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37 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy

Symptoms, Tips and Fetal Development

 

Congrats, you’re officially early term! That’s the official status for 37 weeks pregnant. If you were to go into labor now, your doctor or midwife wouldn't try to stop it. And most twins and multiples have arrived by 37 weeks. Here's what you can expect at 37 weeks pregnant.

Baby at 37 weeks pregnant 

Although a baby born at 37 weeks is considered full term, s/he still has some growing and prepping to do to be absolutely ready for life on the outside. Experts say the ideal time for women having normal, healthy pregnancies to go into labor is between 39-40 weeks. While doctors won’t try to stop women’s labor at 37 weeks, they would prefer babies stay in utero for a couple more weeks.

This week, your baby will pack on another quarter-to-half pound of fat. Size and weight vary by baby, but the average little weighs 6.5 pounds at 37 weeks. Boy babies weigh more at birth than girls.

Your baby is busy practicing all sorts of things. S/he is blinking; inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid in anticipation of breathing; and sucking his or her thumb to experience what feeding will be like.

Your body at 37 weeks pregnant

Those Braxton-Hicks contractions are probably coming on regularly now that you're 37 weeks pregnant. If your pain is extreme or severe, talk to your healthcare provider.

pregnancy week 37 embryo
Weekly development of a human fetus at 37 weeks pregnant.

Some women are hit with diarrhea when they're pregnant at 37 weeks. Intestinal distress is normal as your body prepares for the baby's arrival, though let your doctor or midwife know if it lasts longer than 24 hours.

Your belly button might be sticking out now. Don't worry – it will go back to an "innie" after your baby is born.

37 weeks is how many months pregnant?

At this stage in your pregnancy, you're nine months one week (9m1w) pregnant. 

How big is my baby at 37 weeks?

papaya, symbolizing the size of a 36 week fetus during pregnancy

At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a papaya, weighing 6.5 pounds and measuring 19 inches in length, on average.

Common symptoms at 37 weeks pregnant

These are some of the symptoms women report at 37 weeks pregnant.

  • Changes in baby activity: You might be noticing more squirming and less kicking, as your baby has less room to move around.
  • Bloody discharge: Your softening cervix may cause heavier, more mucousy discharge to be produced. And it’s totally normal if it’s streaked red with blood or tinged with pink. Vaginal bleeding is another story though – if you see bright red when you wipe, call your doctor immediately.
  • Constipation or diarrhea: With labor approaching, your digestive system might go a little haywire in either direction.
  • Heartburn, flatulence, bloating: As your baby continues to crowd your internal organs, they respond with heartburn, gas, and bloating.
  • Occasional headaches
  • Occasional lightheadedness
  • Leg cramps: Commonly occurring at night, spasms in the leg muscles can wake you up with their painful, annoying cramping. When leg cramps happen, try gently flexing your foot or leg, and massaging the area. Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated which can help prevent cramping.
  • Increased backache and heaviness: That big ol’ belly is a lot for your body to haul around every day! Luckily it’s not much longer.

Pregnancy checklist at 37 weeks pregnant 

Here are some of the things you might want to tackle at 37 weeks pregnant.

  • Do some self-care: Everything from a haircut and a mani/pedi to visiting the dentist for a cleaning is easier to schedule and complete before your baby arrives. 
  • Know the signs of labor: If you're a first-time mom, you might be worried about how to recognize the signs of labor. Talk to your healthcare provider and a trusted mom friend or family member about how you'll know you're in labor.
  • Cook now, enjoy later: Some moms opt to prep a few meals ahead of time and store them in the freezer to eat after the baby is born. Being a new parent can be overwhelming and you’ll be so glad if you do a little meal planning now (it may save you from ordering a pizza night after night out of sheer exhaustion!).

What to Expect at 38 Weeks Pregnant

 
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38 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy 4

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