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Mother and Baby

37 Weeks Pregnant – What to expect

37 weeks pregnant

This week, you’re getting closer than ever to your baby’s arrival, and her body is still maturing. Find out what else you need to know now that you’re 37 weeks’ pregnant.

How big is my baby at 37 weeks?

This week, your baby’s bigger than ever at the size of a large cantaloupe. She weighs around six and a half pounds, though if he’s a boy, he’ll likely weigh even more than this. She’s also getting tall, measuring over 19 inches from top to toe. 

What’s my baby doing at 37 weeks?

Although your due date is close now, your baby still isn’t considered full term for another two weeks, so if she’s born now, she’ll still be considered early term. The next two weeks in your womb - if she decides to stay in there till then! - will see her brain and lungs reach full maturity. She’ll keep gaining around half a pound a week until the birth.

She’ll also still be practising for life outside of her cosy current home, rehearsing by breathing amniotic fluid, sucking her thumb, moving from side to side and even blinking. Once she’s born, her head will be the same circumference as her chest. 

Ever wondered what your baby will look like once she’s born? Surprisingly, your baby may look quite different to both you and your partner. If she’s born now and has different colour hair to both of you, don’t fret: it’s perfectly normal for dark haired couples to have a baby emerge with blonde or red hair, or fair-haired parents to have a little one with a dark mop. Alternatively, your baby could have no hair but just sport a fine peachy down. 

What is my body doing at 37 weeks?

Your doctor or midwife will start checking for signs of labour now, looking to see if your cervix is dilated (it needs to open to 10 centimetres in order for the baby to pass into the birth canal) as well as checking the consistency of the cervix, which will get softer before labour. You’ll also be checked for effacement, or how thin your cervix is (it’ll be super-thin before giving birth), the position of your cervix and the position of the baby in relation to your pelvis. The lower down your baby is, the closer you are to meeting her for the first time. 

All these processes can take from a day to a month to occur, so while of course they’re helpful signs in determining how far along you are, they’re not concrete evidence of the actual start of labour. For example, some women who are very dilated may not give birth for weeks, while other women’s cervixes can go from being closed to open in a matter of hours.

If you go into labour now, you might feel crampy – a bit like you’re getting your period. You’ll also pass your mucus plug – it’ll either come out all at once in a lump, or you’ll get increased vaginal discharge over a few days. It might have brown, pink or red blood in it, especially if you’ve had sex, which is still perfectly safe at this stage. It’s because your cervix is softening in readiness for labour. 

If you’re worried at all about any discharge or bleeding that doesn’t seem normal, speak to your doctor urgently. And if your waters break before your contractions have started, then you’ll be induced if they don’t start soon after to reduce the risk of infection. So whether your waters come out in out in a trickle or full flow, you must call your doctor or midwife straight away.

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Not gaining weight: Yippee - another happy pregnancy symptom! Many women don’t gain any weight at all at this stage, which makes a change from the pound a week of gained weight you’ve come to expect from the third trimester.
  • The baby not moving as much: If your baby is more quiet than usual, don’t worry: by the time her head is engaged in your pelvis, there’ll be a lot less room for her to dance around, with the only movements possible usually twisting and squirming. What’s important is to feel some movement every day. If you’re not feeling this, speak to your doctor or midwife. 
  • Insomnia: It may be harder than ever to nod off at night, so try to take it easier during the day. You’ll need to relax before the exhausting but beautiful whirlwind the baby will bring with her.
  • Changing breasts: Just like your bellybutton probably became an outie, your nipples will also protrude more now, perfect for your baby to latch onto once she’s born. 
  • Water breaking: Whether your water breaks before or after contractions occur, this means labour is imminent. Whether you get a trickle or a gush, call your doctor or midwife to let them know the news.

What to do this week:

Feeling like you want to make your house into the perfect little home for your baby? Welcome to the nesting instinct! From scrubbing the grouting in your bathroom with a toothbrush to rearranging every item in your kitchen cupboard in size order, or even dismantling door handles so you can disinfect the screws, when this instinct hits you, nothing will stand in your way. Not even a bewildered partner. Essentially, it’s a primal need to prepare a ‘nest’ for the new baby, and organise your world.

Although of course it’s not harmful to spend your days cleaning (if you must!), there’s some things you should be aware of first. If you’ve got the urge to redecorate, then stay away from oil based paints, old paint that may contain lead and some latex paints that contain mercury. Most water-based ones can be used but always check the label and wear protective clothes or gloves. Fancy disinfecting your house top to bottom? Check the safety of the products you’re using. For example, avoid oven cleaners and dry cleaning products, and never mix ammonia with chlorine-based products like bleach, as the combination produces toxic fumes.

Wear rubber gloves when cleaning and try not to breathe strong fumes. And if you have a cat then use gloves to clean the litter box, or get someone else to do it while you’re pregnant. Cat faeces can cause toxoplasmosis (a rare, very serious blood infection that can cause birth defects). And it might be a good idea to stay away from gardening if your cat goes to the loo outside, or if you know neighbourhood moggies use your garden as a public toilet. 

Take me back to week 36

Take me to week 38

Read more: The Mother & Baby Award Winning Pushchairs: 

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Joie Baby Litetrax 4, £200, Amazon

Our mums loved this Joie pushchair so much, they awarded it the Mother & Baby 2017 gold award. Noting how easy the pushchair was to put up and down one handed, the fully reclining seat is perfect for a newborn and the swivel wheels allow for easy steering, especially on and off public transport. It also looks super modern and stylish. Read more reviews of the Joie Baby Litetrax 4 here. 
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UPPAbaby Cruz, £369, Amazon

Designed for city streets, this narrow pushchair was our 2017 silver award winner. Our team of mum testers loved how easily the seat reclined and the extra little pockets, great for holding bottles and toys. Our mums also loved the higher chassis, which allows your baby to sit higher off the ground and closer to you. Read more reviews of the UPPAbaby Cruz here. 
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iCandy Peach, £755, John Lewis 

It's been a firm favourite for the past few years, so it was no surprise when the iCandy Peach won bronze in our 2017 Mother & Baby awards. The iCandy Peach can also be upgraded to a double travel system, meaning this clever little pushchair also won silver in our Best Multiple, Twin or Tandem Pushchair category. Famous for it's one handed fold and of course, it's eye catching design, our panel of mum testers loved how easy this pushchair is to use day to day, rather than just in the YouTube videos! Finding it light, sturdy and easy to manoeuvre, our mums gave this pushchair four and half stars out of five. Read more reviews of the iCandy peach here. 
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ABC Design Pepper Travel System, £670, Amazon

Suitable from six months, the three position seat has a full lie back feature, and along with the group 0+ car seat, this travel system can be used from birth. Winning gold in our 2017 Best Travel System Mother & Baby awards, our mums loved how light and easy to use the system was. Well built and easy to push, the pushchair can be adapted as your child grows. Read more real mum reviews of the ABC Design Pepper Travel System here. 
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UPPAbaby Vista, £599, Amazon

Another pushchair you'll see just about everywhere, the UPPAbaby Vista won the silver 2017 Mother & Baby Award in the Best Travel System catergory AND gold in the Best Multiple, Twin or Tandem Pushchair category. Why? Our mums loved how luxurious the pushchair looked and how easy it was to convert. In fact, one of our mum testers said: 'this travel system made me weep with happiness!' Read more reviews of the UPPAbaby Vista here. 
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Mamas & Papas Armadillo Flip XT, £350, Amazon

Winning bronze in the Best Travel System category, this compact travel system can be folded down in seconds, whichever way the seat is facing. Our mum testers loved how comfortable their little ones seemed in the pram, with the wide wheels giving them a comfy ride. They also loved the room underneath the pram, which is great for those days when you just can't travel light! Read more real mum reviews of the Mamas & Papas Armadillo Flip XT here. 
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Out 'n' About Little Nipper Double, £429.95, Amazon 

This lightweight, practical double buggy won bronze in our 2017 Bronze Best Multiple, Twin or Tandem Pushchair category and it's easy to see why. Despite it's side by side design, the pushchair still only weighs 11kg, making it one of the lightest double buggies on the market. Our mums loved how easy it was to use and how comfy their little ones looked in the Little Nipper. Read more real mum reviews of the Out 'n' About Little Nipper Double here. 
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Silver Cross Zest, £120, John Lewis 

Weighing just 5.8kg, it's no wonder the Silver Cross Zest won gold in our 2017 Best Lightweight Stroller category. Suitable from birth up to 25kg the roomy seat will stand the test of time. A great one to buy for a holiday, the fully-extendable hood has UPF50+ sun protection. Our real mum testers loved how easy the pushchair was to fold down, and of course, how light it felt to move around. Read more reviews of the Silver Cross Zest here. 
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Cosatto Supa Stroller in Bow How - Babies 'R' Us Exclusive, £219, Toys R' Us

Winning Silver in the 2017 Best Lightweight Stroller category, this Supa Bow How Stroller from Cosatto was designed especially for Babies R' Us. Our mums loved how stylish and easy this lightweight buggy was to use, making leaving the house easy (for once!) It is also easy to fit into, and get in and out of a car boot, however small your car may be. Read more reviews of the Cosatto Supa Stroller here. 
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Chicco Liteway Lightweight Buggy, £120, Amazon

Light enough to carry in one hand, with an easy umbrella fold, our mums loved this lightweight stroller so much, they gave it a bronze award in our 2017 Best Lightweight Stroller category. With a roomy seat, padded bumper and comfy leg rest, despite being so light, you are not skimping on quality here. Our mums loved how high quality this pushchair felt, as well as being stylish and durable. Read more real mum reviews of the Chicco Liteway Lightweight Buggy here. 

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