At 37 weeks, you have completed the full term of pregnancy. The baby is due anytime now. You may still
have 2 or 3 more weeks to go. You and baby are still growing and putting on a lot of weight. You are fully pregnant now and probably feeling very tired and exhausted. You will be enjoying the fruits of your labor very soon.
By now, you have become real big with a huge tummy. You are feeling very heavy and may be experiencing difficulty while walking. This may be due to baby’s presentation or positioning for the birth. Your uterus has expanded considerably and become nearly a thousand times its original volume.
You will find it very surprising that you will be regaining your original shape in a few days after childbirth. You will see your baby grow into a toddler, child and teenager and with memories of your pregnancy and labor. Planning and organizing in advance helps a lot during pregnancy. A mother must decide about family planning, contraception, conceiving, pregnancy, childbirth and baby care in consultation with her partner or husband. If everything is planned and organized properly, then there are no last minute hassles.
The parents to be should be ready with bags of maternity clothes for the mother and clothes for the baby. If the mother plans to top feed, bottles must be prepared. She must keep communication lines open and should maintain contact with the hospital where she is going for delivery. If the husband or partner is unavailable, then arrange for a friend or a relative to take you to the hospital. Keep your vehicle ready for a trip to the hospital.
Your Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions may be more frequent. You may also be experiencing intense dreams.
Baby’s Development: Baby is officially full-term! He is continuing to gain weight, but he is ready to make his appearance any time.
Baby’s Size: 46.2 cm, 2.4 kg.
To Do: Start reading up on baby care and parenting.
The baby is putting on weight at a very fast pace during the 37 weeks pregnant stage. The fat is getting deposited on the cheeks, knees and elbows and these are becoming dimpled due to fat deposition. The baby is putting on weight at the rate of ½ ounce per day. The baby becomes rounder by the day. The skin is fast losing its wrinkled appearance and the skin color is becoming pinker. The baby is breathing very well by now. The baby’s development is nearly fully completed. She is ready to be delivered at any time now. The baby’s approximate weight is about 6 1/2 to 7 pounds and the approximate length is 20 to 21 inches.
The most significant development at this stage of pregnancy is the positioning or presentation of the baby for birth. The mother experiences increased pressure in the lower abdominal area. This is called engaging or lightening. The baby moves or shifts downward and its head comes to rest in the mother’s pelvic bone bowl. This is the case in 95% of the deliveries. The baby might position or present in many other ways like traverse, breech, brow, knee and so on.
The baby’s hair has grown quite well by this stage. Some babies have very good hair growth and some babies may have very little or no hair at all. The exterior coatings of the baby start coming out now and the baby swallows these along with the additional secretions in uterus.
Changes With Your Body
You are in the full term or advanced stages of pregnancy in the 37 weeks pregnant stage. You are now due for delivery anytime. The baby delivered at this stage is a mature, full term baby. You might be feeling very heavy now due to increased weight. You will continue to put on weight as the baby is still growing and developing.
At this stage, the baby has come down in the pelvic cavity of your body and positioned itself for the birth. Your body will now start preparing for labor. This is done by dilation of the cervix. The mucus plug which acts as a protective sealant of the uterus begins to discharge from the body. Do consult your doctor about all types of discharges.
The other significant bodily change is the increased breast size. The breasts become heavier and fuller due to hormonal changes. The breasts may feel tender and uncomfortable. In the case of some pregnant women, the breasts start secreting colostrum. There could be cracks in the nipples. There could be increased itchiness of the stomach muscles due to extensive stretching. Other changes include increased restlessness due to tiredness, lack of sleep, frequent urination, high blood pressure, increased sugar levels, hemorrhoids, low back ache, headaches and so on.
What To Expect
You are nearing the end of your pregnancy at the 37 weeks pregnant stage. You might be feeling that the wait has become unbearable now as you count the days until childbirth. Once your bundle of joy is delivered, you will realize your waiting was worth it. You will forget all the pains, aches and discomfort when you will see and feel your baby. All the medical conditions of minor aches and pains will disappear after delivery as these are generally temporary. One must keep a happy and cheerful disposition throughout the pregnancy. This will have a good effect on baby’s development. The pregnant mother must take care with a proper balanced diet accompanied by light exercise schedule to ensure a safe pregnancy and healthy baby. Observe good hygiene and personal cleanliness during the pregnancy period. Itching can be reduced by application of lotions.
Advance planning and organizing will help the expectant mother greatly for the forthcoming events. Talking to your partner, family, friends and medical experts will help in relieving doubts, anxieties and stress. Keep all information regarding telephone numbers of your husband, doctor, hospital ready and handy. Be well prepared with all items for the baby. Welcome your baby with open arms and enjoy motherhood with all its pleasures and challenges.