37 Weeks Pregnant
You’re 37 weeks pregnant! Baby will be arriving any time between now and 42 weeks.
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 may help for you to know these statistics to help you wrap your head around all possibilities and shake any fixation you may have on your estimated due date.
You’re probably ready for baby’s arrival, yet now is a great time to double check everything to help you feel as ready as you can be. Make a list of what you have left to do and delegate as much as you can. You also need to arrange have a child safety seat fitted for your car if you haven’t already.
Make sure you get an experienced professional to do this, because too many self-installed restraints are not fitted correctly – especially ones they find in car accidents. It’s important that you know how to care for your precious new baby in all ways as soon as they join you here.
You may also have begun to ‘nest’. Nesting is common in late pregnancy and is usually takes hold as 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, or even prompt you to start cleaning your entire house!
Ps. Your partner may think you’re losing the plot and you may not be able to explain it logically, but your body and hormones know it’s nearly time.
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 down into the pelvic brim. 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 disengage at any time
- Research shows that many babies are not engaged until labour begins
- First babies tend to engage sooner – it’s more squishy in a uterus that hasn’t expanded before.
- Studies have also shown that first pregnancies tend to last longer than subsequent.
Learn more by reading BellyBelly’s article on engagement.
It is possible your doctor or midwife will suggest doing an internal/vaginal exam to see if you’re dilated. Vaginal examinations (VE) are not a reliable indicator of when you will go into labour. It is quite common for the cervix to begin softening and thinning (effacing) before contractions begin, even weeks before labour starts. Your cervix moves from a posterior position so that it is pointing more toward the front of your vagina.
Again this can happen without you being aware. VEs only tell you what has happened, not what will happen. It is best to keep internal examinations to an absolute minimum and only if they can tell provide you with information to make a medical decision. 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 it’s safe and he’s ready. Trust that the day your baby decides to come is the best one.
37 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby is considered full term, but unless she decides this is her birthday, she will spend the next few weeks getting ready for life outside.
Her brain and lungs continue to mature so an induction or c-section at this stage needs to be carefully considered in light of medical necessity.
Your baby is getting ready, moving around even though there isn’t much room, breathing in amniotic fluid, and moving into a head down position if not already there.
Your baby won’t get much longer between now and birth, but she will gain about 500 grams this week.
Baby’s weight may be up to, or even over 3 kg now, and she is about 47-49 cm long, roughly the size of a winter melon.