You are now less than one month from delivering your baby! Keep reading for more information about your 37th week.
Pregnancy Week 37: What changes are occurring with your body?
If you have been measuring your uterus throughout your pregnancy, you may notice that there is little to no difference at this point. Most likely you will not notice any significant weight gain from this point on. Your total weight gain should be around 25 to 35 pounds.
The amount of amniotic fluid begins to decline around 37 weeks. Braxton Hicks contractions also increase in frequency. As your body begins to prepare for labor, your cervix will begin to dilate and efface, and you will pass the mucus plug. During pregnancy, a mucus plug blocks the opening to the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering.
Before labor, this mucus plug is expelled in preparation of delivery. Passing a mucus plug is a sign that your cervix is dilating, and your body is starting to prepare for birth. Labor could be hours, days, or even weeks away as the cervix gradually opens over time.
Pregnancy Week 37: How big is your baby?
Your baby is probably about 18 inches long and weighs 6 to 7 pounds.*
Pregnancy Week 37: What is happening with your baby?
Even though by the end of this week your baby is considered full term, it is still better in most situations for the baby to remain in the womb until he/she signals that he/she is ready to come out. If your baby has not turned and is not in the head down position, you should begin talking with your health care provider and partner regarding the various options that are available.
There are several ways that babies can be turned. There are both natural techniques and medical techniques. Remember that breech presentations occur in about 1 in 25 full-term births. For more information regarding breech presentation and turning your baby please see breech births.*
Pregnancy Week 37: What should you plan for this week?
You should be finishing up childbirth classes and taking care of any other preparations for the baby. Make sure your bags are packed, and you may want to try a test run to the hospital just to be on the safe side.
Tips for making your pregnancy better:
Basically you are in a waiting game from this point on. However, just because you do not know when the big day will come, this does not mean that you cannot prepare now. If there are any last minute preparations that need to be completed before the arrival of your baby, now is a good time to finish these up. Some women also like to make sure that things are in order, such as the house or apartment being clean.
When you first arrive back at home with the baby, things can be quite chaotic. To better prepare yourself for this transition, it can be a good idea to have a supply of take-out menus available so that a quick dinner can be ordered. Maybe you love to cook and prepare several meals that can be frozen and eaten once you and the baby are back at home.
Pregnancy Week 37: Tips for mom’s partner:
Is there anything that you can help your partner with during these last couple of weeks? Has she repeatedly asked you to put together the crib or finish painting the nursery? Perhaps it is another household chore that she would like you to do or needs your assistance with. Maybe you have done a great job in keeping up with her “honey-do” list, and you just need to take her out for one last “date” before the baby comes.