Week 37 of pregnancy brings some great news for you, your baby, and everyone else who eagerly awaits your baby’s arrival. The most significant of all these is that the 37-week baby in your womb has reached full term. So, you can forget about any pre-term delivery worries. If your baby decides to vacate your tummy during your week 37 of pregnancy so as not to prolong your agony of waiting for his arrival, he will most likely survive.
Week 37 of Pregnancy Signs, Developments, and Tips
Medically, full term means your baby has physically grown and has developed almost all of his crucial bodily systems and functions. These include his respiratory and digestive systems as well as his reflexes such as sucking and swallowing.
Size and Weight
By now, your baby measures about 48 centimeters from head to foot and weighs somewhere between 2.5 to 3 kilos. If you want a clearer picture, your little bundle of joy will be about as large as a winter melon! He will continue to grow and gain weight in the coming days. You can expect him to gain an additional weight of around a quarter of a kilo a day. As your baby continues to develop fats and becomes rounder, he will have pinker and smoother skin. He will lose his wrinkly appearance as his skin becomes more stretched and plump in the days to come.
Respiratory and Digestive Systems
He is, at this stage, perfecting his breathing skill. When you give birth to him in or after week 37 of pregnancy, he would be ready to take his first breath of air and will do just as fine. Aside from breathing, your 37 week baby is honing his swallowing and sucking skills, both essential for breastfeeding. And do not worry about his digestion; your baby at week 37 of pregnancy would be now able to produce his first sticky poop, which is called meconium.
Sucking, Swallowing, and Other Reflexes
The muscles in your baby’s tiny body have developed well. He is blinking and fluttering his eyelids. Your baby is also able to turn his head and make a little grip with his palm or fingers by this time, which shows how much his muscle tone and strength have improved over the course of the past months.
As for you, week 37 of pregnancy will test your “nesting” instinct as well as give you physical and mental discomforts. Just hang in there, your pregnancy troubles will be over soon.
Like any mother of the animal species, you are most likely to be on your toes preparing a space where you will care for and protect your baby. That instinct will be stronger in you around this time in your pregnancy, which explains your sudden urge to clean the house, scrub the floors, and double-check the furniture arrangements in your spanking new nursery room.
Physical and Mental Discomforts
You may be experiencing frequent episodes of heartburn during your pregnancy at 37 weeks. Your growing baby leaves almost no room for your uterus to expand. Your womb is pressing down on your stomach. This causes you to suffer frequent heartburn as the acids in your stomach and intestines go in disarray. You may also feel a more frequent need to pee because your stretched and “dropped” uterus is putting more pressure on your abdomen.
You may also experience more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions during week 37 of pregnancy than before. Your contractions may last longer and make you more uncomfortable if you still have not gotten accustomed to employing necessary and effective breathing techniques to manage your contractions.
Along with frequent and stronger contractions, you will also observe increased vaginal discharge and “blood show” or spotting. This means that you are getting closer and closer to your time of labor. If, however, you still do not feel labor contractions but you notice heavier spotting or bleeding, call your doctor immediately as this may mean your time is actually due.
Pregnancy at 37 weeks also means that you might find yourself having difficulty sleeping. You must continue to exercise as much as you can manage, limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, and drink lots of water during the day if your difficulty sleeping is due to some interrupted bodily functions (like the feeling of having to pee every so often).
However, if your sleep troubles are more because of your increasing anxiety about labor or finally becoming a mother, it would help to have someone to talk with about your thoughts. For your baby and your own good, it is worth taking the extra mile to unload yourself of unnecessary mental baggage and ensure your well-being during your week 37 of pregnancy.