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37 Weeks Pregnant: Facts, Symptoms, Tips, and More 

37 Weeks Pregnant_ Facts, Symptoms, Tips, and More

When you’re 37 weeks pregnant, you’re officially considered “early term.”

Your baby is putting some finishing touches on skills like sucking and swallowing. Meanwhile, your body is also preparing for labor and delivery.

In fact, your doctor will be looking at your cervix for signs of how far along your pregnancy is progressing.

Below, I’ll tell you everything you’ll need to know for week 37.

Your Baby’s Development at Week 37

Your Baby’s Development at Week 37

The baby’s circulatory and musculoskeletal systems are done. However, the lungs, brain, and nervous system still need a few last touches.

There are also some notable developments that your baby is undergoing during this week.

Baby Starts Stretching and Moving

Like week 36, your baby won’t be kicking as much anymore. After all, they have way less space to move around at this point in your pregnancy.

Instead, you’ll feel them stretching, wiggling, and rolling.

Baby Starts Practicing for Birth

You’re not the only one gearing up for the big day!

The baby is now simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. They’re also sucking their thumb, blinking, and moving around from side to side.

Development of Baby’s Head

By the time of birth, your baby’s head would be around the same circumference as their chest. 

They’ll be born with a full head of hair too. These strands can be ½ inch to 1 and ½ inches long.

Aside from the head, fat is now making an impression. That’s because it’s causing dimples in your little one’s elbows, knees, and shoulders. They’re also found in the creases and folds in the neck and wrists.

How Big Is My Baby at 37 Weeks?

At 37 weeks, your baby is around 48 cm — the same size as a canary melon. They’re also about 2.9 kg.

Your Body at 37 Weeks

Your body is still working to make sure you’re ready for childbirth when your baby says it’s time.

Possible Signs That Your Body Is Getting Ready

There are several things your doctor or midwife will check to try to guess how near you are to labor.

  • Dilation – This refers to how far your cervix has opened. Your cervix must be open 10 cm to let the baby pass through.
  • Cervical ripeness – This is the consistency of your cervix. Normally, your cervix is as firm as the tip of your nose. But it slowly softens to the same texture as the inside of your cheek as you get nearer to labor.
  • Effacement – This is how thin your cervix is. The cervix will be 100% effaced before delivery.
  • Cervix position – Your cervix will move from the back to the front as you near labor.
  • Position of your baby in relation to the pelvis – The lower your baby is, the closer you are to delivery.

Remember that these are only clues that you’re coming along with your pregnancy. They aren’t sure of signs of labor approaching.

In fact, your cervix may be dilated, but you still won’t give birth until a few weeks later. Or, your cervix isn’t ripe or effaced this morning, but you’ll be rushing back to the hospital in your labor and delivery gown a few hours later.

Perineal Massage

A perineal massage helps you gently stretch your perineum, the area between your vagina and rectum.

This can minimize the stinging you may feel when your baby’s head crowns during delivery. It can also lower the risk of episiotomy and tearing.

Ask your doctor or a pelvic floor therapist to teach you how to do it.

Common Symptoms You May Experience

Common Symptoms You May Experience

Are all the symptoms you’ve been experiencing the past weeks combined to hit you with pregnancy fatigue?

The end is in sight. However, there are still some symptoms you might experience this week.

1. Abdominal Pressure

The nearer you are to labor, the lower your baby drops into your pelvis. Because of this, you’ll feel more pressure on your abdomen.

You’ll feel a greater urge to pee all the time and experience more aches and pains down there.

2. Heartburn or Indigestion

Your baby is pressing on your digestive system, so you must still be careful of what you eat.

You can still eat scallops and the very occasional burger, but avoid spicy foods. Drink lots of water and eat slowly too.

3. Bloody Show

If you notice pink- or brown-tinged mucus discharge, blood vessels in the cervix are breaking. That’s because your cervix is dilating!

You might also notice your mucus plug come out gradually or all at once. However, some moms won’t even notice if they pass their mucus plug.

4. Leaky Breasts

Your breasts might be leaking long before your baby is born. This can happen at any time, but is more common when your nipples are stimulated — such as during exercise or sex.

You’ll notice that the liquid is thicker, stickier, and more opaque than mature breast milk. It’s called colostrum, and it’s actually more nutritious than regular breast milk!

You can collect this before you start producing more mature milk. However, only hand express it. Don’t use a breast pump until after you’ve given birth.

If the leaks bother you, put some nursing pads in your bra. If you’re not leaking, it’s perfectly fine too.

5. Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are practice contractions that happen more frequently now that you’re near delivery.

You can feel them as often as 10 to 20 minutes, which may be mild or strong. However, they typically strike when you’re dehydrated, active, or have a full bladder.

If you feel these contractions becoming more painful and frequent, they may be the real deal. 

Another hint is if you feel the contractions start at the back and move towards the front of your belly.

6. Stretch Marks

If you thought you wouldn’t see any more stretch marks, I’m sorry to say you’re wrong. New marks will keep appearing on your belly until you give birth.

Keep slathering that pregnancy stretch mark cream on and stay hydrated.

7. Insomnia

Things like aches, bathroom runs, and finding a comfortable sleeping position will keep you up at night. Pregnancy insomnia is like nature’s way of preparing you for the sleepless nights waiting for you after childbirth.

You can get some light exercise during the day, drink lots of water, and limit caffeine intake to help you sleep better at night.

Tips to Help You Through Week 37

Tips to Help You Through Week 37

Your body may feel beat by all the symptoms already. But don’t worry! I’ll give you some tips that can pull you through this week.

1. Nesting

Nesting is getting things all ready and organized for your baby’s arrival.

You should know that most babies don’t arrive on their due date — so you can’t assume that you still have exactly three weeks to set up your baby’s space.

Assemble your crib and do any last-minute preparations. These include gathering supplies you’ll need when your baby’s home. 

Pre-cook some meals you and your partner can eat when you get home from the hospital.

After all, you won’t be able to be out and about after giving birth.

Nesting is perfectly normal. However, make sure that you don’t overdo it. Stay off of ladders, let someone else do the heavy lifting, and take many breaks.

2. Eat Your Meals Slowly

The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion, so you might feel bloating and cramping if you eat too fast.

As such, eat your meals slowly. Eating eggs and the rest of your breakfast in five minutes means you’re also swallowing air. This causes gas bubbles in your stomach.

Try including ginger in your diet to help keep any nausea at bay. You can make fresh ginger tea, have ginger ale, or eat a ginger cookie.

3. Keep Up With Your Exercise

It’s ideal to get 150 minutes of exercise a week during pregnancy. However, you should still listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

At this point in your pregnancy, it’s good to strengthen your core muscles. It can help support your pelvic organs and alleviate back pressure. 

A strong core will also help you handle the physical demands of labor.

A high-quality exercise ball made from burst-resistant material is a safe and effective tool for core-strengthening exercises. Just make sure to get the right one for your height.

If your pregnancy symptoms include leg cramps, swelling, and varicose veins, compression socks for pregnancy can alleviate those. By doing so, you might feel more comfortable exercising.

4. Get Lots of Bed Rest

Bed rest can be especially hard if you’re experiencing restless leg syndrome. However, too much activity might be risky for you and your baby.

Establish a routine since you might feel better if you give your day some structure. 

Stay comfortable as well. Throw on your maternity underwear and loose pajamas. Keep everything you’ll need within reach — like water, healthy snacks, books, and a TV remote.

Conclusion

Being 37 weeks pregnant means you’re almost there! Your baby’s developing some last-minute skills, and your body’s gearing up for the big day.
Pull yourself through week 38 and beyond, and you’ll have your little one in your arms in no time.

Nayna Llenos
Nayna Llenos

Hi, I’m Nayna!
I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and I’m lucky and blessed to have two wonderful children to care for and love.
Despite this blessing, there are times wherein I do wonder if I truly am the mother my children need. Am I giving them the right food, care, and discipline to them?
But that is the beauty of parenting — you grow along with your children as they flourish to be their wonderful selves!
I wish to share my experiences with motherhood and how these tips can help you in your parenting journey.
I hope my advices and experiences will prove useful to you and that you have a smooth and wonderful journey as a mother!