37 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect

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With labour just around the corner, by the start of your 37th week, the baby has matured most of its organs and can survive the outside world without any difficulty.





Your Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy- Week 37

Some of the developments that have taken place with your baby include:

Toenails

By now, the toenails should have grown enough to fully cover the toe. These will continue to grow so you can always expect your baby to have slightly overgrown nails when they are born.




Swelling of Mammary Glands

The placental hormones send chemical signals to the pregnant mother to begin the lactation process. These placental hormones also find their way to the baby whose mammary glands will begin to swell. These will return to normal once they are out of the womb.

Armed with Antibodies

The umbilical cord starts to pump the baby’s body with antibodies to help it fight off disease and infection after birth. This is supplemented by breastfeeding once the baby is out of the womb.





Fully Formed Lungs

The baby is ready to come out as the lungs are fully functional by this time. They will support the baby breathing the outside air by producing a lipoprotein called surfactant.

What Is The Baby Size

When you’re 37 weeks pregnant baby size is about the size of a Romaine Lettuce. She is approximately 19.1 inches long and has probably attained a weight of 2.8 kilograms. This is about the same weight as that of a baby kangaroo!




Common Body Changes

The common body changes during pregnancy in the 37th week include:

Braxton Hicks Contractions

These are practice contractions that increase in frequency by the 37th





Amniotic Fluid

There is a reduction in the amniotic fluid as the size of the baby has displaced most of the fluid.

Symptoms Of Pregnancy At Week 37

Some of the symptoms that women experience during this time include:




Heart Burn

As the uterus has expanded to accommodate the baby, it presses against many of the internal organs within the body such as the stomach. This can cause stress to the digestive system which may result in problems such as heartburn.

Spotting

Spotting or bleeding is something that is common at the 37th week of pregnancy due to the increased sensitivity of the cervix. The bleeding may have taken place due to some irritation in the region or even because of sexual intercourse.





Insomnia

Sleeplessness is something that is bound to affect all pregnant women at some point during their pregnancy. The reasons for this include urge to urinate frequently, uncomfortable sleeping position and anxiety.

What Are The Signs Of Labour?

The onset of labour is likely to happen around the 37th week and the baby is considered a term baby. Some of the signs that can help you figure out when its time include:




Regular contractions

Regular contractions begin prior to labour but they can often be confused with false contractions better known as Braxton Hicks contractions. Though these may be similar in intensity, the best indicator for labour contractions is consistent contractions over time. If they are irregular or go away if you rest, they are probably Braxton Hicks contractions.

Water breaking

This is the breaking/tearing of the protective amniotic sac that has been cradling your baby all this while. Every woman has a different experience when her water breaks as it depends on the size and area of the tear. Based on this, the amount of amniotic fluid that comes out of cervix and vagina could be a trickle or a gush.





Mucus plug

This is a type of cervical mucous loaded with antimicrobial properties to protect that baby from infection against bacteria. Once this comes out because of the baby drop, most women go into labour in the next 12 hours.

Inducing Labour At 37 Weeks

If you wish to induce labour, you can try out the below techniques to get things going. Please consult your doctor before trying out the below methods as they can recommend the most appropriate technique based on your condition.




Stimulating the Nipples

This is a time-tested way of inducing labour as stimulating the nipples releases oxytocin which helps in inducing labour. This is a powerful method to bring about contractions as they are likely to be stronger and longer in nature.

Sexual Intercourse

Sexual intimacy can help get the ball rolling as the male ejaculation contains prostaglandins that help induce labour. This may be difficult to perform for some women due to the size of their belly. One can use sex positions such as spooning, rear entry or woman on top to induce labour.


Belly at 37 weeks of Pregnancy

By this time, you would experience something called dropping. This is a phenomenon when the baby descends to the pelvic region in preparation for labour. However, this ‘dropping’ cannot be visually noticed by anyone.

37 Weeks Ultra Sound

During the 37th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound is mainly taken to see that the baby is in a head down position. Other developments can be tracked during this time such as heartbeat rate and condition of the uterus. Determining the sex of the baby at this point is difficult as the baby almost doesn’t move from here on out.

What to Eat

As you enter your 37th week pregnancy food must be classified based on three factors. Firstly, as the pregnancy is considered full term, one can begin to eat labour inducing food items which include castor oil, small amounts of spicy food, raspberry leaf and primrose oil. Secondly, as the body still experiences heartburn, trigger foods such as alcohol, fatty foods and oily foods are to be avoided. Lastly, the baby’s brain is making rapid strides in terms of development. For this, protein-rich foods like fish, eggs and milk are to be eaten.

Tips and Care

Below are some of the things that you must be taken into consideration when you’re 37 weeks pregnant:


Do’s

  • Chart out a route that you can take to the hospital which has the least amount of traffic.

Don’ts

  • Nesting phase is a time when pregnant mothers are expecting their newborn to soon and go on a cleaning frenzy. While one doesn’t need to suppress this urge, moving around can be difficult, so one needs to take rest. As an alternative, one can make somebody else do the work for you!
  • Limit the intake of caffeine as it will only aggravate your insomnia.

What you need to shop

As you’re full term now at 37 weeks of pregnancy, here are some of the things you can shop for:

Baby’s arrival

The baby isn’t going to be carrying a suitcase when he/she arrives so you’ll have to buy some baby essentials. These include baby pads, nappies, a blanket and unisex baby clothes.

Your comfort

The delivery process can take a while and can be uncomfortable which is why you can arm yourself with books, a comfortable pillow and your own toiletry set.

Conclusion

By this time, you’re almost towards the end of your pregnancy. The most important thing that one needs to do at this point is to watch out for the signs of labour.


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