Highlights of Week 37
The weight of the baby is increasing. The baby will gain a little more weight before delivery. The baby’s head will now be low. Around 37 weeks pregnant or in the next few weeks, the cervix begins to dilate. A mucus plug may also come out with it. This is a sign that childbirth is near. Try to be aware of labor pains as well. If necessary, exercise can be done with the advice of the doctor.
Mothers are now in the final stages of pregnancy. The baby will grow a little more. A baby’s lungs, brain, and nervous system continue to develop at 37 weeks. Their brains continue to grow until age 2. Much of the lanugo, the fine body hair that covered their tiny bodies while in the womb, has now fallen off.
The baby can now make finger movements. Also, they may respond to bright lights in the outside world by moving or turning towards the light.
As part of the preparation for delivery, the baby’s head may have come down. The 37th week is the ninth month. The weight of the baby at this time is about 3 to 4 kg.
Changes in the body
At 37 weeks pregnant, the cervix begins to expand. When this starts to happen, the mucous plug, a layer that protects the uterus from infection throughout pregnancy, is lost. At 37 weeks, if you notice some extra vaginal discharge that is clear, pink, or slightly bloody, this could be a mucus plug. Seeing this mucus discharge is a sign that labor is about to begin or that labor is imminent. The chances of losing the mucus plug hours, days, or weeks before labor begins are high.
Some pregnant women do not notice this. Losing your mucus plug or having small spots is not uncommon at 37 weeks pregnant; However, if you notice heavy bleeding now or at any time during your pregnancy, be sure to see your doctor. If you notice a plug of mucus in your underwear or toilet paper after wiping a private part at 37 weeks, or if you’re not sure if your labor has started, you can call your doctor for advice on what to do. Twins and triplets are more likely to go into labor earlier than a normal baby. If you are pregnant with twins or more, you should pay special attention to the signs of labor.
Pelvic pain – These days the baby sits lower in the pelvis. This can happen a few weeks before the baby is born. It is very possible to feel a little extra pressure in the lower abdomen. This type of pelvic pain can make it difficult to even walk at 37 weeks pregnant. If pelvic pain, pressure and back pain are causing discomfort at 37 weeks pregnant, a warm water bath can provide some relief. A doctor can be consulted on what to do to relieve pelvic or back pain.
shortness of breath – The baby presses against the lungs making breathing a little more difficult. Try to relax more, move slowly, sit or stand upright, to help your lungs make more room with each breath. Once the baby lowers into the pelvis, this takes some of the pressure off your lungs and diaphragm.
nausea – Some pregnant women feel nauseous at this stage. Instead of eating three large meals, try eating four or five smaller meals. Eating light foods like rice, toast or bananas can help reduce nausea. Try to see a doctor if you experience severe nausea or vomiting around 37 weeks pregnant.
snoring – Most pregnant women go through some breathing changes during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Some snoring is not unusual in late pregnancy due to drying of the nasal mucosa. Make sure to stay well hydrated.
Unable to bear weight – By the 37th week you may feel a loss of balance due to weight gain. This extra weight from the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid and more can make it challenging to move around. Once the baby lowers into your pelvis, the weight distribution may change again.
Pay extra attention while standing. To keep yourself stable, stand with feet pointing in the same direction and weight evenly balanced on both feet. Try not to tilt the pelvis forward and backward, and avoid lifting or carrying heavy or large objects.
Contractions – At 37 weeks pregnant, you may experience period-like pains. If your belly feels tight (contractions) around 37 weeks pregnant but there is no pain, contractions are irregular and disappear when you move or change position, they may be Braxton Hicks.
But, be careful if you experience pain at regular intervals or if the intensity of the pain increases steadily.