This week an important milestone will be reached – by the end of week 37 you no longer have a preemie in your womb. If he or she was to born by the end of this week, the baby is considered full-term. Development is completed and your baby is considered full-term. You can see a baby born at the end of this week below; no difference in appearance compared to a baby born a few weeks later.
While most women will not give birth until a couple more weeks have passed, it is certainly time to start preparing. Reading our tips and advice on giving birth is a good start!
In this article:
Your Baby’s Development
The fetal age of your baby is now 35 weeks. The baby in the picture to the left was born at the end of pregnancy week 37. Not all babies need the incubator at this age, but some may, due to for example a very quick or tiresome birth process.
This particular baby was not small; weighted 7.9 pounds (3.6 kg), despite being born three weeks early.
The average weight for a baby by the end of this week is approximately 6.3 pounds (2.8 kg) and the length is around 19 inches (48 cm) from crown to feet.
With only approximately 3-4 more weeks to go, your baby is also getting ready for their big entrance into the world!
Some babies will engage during this time, which will place their head further down into your pelvis in order to prepare them for their birth date and position them into the birth canal. This can lighten up on some discomforts for some women such as heartburn or having shortness of breath, but it can also create extreme pressure in the pelvic region causing a whole new brand of discomforts for the next few weeks.
Each day your baby is gaining fat stores that can measure at almost half an ounce a day which gives them a more plump appearance at birth rather than having pink, wrinkly skin.
If born by the end of this week, your baby would be considered full-term by most doctors, perfectly fine and not in need of any medical intervention.
37 weeks pregnant, there may be times where you are thinking about how you can’t sleep comfortably, aren’t able to bend over to tie your shoes (or even see your shoes for that matter!) and walk for long distances. Not to mention trimming that bikini line… ;-D
But soon your pregnancy will be over and all of the discomforts of the last few weeks will be a distant memory. Try to focus on the positive aspects of the last few weeks of your pregnancy, and how you will have a new baby in just a few short weeks. If you use your time at home waiting for your baby in order to prepare you and your home for the new arrival, you may find the time going by faster as you wait in anticipation.
Some women will find that they lose their mucus plug in the last month of pregnancy as their body gets ready for the birth, while others may not lose their mucus plug until shortly before they begin the labor process. Each woman’s body is different, so you may find that your mucus plug is expelled early or you may not notice it at all.
Try not to compare you and your baby to other women since each birth is unique, but it is helpful to familiarize yourself with many different scenarios and signs of labor in order to prepare yourself for the big day. By knowing what to look for and the many signals your body gives off before labor, you will be able to prepare you and your partner for the big event.
Being 37 weeks pregnant, some women will find their breasts begin to increase in size as their body prepares for the task of feeding your baby once they are born. You may even notice a small amount of colostrum fluid leaking as well as you come closer to your due date. This is perfectly normal, and many women find it exciting to know that their body is also preparing for the baby’s arrival.
I bet you have already started to prepare for D-day? If not, don’t wait. Knowing about the process and what to expect really helps, trust me… Visit our section about giving birth here.
Week 37 Video Gallery
Diary of a Daughter
What’s it really like being 37 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a mom who should have been 37 weeks pregnant. (Me..!)
Diary Of A Daughter
I can feel that it is getting closer… I’ve started to have more contractions again, some even a bit painful.
I am practising a lot of breathing and since I am now “allowed” to give birth, I have started to take walks. I’m in such poor condition! But the strength is coming back now when I can finally go out. I can really feel it!
Are you also 37 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!
- How to induce labor naturally
- Why does labor have to hurt
- The exciting signs of labor. Is it time..?
- Childbirth videos that are helpful (even when you’re pregnant)
MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Mittendorf et al (1990), The Length of Uncomplicated Human Gestation, Obstetrics & Gynecology, V.75, N.6, June 1990
Images: Preterm baby image by Cletch and Image of 37 weeks belly by Janelle Hill