37 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body and Your Baby

37 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens At 37 Weeks Of Pregnancy

You are now 37 weeks pregnant! Baby could arrive 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.

You’re probably ready for baby’s arrival but it doesn’t hurt to go over everything and make sure. Make a list of what you have left to do and delegate if 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 is not worth the risk.

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, or even prompt you to start cleaning your entire house!

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 unengage 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.
  • 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.

Some care providers may offer a vaginal examination (VE) to determine baby is in the correct position or to see if your cervix has begun to soften. VEs are not a reliable indicator of when you will go into labour, they can only tell you what your cervix is like at the time – not what will happen in the future.

It is best to keep internal examinations to an absolute minimum and only if they can 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 she’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.

His 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. 

 

Last Updated: November 15, 2016

CONTRIBUTOR

Sam McCulloch enjoys talking so much about birth that she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she watches Downton Abbey and has numerous creative projects on the go. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


loaded font roboto