Congratulations, you’re 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.’
The majority are born in the two weeks before and two weeks after the estimated due date.
37 weeks pregnant – what to expect
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.
Put your packed hospital bag somewhere handy and accessible.
You also need to arrange have a child safety seat fitted for your car if you haven’t already.
Be sure to have an experienced professional install the seat.
Far too many child restraints are found not to be fitted correctly – especially the ones they find in car accidents. It’s just 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.
This helps you get through those last items on your to-do list, or even prompt you to start cleaning your entire house!
And it gives you something to do while waiting for the big day to arrive!
37 weeks pregnant – symptoms
You’re probably really uncomfortable and ready for baby to be born now.
If you’ve got varicose veins, try resting with your feet up as much as possible.
Baby’s head down position is probably causing you more than a little discomfort.
Try resting in positions which take the weight off your pelvis for a while, such as hands and knees. Floating in warm water can also give relief.
You could be suffering from restless legs or muscle cramping too. Keep your magnesium and potassium up and if you can, soak in an Epsom salts bath.
You might notice some mild cramping or even backache. These are all signs your body is getting ready for labour and birth.
37 weeks pregnant – signs of labor
It’s very likely that from now you’ll be hyper alert for signs of labour.
While it’s understandable you’re excited, remember you could go into labour any time from now and the next 5 weeks.
You might notice some pinkish discharge as well. This could be what’s known as a bloody show.
It’s simply your cervix starting to thin and prepare for dilating.
Broken blood vessels cause the bleeding and some of your mucus plug will start to come away.
Don’t get too excited though, while it’s a sign labour is in your future, it’s not an indication of when you’ll give birth.
You can read more in Mucus Plug (The Show) During Pregnancy – FAQs.
Some care providers may offer a vaginal examination during pregnancy.
Thi is to determine baby is in the correct position or to see if your cervix has begun to soften.
However, vaginal exams 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 next hour, the next day, or the next week.
It’s best to to avoid vaginal examinations unless 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 at this time.
Remember, there are many women who dilate a centimetre or two as early as 37 weeks of pregnancy.
But they then don’t go into labour until 40 weeks or more.
Baby will come when it’s safe and she’s ready. Trust the day your baby decides to come is the best one.
37 weeks pregnant – your baby
At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby’s considered early term.
She’ll be full term when you’re 39 weeks pregnant.
But unless she decides this is her birthday, she’ll spend the next few weeks getting ready for life outside.
This includes swallowing and ‘breathing’ amniotic fluid, blinking, listening to sounds, moving from side to side.
Movements will be more twists and squirms.
It’s important to monitor your baby’s movements and note any changes.
Many people believe babies ‘slow down’ in preparation for birth.
But this isn’t true. Babies move up until and even during labour.
While no parent wants to think about the possibility of stillbirth, you can reduce the risk by being aware of your baby’s movements.
Always call your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about your baby’s movements.
They’ll recommend you come into your hospital or birth center to have monitoring.
This involves a biophysical profile, checking your baby’s responses to stimulation.
You can read more for peace of mind in this article.
Your baby’s brain and lungs continue to mature even though she’s nearly ready to be born.
An induction or c-section at this stage needs to be carefully considered in light of medical necessity.
If your baby is born early, unless it’s safer for you both, it puts her at risk for breathing problems and other complications.
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.