37 Weeks Pregnant
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
Your Baby at 37 WeeksSize: 19.13 inches (48.6 cm) - crown to heel
Weight: 6.30 pounds (2859 grams)
Even though you are technically considered full term this week, your baby could still use a few more days in his or her comfy home. Unless it is medically necessary, your doctor won't be talking inductions or C-section until at least 39 weeks. Spending his or her days growing ounce by ounce - and your baby is packing on a average of about a half pound per week right now. About as long as a bunch of swiss chard, your baby is close to his or her birth length this week. Many babies born right now will do fine - others need more time in order to transition properly and could need a bit of oxygen or monitoring just to make sure they adjust properly. Practicing the movements that will be so essential after birth, your baby is breathing in amniotic fluid, sucking his thumb and moving with purpose in what little bit of space there is left. Even though she can't move vigorously, you should still be feeling obvious pushing, prodding and rolling as your baby practices belly-acrobatics for the big day.
Mom at 37 Weeks PregnantJust as your baby is practicing for birth, so is your body. If you have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, they are likely to intensify this week. Often uncomfortable enough to make you stop and think, these uterine movements will still be irregular and more annoying than anything else.
Sleep deprivation may become another nagging problem as your already large belly gets even bigger - making it hard to get comfortable. Frequent bathroom breaks in the night may be disrupting what few precious hours of shuteye you have been able to get as your baby descends deeper into your pelvis. This process, known as enlightenment can happen weeks, or just days before delivery.
As labor draws ever near, many moms experience an increase in vaginal secretions. Often white or clear these secretions can feel like a "gush" - sending many women running to their hospital sure that their water has broken. If you take a hasty trip to the hospital just to be sent home, don't worry about it - better safe than sorry.
Signs of true labor can kick in anytime. Keep an eye out for signs that labor could be starting. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Mild diarrhea, nausea or vomiting (sometimes for days or weeks before delivery)
- Passage of your mucus plug
- Regular contractions that get stronger with walking
- Your doctor reports thinning (effacement), or dilation (opening) of the cervix
- Movement of the cervix down and forward toward the opening of the vagina
Your weight has just about hit its peak. Even if you carried your baby for another 3 to 4 weeks, you can still expect to gain just 2 or 3 pounds more from where you are now. Some women report a drop of a few pounds as they near their delivery date too.
If all the pressure on your bladder causes you to leak a little when you laugh, cough or sneeze, start your pelvic floor exercises for added strength. Known as a Kegel exercises, these little movements can help strengthen the muscles that support the vagina, urethra and reproductive organs. To perform a Kegel, pretend you are stopping and starting your urine stream several times by contracting those muscles. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat several times each day.