37 Weeks Pregnant – What Happens When You’re 37 Weeks Pregnant

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37 Weeks Pregnant – What Happens When You’re 37 Weeks Pregnant

37 weeks pregnant

Your Pregnancy in Week 37

Welcome to your 37th week of pregnancy! Baby will be arriving any time between now and 42 weeks (with some babies going a little over, under the watchful eye of their doctor or midwife). Around 5% of babies are actually born on their ‘guess date’ and the majority are born in the two weeks before and two weeks after the estimated due date.

It’s time to ensure that every part of your life is ready for baby’s arrival, from making preparations at home to having those bags packed. Make a list of what you have left to do. A foggy brain during late pregnancy (and when breastfeeding!) is normal. A few good lists will help keep you organised. There are even some apps for your phone that can help keep you on track.

You may also have begun to nest. Nesting is common in late pregnancy – a sudden urge to clean and get your home ready for baby. Many women begin to nest much earlier, but for some women, there’s a big last minute burst of energy that helps you get through those last items on your to do list, and give your home a thorough once over, too.

37 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body

Your weekly doctor or midwife visits are probably pretty exciting now, knowing that it could be the last time you have a visit before the birth.

One sign that some people look for baby getting ready to be born is ‘engagement’. This means that baby’s head has moved into the birth canal. A doctor or midwife can determine if baby’s head is engaged from feeling your abdomen. However its important to understand that it doesn’t really provide a reliable indicator of impending birth because:

  • Babies can engage and unengage at any time
  • Research shows that many babies are not engaged until labour begins
  • First babies tend to engage sooner – its more squishy in a uterus that hasn’t expanded before. Studies have also shown that first pregnancies tend to last longer than subsequent.

You can read more information in our article on engagement.

A doctor may want to do an internal/vaginal exam to see if you’re dilated, however this is unnecessary and just like engagement, does not provide a reliable indicator of when you will go into labour. If you’ve given birth before, your cervix is probably a little open already – you could be 1-2 centimetres dilated and not know it. Your cervix dilates (opens) from 0-10 centimeters during labour. At ten centimeters, your body enters the second stage of labour – this is when you begin to push. It’s common for the cervix to begin dilation before contractions begin.

Another thing the doctor may be wanting to check for is effacement – the thinning and softening of the cervix. In addition, your cervix will start to move closer to the front of your vagina from the posterior position. But remember, exams are best kept to an absolute minimum and on a medically necessary basis. An opportunity for bacteria to enter your vagina (right up to your cervix), is not ideal.

Remember: there are many women who dilate a centimeter or two as early as 37 weeks of pregnancy, but then don’t go into labour until 40 weeks or more. Baby will come when its safe and he’s ready. Trust that the day your baby decides to come is the best one.

37 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby

Your baby’s weight may be up to, or even over 3 kg now, and she is about 47-49 cm long. She won’t get much longer between now and birth, but she will continue to gain weight.

At this point, your baby is considered full term, though it’s likely to be another week or two until her debut. She’s getting ready, though, by turning from side to side, breathing in amniotic fluid, and sucking her thumb to get ready for drinking milk. He’s blinking. And, if he’s not already in birth position, he will be heading downward soon.

Kelly Winder is a birth attendant (aka doula), the creator of BellyBelly and mum to three beautiful children. Follow Kelly on Google+ and become a fan of BellyBelly on Facebook. BellyBelly is also on Twitter. Please note that all of my suggestions and advice are of a generalised nature only and are not intended to replace advice from a qualified professional. BellyBelly.com.au – The Thinking Woman’s Website For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.


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