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Week 37 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Baby Development|Body and Life Changes|Your Doctor Visits|Health and Safety
Week 37 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Baby Development

How is my baby growing?

You’ve now reached 37 weeks of pregnancy, which means you’re considered full-term! Your baby is about the size of winter melon, weighing about 6 to 7 pounds (2.7 to 3.2 kg) and is about 18 inches (45.7 cm) long.

At week 37 of pregnancy baby development, your baby’s lungs are now capable of breathing outside the womb. Meconium — or your baby’s first “poo”, is now found in the baby’s gut. It contains lanugo (fine hair), amniotic fluid, water, and other particles that the baby absorbed during the pregnancy.

Your baby also develops great sensitivity in hearing as they react to certain noises inside the womb. At week 37 of pregnancy baby development, the baby’s immune system is at full development.

Body and Life Changes

How is my body changing?

At this point in your pregnancy, weight gain will not be as excessive as the early months. Your baby will begin to head down the pelvis, putting more pressure on your lower abdomen. Because of this pressure on your bladder, you may want to urinate more frequently.

During week 37 of pregnancy baby development, Braxton Hicks contractions will be recurrent, making you feel like you are having mild menstrual cramps. If you feel that your contractions occur at regular intervals with an increase in intensity, contact your OB-gyne immediately, as this might be an indication of true labor.

What should I be concerned about?

At week 37 of pregnancy baby development, your baby should be in its cephalic presentation, or head-first position, to get ready for birth. If your baby is having trouble adjusting itself to the right position, your OB-gyne will decide which is the best way for you to deliver that baby.

During this week, you, your family, and your medical provider must be finalizing your pregnancy action plan. You should also have a list of things you need to bring to the hospital.

You might also experience a maternal instinct called “nesting.” It is an impulse to clean and to organize the house for the baby’s arrival. Research from McMaster University proposed that the sudden drive of pregnant women to make the household spotless is a mechanism to protect and prepare for the unborn baby. Among the cultural beliefs of the Filipinos, is that being tidy and beautiful while pregnant determines the beauty of the unborn child.

Your Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

During week 37 of pregnancy baby development, you will have to visit your doctor and talk about the changes you are feeling. Mild contractions (Braxton Hicks) may start this week as your baby moves down the pelvis. If extreme pain is experienced, don’t hesitate to inform your doctor.

Your mucus plug might also come off this week, to make way for your cervix to expand. Upon prenatal visits, especially for the third trimester, internal examination is done to see if the cervix is dilated. This is an indication that the baby is trying to go outside besides the regular contractions that you feel.

At this time in your pregnancy, your doctor will also assess the position of the baby in the womb. If the baby is in a breech position, your doctor may carry out an External Cephalic Version (ECV). This technique is done by pressing your womb down to adjust the baby into the ideal head-down delivery position. If ECV is not successful, most of the time, the doctor will recommend you undergo a Caesarean section instead of normal vaginal birth.

What tests should I know about?

To monitor the growth of the baby at week 37 of pregnancy baby development, your OB-gyne might require you to take another ultrasound. This ultrasound is a part of the biophysical profile (BPP) that checks if the baby is in the right fetal position, if the heart rate and placenta are normal, and if the baby is getting a sufficient supply of oxygen.

Another test that must be done at 37 weeks is the Group B strep test. The doctor will examine you for group B streptococcus (GBS) infection. GBS bacteria are commonly found inside a woman’s vagina. It does not cause harm to the mother, but it can put the unborn child at risk. This is done through a swab test in the vagina and rectum. If the test comes back positive, the mother will be given intravenous antibiotics as soon as labor starts so that the unborn baby will not get infected by the bacteria.

Make sure to talk to your medical provider before doing any tests, to guarantee the safety of both you and your baby.

Health and Safety

What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?

The waiting game begins when you reach week 37 of pregnancy baby development. At this time, you are just a few more days, or a week or two from giving birth. Here are some exercises that you can do to strengthen your body for delivery.

  • Walking. This is the easiest exercise you can do. Walking helps in fixing your baby’s position in the womb. It lowers the baby to the pelvis, and that may help to kick start labor.
  • Swimming. This is a great exercise to support your pregnancy weight. It brings relief to joints and ligaments and promotes comfort.
  • Pilates or prenatal yoga. Attending prenatal yoga and Pilates classes help in strengthening the core, leg, and pelvic floor. It also regulates breathing and relaxes tense muscles.
  • Pelvic floor exercises. This exercise targets a specific part of the body, the pelvic floor. It is a group of muscles that protect organs on the floor of the pelvis. This is the best exercise if you want to achieve fast delivery.

You can also do low impact workouts at home like squats, wall push-ups, lunges, and others, as you go through week 37 of pregnancy baby development. Consult your doctor before doing any exercises mentioned above.

Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis, or medical treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao Updated May 08, 2020
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.