-Beginning of Full-Term Pregnancy!
The weeks from 37 to 41 of pregnancy period are considered as full term pregnancy times.
When you are 37 weeks pregnant, you will see that your body is preparing for the miracle of birth. Some women may become extremely stressed while some may be simply anxious to meet their little one.
Your baby is ready
The baby is getting ready to meet the world and his or her little body has completed the intra uterine evolution.
What is important to know that in spite of the fact that all conditions are perfect for the birth to occur your baby will decide when to come into the world. You have to keep in mind that each baby’s evolution is unique.
During this time, labor pains are perfectly normal and desirable. Here are some changes that will occur during this week in you and your baby.
37th week of pregnancy symptoms and physical changes that occur in your body
Regular prenatal checkups are very important during 37th week of pregnancy.
Your doctor or midwives will assess the possibility of where you are, relative to your upcoming birthing process. Now you are in the phase that can turn into labor any point of time.
You might have gained about 35 pounds in weight by now.
In fact you might even lose a pound or two by the time you reach the time of delivery. Nevertheless, do not neglect your diet; continue to eat healthy and drink lot of water. Being hydrated will make the labor easier.
Signs to expect
The indicators such as loose stools, ejecting the mucus, increased Braxton-Hicks contractions, and a dilated cervix are all 37 weeks pregnant symptoms that warn you about the labor.
For some pregnant women, infamous water breaking may or may not be the early signs of labor. The water breakage as the first sign of labor takes place only in 15% of the pregnant women while at the rest, the contractions and the lower pelvic pain are the first indicators.
Due date is not set in stone
If the labor does not begin during this week or next week, then remember that only 4-5% of the pregnant women actually deliver on their expected due date. If this is the first pregnancy for you, then you can suppose it to be somewhere from 2 days to 2 weeks late.
Do you know what inducing labor is all about? Sometimes, it will be necessary to induce the labor. Various reasons can lead to this condition – such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, bleeding or being overdue.
If your doctor decides to induce the labor, then he will use a pitocin drip. This stimulates the contractions and also keeps them steady. Most of the pregnant women find that pitocin drips lead to stronger than normal contractions.
Increasing vaginal discharge
During week 37 of pregnancy, you will experience more vaginal discharge than before and you will also notice that the amount of cervical mucus in it has increased as your body prepares for the labor.
Now that you are 37 weeks pregnant, keep track of the fetal movements and reassure yourself that all is going well with your little one.
The movements of your baby become less starting with this week and if you notice less than 10 kicks for 12 hours, then call your midwife to check things out.
Your size may make you uncomfortable
Your body is feeling heavier each passing day. In spite of that, slow paced walks are still recommended if your doctor does not advise otherwise.
Your uterus has stopped growing now and will remain this way until delivery. Note that you are probably measuring around 6 inches to 6-1/2 inches above your navel by this point of time.
Make sure you keep yourself occupied with pleasant activities since they will help you with pre-birth anxiety.
Care you need to take when you are 37 weeks pregnant
- Stay away from heavy lifts and abrupt movements.
- If your baby has not turned so far and is in a breech position your doctor will schedule a future C-section.
- If you prefer a pelvic delivery you can ask a specialist to help the baby to turn. During this stage of pregnancy you must not attempt to make your baby turn by yourself.
Changes that occur in the fetus when you are in pregnancy week 37
By now your 37 week fetus is about the size of 21 inches long and weighs up to 6.5 pounds. If your baby is born after this week, then he/she will be considered as full term.
Your baby will be able to produce the hormone called cortisone, which helps the lungs mature enough to handle breathing on its own. Your little one is very busy in practicing the breathing patterns preparing for the life outside of your womb.
The baby’s hair continues to grow this week. The color of his or her hair may be completely different from the hair of the parents.
Coordination and reflexes
During this week your baby will acquire enough coordination to grasp things with his/her own fingers. Also, your little one is gaining more and more weight now which will help it keep warm when it is out of your womb.
By week 37 pregnancy, all the internal organs are well developed and the reflexes are fully functional. The baby will arrange in the delivery position and you may feel him or her pushing while you walk.
Preparing for labor in 37 weeks pregnancy
If you are a first time mother, then it will be quite confusing for you to decide what to pack in the bag. For women who want to give birth outside of the home, it is a good idea to pack necessary things before they experience the first contraction.
What to pack in the bag
The bag should include: necessary clothing for you and your baby, snacks, prescribed medications, camera, necessary toiletries, mindless reading material, and other optional items such as CD player, massage oil, candy to keep your mouth moist, and extra food if you don’t feel comfortable with the hospital food.
Find out what to expect when you are 38 weeks pregnant.