivery.
Although it all sounds very scientific, it’s actually not. These processes can occur gradually, over a period of weeks or even a month or more in some women – or overnight.
So while they’re clues that you’re indeed progressing, they’re far from sure bets when it comes to pinpointing the actual start of labor. You can be very dilated and not have your baby for weeks. Or your cervix can be high and closed during an exam one morning, only to be open and ready for business — and labor — by noon.
You already know about the mind-body benefits of massage – but have you heard of perineal massage?
Yes, it sounds – and can feel – a little awkward, but perineal massage may help to gently stretch your perineum, the area of skin between your vagina and rectum, which in turn can minimize the “stinging” that occurs when a baby’s head crowns during childbirth. It may also help you avoid an episiotomy and tearing.
If you want to give it a shot, it’s best not to DIY it the first time. Seek out a pelvic floor therapist, who can show you how to do it right. (Word to the wise: Be gentle.) Once you know what you’re doing, you can keep up the good work – or have your practitioner take over during labor itself.
TIPS FOR YOU THIS WEEK
Finish baby’s nursery
Fewer than 5 percent of babies arrive on their due date, so don’t assume you have three weeks to finish your to-do list. But don’t go crazy, either. Your baby won’t care if his walls are painted.
Slow weight gain is normal
Not gaining the pound a week you’ve come to expect during the third trimester? That’s okay. Many women don’t gain any weight at all during the last month.
Feeling bloated? Don’t stop drinking water. Drinking the recommended eight glasses will actually help ease your fluid retention.
Get an exercise ball
Looking for a good late-pregnancy workout? Get on the ball! An exercise ball is a safe and effective tool for strengthening your core muscles during pregnancy. And looking not-too-far ahead, it can also provide welcome relaxation and physical relief during pregnancy and labor.
Choose a high-quality ball made from burst-resistant material and be sure to inflate it to the correct size for your height: 22 inches (55 centimeters) for women shorter than 5-foot-3, and 26 inches (65 centimeters) for taller women.
Stay sane while you rest
Here are some things you can do if you can’t stay on your feet very long or are still on bed rest: Stock a mini-fridge or cooler with lots of water, fruit, yogurt, cheese and sandwiches. Be sure the phone, magazines, books and TV remote are all within arm’s reach.
Try to establish a routine — even if the highlight is a soak in a tepid tub followed by a nap or a morning on the couch followed by an afternoon in bed.
You’ll feel a little better if you give the day some sort of structure. And it’s perfectly okay if your routine involves multiple viewings of your favorite show.
Keep your eyes on the prize. Frame one of your ultrasound pictures and know that you are simply starting the parenting process a little earlier than most, doing what’s best for your child even if it’s a hardship for you.
If you’re still on bed rest, remind yourself that every day you stay in bed is one more day your baby stays inside you, giving him the best chance at being born healthy and strong.
Make a belly cast
Belly casts date back to ancient times when they were used to commemorate the miracle of life. These do-it-yourself plaster replicas are easy and fun to make. Just sit back as your chosen ones apply strips of wet plaster onto your belly (it usually dries within 15 minutes). Once the cast is dry, decorate and display as you like. (Is the dining-room table too prominent a spot?) You’ll find many resources online; just type “belly cast” into a search engine and sculpt away.
Practice using your baby gear
So you have the car seat, the stroller, the pack and play and the rest of the baby gear, but all you need now is an actual baby? Why not practice using it before life changes forever? Grab an unwitting (and willing) baby stand-in — a doll, stuffed animal or even a very patient pet (within reason!) — will do.
Try strapping dolly into the car seat, strolling her around in your hallway, holding her in one hand while folding up the stroller in the other. If you feel silly using a faux baby, don’t use anything at all. But do practice. You’ll feel more prepared when it’s showtime!
HOW BIG IS YOUR BABY AT 37 WEEKS?
Your baby is 19.1 inches long and weighs 6.3 pounds this week. That’s about the size of a Pound Puppy.
Here’s what else to know when you’re 37 weeks pregnant:
- Your Baby
- Your Body
- 37 Weeks Ultrasound
- Your Life
- Real Mom Bumps at 37 Weeks Pregnant
YOUR BABY’S DEVELOPMENT AT 37 WEEKS
Your baby is nearing their due date, which means that they could arrive any time now. But until then, they’ll continue putting the finishing touches on their development. Find out what’s happening with your baby at 36 weeks.
- Dexterity: When you’re 37 weeks pregnant, your baby’s fingers are becoming more coordinated as they learn to grasp and hold things—like the umbilical cord and their own hand. After birth, they’ll hold your pinkie. (Aw!)
- Head-down: Most babies are in a head-down position by now. If yours is breech (feet down) or transverse (side-lying), your doc may talk to you about doing a version procedure (aka external cephalic version or ECV) to hopefully flip the baby into position.
- Early term: Did you know: your pregnancy is now considered “early term”? That means your baby is almost fully baked and needs just two more weeks for important brain and lung development. If they were born this week, they’d be more likely to need help in the NICU than they would if they’re born at full term at 39 weeks.
37 WEEKS PREGNANT BABY BUMPS FROM REAL MOMS
IS IT SAFE TO DELIVER AT 37 WEEKS?
A baby’s important organs, like the brain and lungs, are still developing in weeks 37 and 38. Babies born earlier than 39 weeks are more likely to have medical conditions that require time in the intensive care unit. A baby delivered early may have: Breathing problems because their lungs are not fully developed.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AT 37 WEEKS PREGNANT? TIPS FOR YOU THIS WEEK
- Finish baby’s nursery. Fewer than 5 percent of babies arrive on their due date, so don’t assume you have three weeks to finish your to-do list.
- Slow weight gain is normal.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get an exercise ball.
- Stay safe while you rest.
- Make a belly cast.
- Practice using your baby gear.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT 37 WEEKS PREGNANT?
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.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF GOING INTO LABOR AT 37 WEEKS?
25% gave birth by 37 weeks and 3 days after ovulation. 50% gave birth by 38 weeks and 2 days after ovulation.
37 WEEKS PREGNANT CHECKLIST
- Go to your week 37 prenatal visit.
- Get your Group B Strep test, if you haven’t already.
- Pick your pediatrician. The hospital will ask about your baby’s pediatrician upon delivery so medical records can be shared and the doctor will know to expect you. Have contact information handy in your hospital bag.
- Make sure everything is squared away at work so your parental leave is uninterrupted.
- Create a “Baby Watch List” to share news of the baby’s arrival with must-know people.
At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby’s lungs are likely to mature – but that doesn’t mean he’s finished growing yet. In fact, until the end of week 38, Week 37 of Your Pregnancy At 37 weeks pregnant, you and your baby are officially considered “early term.
” Your baby will be putting the finishing touches on vital skills like sucking and swallowing while your body may be giving you signs that it’s preparing for labor and delivery. Pregnancy symptoms during week 37 · Braxton Hicks contractions · Vaginal discharge or spotting · Lots of kicking · Don’t see your symptom?
WHICH WEEK IS BEST FOR DELIVERY?
If your pregnancy is healthy, it’s best to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks and wait for labor to begin on its own. When you schedule your baby’s birth, you schedule either labor induction or a c-section.
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