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A baby, in their 37th week after implantation, is considered a term, the mother, on the other hand, this week gets ready for labor.
The baby, this week, will measure 19.1 inches and weigh 6.3 ounces. To put things in perspective, this would be about the size of a ‘pound puppy’. Isn’t it fascinating!
So what else is happening to the baby in the 37th week of pregnancy?
The baby, in the 37th week, learns to coordinate using their fingers. They learn to grasp and hold things, like the umbilical cord, their hand, and later your pinkie.
This week, the baby should be in a head-down position. If for you, the baby is in the breech (feet down) or transverse (side-lying) position, your doctor may talk to you about the external cephalic version (ECV) procedure to flip the position of the baby.
3. Early term
The baby in the ‘early term’ is fully developed and needs only two weeks more to develop the brain and lungs. However, if they are born this week, they’d need extra care in the NICU till week 39.
What is happening to a mother’s body in the 37th week of Pregnancy?
The mother feels pretty pregnant this week and well enough, at least compared to the weeks in the past. You need to be extra kind to yourself and get ample amounts of rest.
Here’s what is happening to a mother’s body in the 37th week of pregnancy:
As the cervix can be easily irritated, you may have a little spotting, especially after sex. Just in case there is more blood, call the doctor immediately, this could be an indicator of something wrong with the placenta.
2. Gas and bloating
Due to the extra levels of progesterone, the body may feel a little extra bloated or have more gas. In such a scenario, consume smaller meals, stay hydrated, and avoid gassy food.
3. Stretch marks
Do you have tiger-like stripes on the belly, hips, thighs, arms, or the bum? These are tiny tears caused due to the belly stretching as the baby grows or as you gain weight quicker. Try consuming more water and apply oil more often or cream over the marks, they will eventually fade away with your skin.
4. Trouble sleeping
Most pregnant women find it difficult to sleep in their late pregnancy. Try stress-reduction techniques, like yoga and meditation, gentle exercises to help you relax your mind.
5. Nausea and/or diarrhea
The mothers in the 37th week feel ill as the baby grows bigger crowding the digestive tract. However, keep in mind if you feel nauseous or diarrhea, as they are signs of labor.
6. Braxton Hicks contractions
Doctors have believed these contractions to be toning the muscles for childbirth helping to dilate and efface the cervix. It would then spur the labor contractions, on the other hand, true labor contractions are more regular, unlike Braxton contraction. If you experience them to be painful and more regular, contact the doctor immediately.
7. Baby drops
Anytime in this or the coming week, the baby will drop into the pelvis area, preparing for labor. It could also happen right before the delivery or in a few weeks up the month. You will notice yourself breathing more easily and taking more washroom trips once the baby drops.
8. Cervical changes
In case of vaginal birth, the cervix needs to be softened, dilated, and efface, for which the doctor would make changes in the appointments. These changes (if needed) will then begin to take place weeks before the delivery or at times on the same day.
9. Mucus plug
During the 37th week, there would be mucus plugging the cervix, but, with the dilation and effacement, it plugs out through a discharge. If you feel the mucus being too thick, it could be alarming as you might go into labor, so contact the doctor.
What would your belly look like in the 37th week of pregnancy?
You will still gain a pound per week in the 37th week as you have in the earlier weeks. If you feel you are not putting enough weight in the last month of your pregnancy, contact the doctor. It might only be due to the maximum weight gained as needed for the baby’s arrival.
The amniotic fluid starts to reduce hereafter resulting in the bump not increasing much in the 37th week of your pregnancy. The doctor will look into it making sure the baby has enough padding.
For some brownie points, here is a quick checklist to get your sailing through the 37th week of pregnancy:
1. Prepare a list of things to do in the last few weeks before the baby arrives, be it the last-minute chores, keep yourself entertained and relaxed, go on walks, movie nights, and prenatal yoga classes.
2. Put together a “Baby Watch List” with all contacts to inform as soon as the baby arrives. Assign someone for the job, they could be your BFF, partner, or sister.
3. Prepare a birth announcement creative online with a picture, ready to send.
4. Before the labor pains hit you, make sure you have everything you need as you may not have time later. Also, book a pharmacy or amazon for a bottle of Colace, the last thing you’ll need is an undue strain in the lower abdomen.
Here is a little checklist for you to go through,
1. Visit the 37th week prenatal.
2. Get Group B Strep test done.
3. Pick a pediatrician, so they are aware of your medical records and what they could expect from you. Also, have the contact information handy in the hospital bag.
4. Sort things out at work so parental leave is uninterrupted.
5. Prepare a “Baby Watch List” to share the news with as the baby arrives.