Mother and Baby

37 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect

37 weeks pregnant

At thirty-seven week pregnant, you’re getting closer than ever to your baby’s arrival, and their body is still maturing. Find out everything you need to know about your baby, your body and any symptoms you might experience at 37 weeks pregnant.

How big is my baby at 37 weeks?

This week, your baby is bigger than ever at the size of a whole romaine lettuce. They weigh around six and a half pounds, though if he’s a boy, he’ll likely weigh even more than this. They are 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. If they are born now, they will still be considered early term. The next two weeks in your womb (if they decide to stay in there till then) will see their brain and lungs reach full maturity. They will keep gaining around half a pound a week until the birth.

They will still be practising for life outside of their cosy current home, rehearsing by breathing amniotic fluid, sucking their thumb, moving from side to side and even blinking. Once they are born, their head will be the same circumference as their chest. 

Ever wondered what your baby will look like once they are born? Surprisingly, your baby may look quite different to both you and your partner. If they are born now and have different colour hair to both of you, don’t fret! It is 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. 

Common symptoms to look out for:

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1) 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.
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2) 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. 
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3) 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.
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4) 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. 
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5) Stretch marks

Depending on your genetics or skin type you might already be sporting a set of stretch marks on your tummy. You are even more likely to have new ones appearing at this late stage. Keep using a stretch mark cream or oil and stay hydrated (even if it means EVEN MORE toilet trips).
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6) 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.
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7) Spotting

Spotting blood at this stage is not abnormal. Your cervix is hypersensitive so having sex might cause it to bleed. Make sure to call your doctor if it is severe as vaginal bleeding could indicate a placental abruption and you would need immediate treatment. Also, try not to confuse spotting with the loss of your mucus plug.
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8) Mucus plug

Be prepared for losing your mucus plug. It happens at a different time for every woman but can happen weeks, days or hours before labour begins, and looks like a yellow discharge tinged with blood.

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 are 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

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