Welcome to thirty-seven weeks pregnant! At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby is finally and officially considered “early term” and no longer pre-term, which is fantastic!
Right now, your baby is putting the finishing touches on perfecting its vital skills, such as swallowing and sucking (which will be much-needed once the baby arrives), while your body may be giving you signs that it is getting ready for labor and delivery.
Keep reading to learn more about what awaits during your 37th pregnancy week, what your baby is going through, what your body is going through, and what you need to prepare for the baby’s arrival.
Physical Symptoms During Week Thirty-Seven of Pregnancy
You are at a very late stage of your pregnancy, which means that your body is in the final stages of preparing for the baby’s arrival.
This means that all pregnancy symptoms will remain similar from week to week. Around week thirty-seven of your pregnancy, some of the main symptoms you can expect are going to include:
Losing Your Mucus Plug
During the first trimester (which probably seems like a lifetime away), cervical mucus forms to plug up your cervix to protect your pregnancy and your growing fetus.
Changes in your cervix that happen during the third trimester can loosen that protective plug and make it unplug and get loose and detached. Once loosened and lost, the mucus plug can appear as a thick discharge with brown or red streaks.
Of course, some pregnant women can pass the plug without even noticing it. Losing the mucus plug is one of the signs that your body is gearing up for labor, but it does not necessarily have to mean that you are going into labor.
When you lose your mucus plug, labor could still be hours, days, or still weeks away, no need to visit your healthcare provider right away.
Increase in Braxton-Hicks
Braxton-Hicks practice contractions are likely to start happening more often in the later pregnancy stages, and they might be mild to strong, often 10-20 minutes apart.
If they become more close together and regular, contact your healthcare provider immediately, as you are very likely going to labor.
Symptoms usually keep you up, but this one will cause your partner to have trouble sleeping during the night, and it might come as a bit of a surprise at thirty-seven weeks pregnant, just a few weeks before the due date.
Most future moms experience some issues and breathing changes in the late pregnancy stages due to pregnancy hormones and hormonal changes that cause the mucus membranes in your nasal passages, which cause snoring.
If snoring is bothering you and your partner, getting a humidifier might be worth it.
Some moms-to-be report experiencing nausea around 37 weeks pregnant, and nausea at such a late stage can mean that labor is on the horizon.
If you start experiencing nausea, stick to smaller meals and enjoy a bit of blander foods like rice, toast, or bananas.
What Happens to The Baby During Week Thirty- Seven of Pregnancy?
At 37 weeks, the baby is almost 19 inches long and weighs about 6,5 pounds, which is about the size of a cantaloupe! The baby’s development is in its end stages, and the baby is getting bigger and stronger by the day!
Nowadays, babies that are delivered before and at 37 weeks are considered “early term” since the baby’s lungs, brain, and liver are still not fully developed. Most babies are now in the head-down position, which means that the baby’s head is down towards your pelvis. If not, no worries! Your healthcare provider can still turn the baby manually, and make sure your baby’s head is in the right position for healthy and easy labor.
Your baby has been practicing sucking and swallowing motions and skills for a few weeks now, getting ready to take feedings after birth. The coordination of sucking and swallowing will be developed in full between 36 to 38 weeks.
Pregnancy Checklist During Week Thirty- Seven
There are certain tasks you need to fulfill to keep up with the journey and make sure you are staying on top of your and your baby’s needs.
The list of things you need to complete during your thirty-seventh week of pregnancy will include:
Enjoy your nesting instinct
Nesting is an animalistic instinct that kicks in before the labor begins, and it makes the parents prepare their nests for the safety of their young.
In the third trimester of pregnancy, future parents usually start getting things ready and organized for the new arrival, including making purchases, cleaning, last-minute changes in the nursery, gathering the needed supplies, etc.
Take time off
Many future parents decide to save the entirety of their available leave for after the baby arrives; taking some time off before the baby arrives is also an option, and it might work for your needs.
Research your options for feeding your baby
Your baby is about to arrive, and you should decide what you will feed it.
The choice between breastfeeding and formula feeding is entirely up to you, but you should get more informed about both to make the best possible decision.
You can talk to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant to get more familiar with the pros and cons of both options and which one is the perfect option for you.
What To Avoid or Begin to Avoid?
Avoiding potentially dangerous and harmful things and activities is essential to protect you and the baby during pregnancy, as your due date approaches.
So during your thirty-seventh pregnancy week, make sure to stay away from:
- Smoking, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and being exposed to toxic substances.
- Sleeping on your tummy.
- Performing demanding workouts and carrying heavyweight.
- Wearing strappy and tight shoes and high heels.
- Touching kitty litter or cat feces.
- Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
- Getting tattooed as it poses a risk of infection.
- Eating junk food, deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, eggs, cheeses from unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
- Having close contact with anyone with rubella, chickenpox, or the Zika virus.