37 Weeks Pregnant - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips - Babylist

37 Weeks Pregnant

May 16, 2019

37 Weeks Pregnant

37 Weeks Pregnant
37 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is 19.1 inches long and weighs 6.3 pounds this week. That’s about the size of a Pound Puppy.

Your Baby at 37 Weeks

  • Dexterity: At the 37th week of pregnancy, 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 (a.k.a. external cephalic version or ECV) to hopefully flip 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.

💛 Congratulations 💛

It’s the Final Countdown! (In our best🤘Europe🤘 voice). There are only 21 days until your due date.

Pregnancy Ultrasound Week 37

Photo by Tommy’s

Pregnancy Symptoms at 37 Weeks

  • Spotting: Your cervix is easily irritated, so a little spotting in the third trimester is normal, especially after sex. However if you notice a lot of blood, call your healthcare provider since it could indicate something is wrong with the placenta.
  • Gas and bloating: Because of the extra progesterone in your body, you might feel really bloated or have more gas. Try smaller meals and drink lots of water, despite the fact that you’re already running to the bathroom all the time. Also, try to avoid foods that tend to make you gassy. (Like that bean burrito.)
  • Stretch marks: You may find some new tiger stripes on your belly, hips, thighs, arms or bum. These tiny tears within the skin are caused by stretching as your belly’s been growing or if you gained weight quickly. Being prone to stretch marks is more about genetics than it is about anything within your control (like skin care products!), but drinking lots of water and applying oil or cream can’t hurt. Stretch marks will fade after you give birth and will blend in better with your skin tone. Promise.
  • Trouble sleeping: Lots of pregnant women have trouble sleeping in late pregnancy. Stress reduction techniques, like yoga and meditation could help, and so can getting plenty of exercise.
  • Nausea and/or diarrhea: Your baby is so big they’re crowding your digestive tract, which can make you feel ill. 🤢 And also, at this stage in the game, nausea or diarrhea can be early signs of labor.

How Your Body Prepares for Birth

As you go about your day, your bod is preparing for labor. These are a few labor preparations that are probably happening at 37 weeks—or will happen soon:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions: Some doctors believe these sporadic contractions are toning your muscles for the big event and helping to dilate and efface your cervix. They may also eventually spur your labor contractions. You’ll know when they become true labor contractions when they’re more regular, frequent and intense. That’s when you should call your healthcare provider for instructions.
  • Baby drops: At some point, your baby will “drop” into your pelvis, preparing for labor. This can happen right before delivery or a few weeks up to a month ahead. Once baby drops, you might find yourself breathing a little easier, but you also might be heading to the bathroom more often.
  • Cervical changes: To prepare for a vaginal birth, the cervix (baby’s exit path from the uterus) needs to soften, dilate (open) and efface (thin). Your OB will start to check for signs it’s making those changes at your appointments. These changes can begin happening weeks before delivery or the same day—every pregnancy is different!—but still, checking in on these changes can help them get a sense of just how ready your bod is getting.
  • Mucus plug: This is isn’t the prettiest picture, but throughout pregnancy, there’s a mass of mucus that acts like a cork, plugging the entryway to the cervix. As dilation and effacement happens, the mucus plug comes off and is expelled like discharge. Only it’s thick and not your typical discharge, so it can be kind alarming! Once you notice it, it can be a couple weeks or maybe even a few hours before you go into labor.
  • Bloody show: You might notice some slight spotting or streaks of blood—either around the same time as you lose the mucus plug or a little while later. Dubbed “the bloody show,” it’s made up of capillaries that surround the cervix, which can rupture as your lady parts prepare for labor. Once you see this, you might have only a day up to a few days until go time.

Of course, you won’t truly be in labor until you have labor contractions—the regular, increasing ones.

Call your healthcare provider whenever you’ve had contractions that are about five minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds each for about an hour. Or if your water breaks or you think you might be leaking amniotic fluid. They’ll tell you when to grab your hospital bag and go.

Here’s a guide for timing contractions (but there are apps that’ll do it for you, as well).

Timing Contractions
Contraction Start Time End Time Duration Frequency
1:10:15 1:11:10 55 Seconds
1:18:20 1:19:10 50 Seconds 8 min., 5 sec.
1:25:25 1:26:20 55 Seconds 7 min., 5 sec.
1:31:30 1:32:27 57 Seconds 6 min., 5 sec.

Top Tip for 37 Weeks Pregnant

Don’t get nervous about your labor and birth outcomes. Remember that “All birth is natural.”

What to Know about C-Sections and Recovery

csection header alpdy2

About a third of all births in the United States are cesarean deliveries—also known as c-sections—making it the most common surgery in the country.

During a c-section, a surgical team delivers the baby through the uterus and abdomen. (You may have heard the phrase, “Out the window instead of the door.”)

There are two kinds of cesarean sections—planned and unplanned. If you have a scheduled c-section, you’ll be able to discuss your options with your doctor and medical team in advance.

Unplanned c-sections occur after labor has started, due to unforeseen complications like an infection or concern for the baby or mother. If you end up having an unplanned c-section, a surgeon will come in to discuss the procedure with you and help you prepare. You might have an hour or two before the surgery, or it might happen more quickly.

A c-section is a major surgery, and recovery can take six to eight weeks. You will probably spend the first two to four days in the hospital with your baby, and then be sent home to recover.

Some c-section moms feel shame around their birth, but a healthy mom and baby is the best outcome.

Learn more about what happens during a c-section, including who is allowed in the operating room with you, as well as recovery tips.

Fun Fact

The Cesarean is named after Julius Caesar. Supposedly he was born via Cesarean, but this myth has recently been debunked.

Your 37 Weeks Pregnant Belly

The weight gain recommendation at 37 weeks pregnant is still about a pound per week, but many moms-to-be find they’re not gaining much weight in this last month of pregnancy. Definitely talk over your weight gain with your doc, but know that it’s likely you’ve already put on enough pounds to support your babe until their arrival.

You may also notice your bump doesn’t get much bigger from here on out. That’s because amniotic fluid levels start to reduce at the 37th week of pregnancy. Your doc will keep an eye on your level, making sure baby still has plenty of padding.

Baby Bumps at 37 Weeks Pregnant

37 weeks pregnant belly @islabay

37 weeks pregnant belly baby boy @sheenaphelps

37 weeks pregnant pictures @strongmedicinemom

37 weeks 4 days pregnant @kelsiekaykay

37 weeks pregnant belly second baby @raising livvy

37 weeks pregnant bump @ireeeeezy2

37 weeks pregnant bump pics @ nancyj

37 weeks pregnant baby weight @jrenaei

37 weeks pregnant belly @sarahjroe

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Week 37 Pregnancy Checklist

  • Go to your week 37 prenatal visit.
  • Schedule your week 38 visit while you’re there.
  • Get your Group B Strep test, if you haven’t already.
  • Pick a pediatrician, if you haven’t already. Find out if that doctor will visit your baby at the hospital or if an on-site doc will see them.
  • Make sure everything is squared away at work so your maternity leave is uninterrupted.
  • Create a “Baby Watch List” with contact info of everyone who should know once the baby arrives. Assign contacting everyone on that list to the Communications Director for Baby (a person, like Grandma or your BFF, who you designate to tell everyone when baby is here).
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