At 37 weeks pregnant you are considered full term. Your baby, if born now, will most likely be healthy and developed enough to have little or no health problems. Of course it is still best for your baby to remain in utero until it’s ready to be born. Even with all the modern technology, we might not know all the benefits of babies remaining where they are a little longer. There are still mysteries to pregnancy.
Your Body At 37 Weeks Pregnant
Your uterus may continue to grow or it may stop about 37 weeks pregnant and hold at about 6.5 inches above your navel. Your weight may stabilize or you may even drop a few pounds as it becomes increasingly more uncomfortable to eat due to the pressure on your stomach from the baby. You may be among the women who still gains weight up until the birth of their baby. Each woman is different and “normal” has a wide range.
Know and review the plans for when labor start with your healthcare provider, partner, and children’s caregivers. Be sure your wishes are clear and in writing with alternative plans. Be sure you communicate with the hospital and your healthcare provider. Some doctors don’t make it there until the end, so the communication with the hospital is important.
You may begin early stages of dilation. Some women can be a couple centimeters dilated for weeks before going into labor. Your mucus plug will begin to loosen and there may be a light discharge.
Your Baby At 37 Weeks Pregnant
At this time your baby is about 6 pounds or a little more and about 21 inches.
Your baby doesn’t have much room to move, so don’t be alarmed if the baby seems quieter these last weeks. There should still be movements of course. They will be more like shifts in weight or a foot or elbow sliding across your belly. You may still feel pokes to the bladder or ribs that will be hard to ignore!
The fat layers developing now will help the baby adjust to the temperature changes outside of your womb. Growth slows down dramatically about 37 weeks pregnant. The baby is busy “practicing” for life outside the womb. Your baby drinks and excretes and exercises his or her lungs. Sleep patterns are developed.
Your Life At 37 Weeks Pregnant
No matter how prepared you are, you never feel quite ready for the jump into the unknown ahead of you. There will always be something you didn’t think of. Dealing with it positively and creatively is just good preparation for your future as a parent.
It may seem impossible after 9 months of changes in your body that it will ever return to it’s old self, but in about 6 weeks, your body will adjust to no longer creating and carrying life full-time.
Have a list of who wants to be called at the beginning and who wants to be called after the delivery. List who you want to call yourselves (children, parents) and who you can have a friend help with calls (work, church).