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37 weeks pregnant

Katie de Klee
All you need to know at this pregnancy stage, what changes to expect, and some great tips for the week ahead.
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5 things to look forward to at 37 weeks pregnant:
  1. You have a full-term baby!
  2. Cervical dilation.
  3. Pregnancy insomnia.
  4. Pelvic pressure and discomfort.
  5. A sudden rush of energy.
How your life will change this week:
Babies in the 37th week are known as full-term babies, so you could give birth any day now. Your body will go through some preparations for labour and it’s a good idea to be aware of the signs that your labour is beginning. As your baby drops further against your cervix, your bladder will still be feeling squeezed and you’ll still need to pee all the time. If you notice blood in your vaginal discharge don’t worry – blood vessels in the cervix may rupture as your cervix dilates in preparation for labour.

You may be finding it hard to sleep at night and it might get increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position. Gentle exercise and fresh air will help. Some believe that this is your body’s way of preparing you for the sleepless nights you’ll have with your baby. Strangely, you might also feel a sudden rush of energy at this stage, which you’ll probably use to make sure everything is ready for the arrival of your baby. It’s not uncommon for heavily pregnant women to suddenly feel the urge to springclean!

Your baby’s development this week:
Your baby is getting ready for life outside the womb: still practising inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid and maybe sucking a thumb and blinking their eyes. Your baby will weigh nearly 2.8kg and could be up to 50cm long from head to toe this week.

Some babies are born with a full head of hair, others with less or no hair. But the hair that covered your baby’s body (the lanugo) will most probably have completely shed by now, and your baby will be losing the whitish protective layer (the vernix) that covered their skin. Your baby will swallow the lanugo and it will appear as a blackish substance called meconium in your baby’s first nappy.

This week’s To Do list:
  • Mentally visualise the birth going according to plan, with absolutely no complications and a minimum of stress and pain. The calmer you feel going in, the easier it is likely to be.
  • Go on a date with your partner, and maybe make the most of the fact that you can still have sex now, but not for the first five weeks after birth.
  • Make sure the nursery is ready for your little one.
If you have 5 minutes… Pregnancy top tip.
Now is the perfect time to figure out how to install the car seat, and put it in the car ready to bring yourbaby home. This is a great task to hand over to your partner!

Curious about next week?  
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms-to-be in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says…
This article has been checked by Sister Pippa Hime, Midwife. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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