37 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect

37 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect

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Now that you’re 37 weeks pregnant, your due date is close and you can’t wait to take your baby in your arms. At 37 weeks, your pregnancy can be termed as ‘early term’. Most of your baby’s organs have matured and your little one can survive the outside world without any difficulty. But your baby is still developing, honing the important skills like swallowing and sucking. Read on to know how much he has developed and what’s left. Here’s what you can expect at 37th week of your pregnancy.

Your Baby’s Growth During the 37th Week of Pregnancy

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

1. Toenails

By now, your baby’s 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 Size of the Baby at 37 Weeks?

At 37th week of pregnancy, your baby’s size will be about the size of a Romaine Lettuce. He will be approximately 19.1 inches long and may have probably attained a weight of 2.8 kilograms. This is about the same weight as that of a baby kangaroo.

Common Bodily Changes at 37th Week of Pregnancy

The common bodily changes or symptoms that you will experience during the 37th week of pregnancy include:

1. Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions or false contractions increase in frequency by the 37th week of pregnancy. You may experience the muscles in uterus tightening and you may feel them often, every 10 to 20 minutes. You should speak to your doctor in case it hurts.

2. Changes in Amniotic Fluid

There will be a reduction in the amniotic fluid as the increased size of the baby will have displaced most of the fluid.

Symptoms of Pregnancy at Week 37

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

1. Heartburn

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.

Insomnia

What Are the Signs of Labor?

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Losing the mucus plug

This is a type of cervical mucus 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. However, please consult your doctor before trying out the below methods as they can recommend the most appropriate technique based on your condition.

1. 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.

2. 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.

Ultrasound Scan at 37th Week of Pregnancy

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 of pregnancy, foods 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.

What to Eat

Care Tips

Below are some of the things that 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 women experience cleaning and organizing 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 For

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

1. For Your Baby

Shopping for a baby is fun, isn’t it? Since your baby will be here soon, make sure you buy the following beforehand: diapers, changing mat, nappies, a blanket and unisex baby clothes.

2. For You

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.

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. So look out for these signs and have a healthy and easy labour and delivery!

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