Congratulations on officially becoming 37 weeks pregnant! It’s a big accomplishment to make it this far. Each passing day brings you one step closer to finally meeting your little one. Your baby is now considered ‘at-term’ and can actually arrive at any time now!
37 weeks pregnant in months
When you’re expecting, it’s quite easy to lose track of how many months pregnant you are because you’re so focused on counting weeks. Well, we’re here to tell you that you’ve officially entered the second week of your ninth month of pregnancy.
There are a lot of things going on in there with a baby, and a lot of changes happening in your body as it prepares for labor and delivery. Let’s find out all about it.
How big is your baby at 37 weeks?
The average length of a baby at 37 weeks gestation is 19.1 inches (48.5 cm). Baby likely weighs 6.3 pounds (2.8 kg) and is packing on half an ounce (14 g) per day.
Remember when your little one was the size of a poppy seed? Bet he doesn’t feel so little anymore! Baby is now as long as a head of romaine lettuce.
37 weeks pregnant baby position
When does the baby head turn down? This is usually after 26 weeks. By week 37, your baby should be in this cephalic presentation. If he isn’t, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
You might be wondering how to tell if baby’s head is down. You can do this via belly mapping. This lets you know how the baby is positioned in your womb.
Pregnancy week 37 fetal development
At this point, baby is too big to do much kicking and punching. You’re more likely to feel her stretching, rolling, twisting, and turning as it gets more crowded in there. Your uterine wall continues to stretch out, becoming thinner and letting more light through as baby (hopefully) starts to adjust to a more regular schedule.
Currently, baby is practicing breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. The brain and lungs aren’t quite finished growing and developing, although if baby is born this week, everything is likely to be just fine.
Your body at week 37 of pregnancy
37 weeks pregnant belly
“Has baby dropped yet?” As you progress in your ninth month of pregnancy, you’ll probably be hearing this question a lot. It means that baby’s head has descended into your pelvis in anticipation of labor. When this happens, it’s a sign that you’ll be delivering baby within the next four weeks. Your belly will actually look like it’s lower down.
If you have dropped, your lungs will get some much-needed relief. Unfortunately, your bladder will pay the price, and at this point, you may feel a constant need to pee. All that pressure can also cause some other new aches and pains down there.
At this point, you’ll want to lather on that stretch mark cream, because in the next three weeks, you’re likely to see new marks and lines show up as your baby rapidly gains weight.
37 weeks pregnant symptoms
You may be feeling a lot of things at this point in your pregnancy. It all comes with the territory. These are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing in your 37th week of pregnancy.
- Swelling. A little swelling in the extremities is normal at this stage of pregnancy. You may even find that your nose looks bigger!
- Nausea. Nausea is a common symptom of pregnancy often associated with the first trimester, but the last few weeks can bring on some major queasiness! Talk to your doctor if you are vomiting to ensure that you don’t become dehydrated.
- Heartburn. Baby is growing rapidly, which means he’s probably putting some pressure on your digestive system.
- Trouble sleeping. Many women experience difficulty sleeping in their ninth month. Whether your bladder, lower back, cramping calves, or general discomfort is keeping you awake, there are things you can do to encourage better sleep. Cut down on caffeine, increase your water intake in the morning and cut down on drinking in the evening, do light exercise during the day, and get yourself a great body pillow for support while sleeping.
- Contractions. Braxton-Hicks contractions — or “practice contractions” — may be more frequent now as your body prepares for birth. Braxton Hicks contractions do not result in dilation of the cervix.
- Your abdomen will feel tight, but will likely relax within a minute or two on its own, with a change in position, or when you empty your bladder.
- Spotting. A few drops of blood every now and then — and especially after sex — is normal at this stage of pregnancy. If it’s more than a few drops, call your doctor.
- Vaginal discharge. Your vaginal discharge may increase to the point where you might need to wear a pantyliner (sanitary pads) .
- Stretch marks. These last few weeks of pregnancy are really pushing your body to the limit — your skin may need some love, so apply that stretch mark cream liberally!
- Abdominal pressure. You’re bound to feel pressure here, there, and everywhere in your abdomen. Try getting into an all fours pose to relieve some pressure.
Aside from all the physical symptoms you’re experiencing, there may be a lot of emotional changes going on as well. Excitement, fear, anticipation, and even anxiety may begin to arise as you mentally prepare for this little human’s entrance to the world.
You may find yourself cleaning, organizing, washing, and scrubbing — all part of “nesting”. Baby’s arrival is just around the corner, so who can blame you for wanting to be prepared?
Your ultrasound schedule will vary based on where you live, how your pregnancy is going, and who your doctor is. At this stage of pregnancy, most women will have had all their ultrasounds already.
If you suspect that something is wrong, or that baby is moving less than she is supposed to be moving at this point, your doctor may opt to do a quick ultrasound to make sure that everything is okay.
A 37-week ultrasound will help to determine how baby is doing in there, and to ensure that she isn’t in any distress.
You may feel like it’s the last thing you want to do right now, but light exercise is still recommended, even at this very late stage of pregnancy. Grab your partner or a friend and head outside for a stroll around the block. Do light stretches, and maybe even some pregnancy-safe yoga as well.
Don’t forget to drink water during pregnancy — it’s one of the most important things you can do to keep you and baby happy and healthy. Drink plenty of water through the morning and afternoon, and ease up a bit in the evening to prevent too many middle-of-the-night bathroom visits.
You’re in the home stretch. Keep on eating the recommended foods to eat during pregnancy, and stay away from raw meat, raw eggs, raw fish, raw seafood, raw sprouts, smoked fish or meat, and soft cheeses. As soon as that baby is out, you can have all the sushi, pasta carbonara, and smoked salmon you want!
These helpful pregnancy nutrition tips are especially useful during these last few weeks:
- Eat nutrient-dense foods and minimize consumption of simple carbohydrates.
- Make sure you’re getting enough calcium to help build your baby’s nervous system and bones.
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamins which are essential for baby’s development.
- Focus on eating lean meat and poultry and fatty fish for protein.
- You should be getting 27 mg of iron per day.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of a few large meals.
Sex at week 37 of pregnancy
Sex at 37 weeks is perfectly fine for most pregnancies. Unless told otherwise by your doctor, you and your partner can continue to be intimate until your water breaks or you’re rushing to the hospital due to real labor contractions.
You’ll definitely want to experiment with different positions if your go-to is missionary. For example spooning (lying on the left side in order to reduce pressure on vena cava inferior). At 37 weeks, there can be too much pressure on your belly. Also, it isn’t a good idea to lie flat on your back for too long because it can compromise blood flow to the large blood vessels (abdominal part of the aorta, part of vena cava inferior) behind the uterus.
You may experience contractions after orgasm. That’s completely normal, and nothing to be concerned about. They usually disappear within a few minutes.
Another thing you may experience after having sex at 37 weeks is spotting. Your cervix is very tender now, and there’s a lot more blood flow in that area than usual, so you may get irritated pretty quickly. A little blood is usually not a cause for concern.
Feeling antsy? Week 37 is the perfect time to prepare mentally and physically for baby’s arrival. Here are some things you can do each day of week 37 to better prepare yourself for D-day.
37 weeks 1 day pregnant
Take some photos! Hold up a head of lettuce or a stalk of Swiss chard to indicate how big your baby is at week 37. Measure your belly and write it down. In a few years, you’ll marvel at just how much your belly grew in your last trimester of pregnancy.
37 weeks 2 days pregnant
Time to start packing your hospital bag! Get out your hospital bag checklist and make sure you have everything you need come go-time. If you don’t, make a shopping list so you could order online or head to the store and pick up those useful last-minute items (you know, like witch hazel, disposable undies, magazines, maternity sanitary pads, snacks, etc.).
37 weeks 3 days pregnant
Make an appointment with your doctor for your 38-week prenatal visit if you haven’t already. Sit down and write out a list of questions you would like to ask your doctor. They can include questions about the next few weeks of pregnancy, labor, delivery, after-care, or anything else you may be wondering about.
37 weeks 4 days pregnant
Read about labor and childbirth and make sure you know the signs of active labor. Include your partner in your research, and brush up on techniques and methods that your partner can use to make you more comfortable during contractions and throughout your stay in the delivery room.
37 weeks 5 days pregnant
Read up on baby blues and postpartum depression (PPD). It’s important to know about these things and to acknowledge that 15% of women experience PPD after birth. Learn the signs and make sure your partner can recognize the signs as well.
37 weeks 6 days pregnant
Try a perineal massage. It’s certainly not the most comfortable thing in the world, but a perineal massage may save you from some burning and tearing down there. The idea is to gently stretch the perineum — the area between your vagina and anus — to minimize burning, pain, and tearing during delivery.
Make sure your hands and perineum are well lubricated for the massage. Insert 2 fingers 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 inches) into your vagina and gently, but firmly apply pressure downward, toward your anus. Slowly pull your two fingers apart so that you are stretching downwards and outwards. When you begin to feel a tingling sensation, it means that you are stretching the skin. You can also stretch the perineum from the outside by gently pulling the skin outward toward your thighs.
Get your partner to help you with the perineal massage if you have difficulty doing it yourself.
37 weeks 7 days pregnant
Read about baby grooming basics and newborn care. Immerse yourself in a world of baby poop (How many times a day? What color should it be?), pee (How many wet diapers should a newborn be putting out?), spit up (How much is too much?), cleaning (Do I really need to clean the umbilical cord stump with alcohol every time I change a diaper?), bathing (Wait until the stump falls off!), and more.
What to ask your doctor?
You should feel comfortable asking your doctor about anything having to do with the rest of your pregnancy, labor, delivery, after-care, your next period, and more. Questions about your physical, emotional, and mental well-being are all equally important.
Here are some questions you can put on your list:
- What happens if I go past my due date?
- Can I walk around during labor?
- Can I eat and drink during labor?
- What are the standard post-birth newborn tests and procedures?
- At what point do you decide if I will need an episiotomy?
- Will I have lochia if the baby is delivered via C-section?
- How long will I bleed after giving birth?
- When should I be expecting my period?
Be sure to go over your birth plan with your doctor and ask about policies regarding induction, pain medication, emergency cesareans, delivery room rules (who is allowed in), and anything else you would like to be briefed on. Make sure you have all the answers you want, because this may be your last appointment before giving birth.
You made it to week 37 of pregnancy, and for that, you should be proud! By this point, baby is feeling crowded in there and each passing day brings him closer to his big debut.
The urge to clean, organize, and get all ready for a newborn is probably very strong, but don’t forget to put your feet up and relax a little before baby comes!