37 Week Pregnant


At 37 weeks pregnant, symptoms can be confused with signs of labor.  A vaginal discharge which is slightly tinged with a little blood is an indication that labour is a few days away.  Call your healthcare practitioner immediately if you have heavier spotting or bleeding. Be on alert for any bleeding at this time. As your waistline has been expanding, so have your breasts. They are now full of milk, ready for feeding, and beginning to secrete colostrum if they have not started to do so earlier.  Leakage from your breasts is a common occurrence, as hormonal changes have caused the heaviness and increase in size. At this time your breasts may be sensitive and painful to the touch. These symptoms are normal. You can expect to continue experiencing all of the aches, pains, and emotions that come with full term pregnancy. Many babies are born with a full head of hair and even locks.

Here’s what you might be feeling at 37 week pregnancy:

  1. Heartburn Baby continues to put pressure on your digestive system as you near your due date.
  2. Spotting A little bit of spotting is normal at week 37 of pregnancy. Remember, your cervix is extra sensitive while you’re pregnant, so sex can irritate it and make it bleed. But call your doctor if it’s more than just a few drops of blood. Vaginal bleeding could be a sign of a problem with the placenta (such as placental abruption) and it is important to seek treatment right away. Also, don’t confuse spotting or bleeding with the bloody show, a discharge tinged with blood that’s a totally harmless sign your cervix is changing to prep for delivery.
  3. Stretch marks Sorry, but new stretchies might appear on your 37 weeks pregnant belly and each week from here on out. Keep that body oil on hand and lather up when you can. Also, keep drinking lots of water, even though you’re heading to the bathroom, oh, every two minutes.
  4. Abdominal pressure If baby has dropped down into your pelvis in anticipation of labor, he or she is putting increased pressure on your abdomen, which might make you feel some new aches and pains down below and a greater urge to pee too.
  5. Trouble sleeping It is normal to be up in the middle of the night in late pregnancy. Some strategies for getting more sleep rest- get plenty of light exercise during the day, drink lots of water … except right before bedtime … and limit your caffeine intake.
  6. Contractions At 37 weeks, cramping or contractions are to be expected. After all, you’re going to have a baby soon … your body’s ramping up. You may find that your contractions go away if you sit or lie down. That means they are just Braxton Hicks … not real labor contractions. Make sure you stay hydrated, since dehydration could put you into early labor.
  7. Nausea An upset stomach is pretty typical almost any time during pregnancy. But now that you’re so close to your due date, it could be a sign you’ll go into labor soon. If your nausea is severe, specially if you are vomiting, contact your doctor so he or she can rule out illness or a pregnancy complication such as HELLP or preeclampsia.

57 percent of twins are born before pregnancy week 37, so if you are carrying twins and is still hanging in there, you’re in the minority among moms of multiples. And while you’re probably feeling super uncomfortable and really antsy to get those babies out, you’re doing a really good thing for their health by sticking it out.

Development of Baby

At 37 weeks pregnant, baby is the size of a head of romaine lettuce. Baby measures about 19.1 inches (49 cm) and average baby weight is 6.3 pounds (2.85 kg), and baby is gaining about half an ounce each day.

Your baby is growing at a much slower rate these days. Fat deposition is allowing for continued weight gain and growth of your baby, but again, it’s not as much as it was during the preceding weeks.

Before, her skin was very loose and wrinkly but it is now much smoother due to the fat building under the skin.

Her lungs are quite well developed and Your baby’s breathing movements are more frequent as she gets used to inhaling and exhaling.

Baby’s practicing some cool new skills like inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping, and blinking. Baby is getting the first sticky poop (called meconium) in his/her developed digestive system.

Sign of Labor Pain

37 weeks pregnant is the perfect time to brush up on the signs of labor. Each day, your likelihood of going into labor goes up. The various signs of labor tend to fall into two categories – those that mean it’s coming soon and those that mean it’s happening now.

You’ll go into labor soon if you notice these signs of labor at 37 weeks (though no one can say how soon- every pregnancy is different):

  1. Mucus plug and/or bloody show You may see a bit of thick mucus come out onto your underwear, either in one big glob or little by little. This is the mucus plug, which has been protecting your cervix all along. As your cervix dilates, the mucus plug is released to make way for baby. The mucus plug may or may not have a tinge of blood in it – if it does, that’s the bloody show.
  2. Nausea Some women swear they start to feel sick to their stomach just before labor begins. So, at 37 weeks pregnant, nausea might mean baby’s coming soon.
  3. Diarrhea When you’re 37 weeks pregnant, diarrhea could just be diarrhea or it could mean impending labor. That’s because as your hormones change to prep for delivery, they can also stimulate your bowels.

Below are the signs labor is here, call to your doctor right away:

  1. Water breaking If you feel water leaking out, either in a gush or a trickle, that’s probably amniotic fluid. Most women go into labor within 12 hours of their water breaking.
  2. Regular contractions Has your 37 weeks pregnant belly been tightening on the reg? If the contractions keep repeating and they seem to be coming more and more frequently, you’re in labor. As your uterus contracts, it’s dilating your cervix so baby can pass through at delivery. If this is your first pregnancy, you may have regular contractions for several hours before you go into what’s known as active labor that’s when contractions get really painful and will require all your attention. (And when you should be at the hospital!)
  3. Back pain the dreaded back labor Sometimes baby is positioned in a way that puts extra pressure on your spine. If you get constant back pain that is more severe than any you have had so far in pregnancy, or the pain radiates from your abdomen to your back (or vice versa), it could mean you are in labor.

Your doctor will tell you at what point to get your 37 weeks pregnant belly to the hospital. If your water has broken, your doctor could advise that you be admitted right away, because you may need to be monitored for infection. If you’re having contractions, they will probably need to be happen consistently five minutes or less apart before many hospitals will admit you, so the farther away you are, the sooner you’ll need to leave your home.

At 37 weeks, many moms-to-be are dying to know how to induce labor. But don’t get ahead of yourself. A 37-week fetus is considered early term. That means doctors don’t recommend inducing or doing a c-section just yet. That’s because at 37 weeks pregnant, some babies need a couple more weeks to complete development. If you go into labor naturally, that’s totally cool, but there’s no need to rush things. Once you hit 39 weeks, which is considered full term, you can feel free to take a long walk, have sex, or have acupuncture done in hopes of naturally inducing labor. Those things are considered safe and may work (though none of them are proven). But seriously, hang tight for a couple weeks. It can make a big difference in the health of your baby at birth. Consider it the first of many selfless acts of love that you will do for baby!

Advice

You’re likely to experience some intense anxiety while you are sleeping, both about labour and becoming a parent. This can fuel strange unconscious thoughts. Try to relax. As you go through the final weeks of your pregnancy, it’s crucial to rest as much as possible. When you lie down, try to stay on your left side. Light exercises may help relieve pain if you have the strength to do so. Continue to eat small meal portions, multiple times a day.

A 37-week ultrasound might be performed as part of a biophysical profile. The profile is designed to gauge baby’s well-being using the ultrasound and the results of a non-stress test.

For moms who are 37 weeks pregnant with twins, your doctor might talk to you about induction or C-section (depending on your medical history and babies’ statuses). Some doctors recommend this happen at 38 weeks pregnant with twins.

No matter how or when you’re going to deliver your baby (or babies), try not to get too impatient waiting for baby. Remind yourself that it could be any day now or it could be a few weeks. If you’re feeling antsy, go find something else to do or think. You may spend time to select names your upcoming baby (babies) 🙂 .

Next Week – Week 38

Third  Trimester (Week 28 – Week 42)