37 weeks pregnant: it’s full-term pregnancy time
Congrats! Baby has reached full-term pregnancy status. That means if they were born today they wouldn’t be considered premature. They’re ready for the world and can’t wait to meet you.
At a glance
Heads down. Baby should be moving into heads-down position soon
High protein snacks are still important as baby keeps growing
Explore your birthing options for the big day
Feeling contractions? Breathe. Breathe. Breathe
Baby's development at 37 weeks pregnant
Time to celebrate. Baby is now officially full-term! The size of your baby at 37 weeks is about the size of a swiss chard. Even though there’s not much wiggle room in your tum they’ll still manage to give you the odd kick ‘hello’. It’s important you’re aware of baby’s kicks and movement, so you might want to try this kick-counting app to help you keep track. If you think there’s been any reduction in baby’s movement let your hospital know right away.
Hopefully baby will be slowly manoeuvring into the right position for birth around now. That means head down in your pelvis and legs up in your ribs – so if you feel a kick in the ribs don’t complain - it’s a good sign. If they’re not in position yet, there’s still plenty of time. However, some babies are in [breech position] for labour, which means bottom first. If so, you’ll be chatting to your midwife or doctor about your options at birth.
Changes in you and your body at 37 weeks
With only a couple of weeks to go, you’re probably feeling excited and nervous all at once. Who wouldn’t be?
Try to stay as calm as possible so you can give birth in a relaxed way. So, keep doing your regular breathing exercises.
If you feel a wave of contractions, look calmly at your watch, lie down and relax, breathing deeply and regularly. These could be early contractions and will most likely subside. When they come back, look at your watch again. If they are more than 20 minutes apart, you’re not going into labour just yet.
As a general rule, you don’t need to contact the hospital until your contractions have been coming every ten minutes or so for at least an hour. However, if you notice bleeding or baby’s movements are reduced, contact the hospital right away, your maternity folder should have advice for when and how to contact your hospital.
You’ll probably have your birthing plan sorted by now, but it’s a good idea to read about all the other things to consider now before you go into labour. That way if things go off-script you’ll be aware of your options.
There’s no dress rehearsal for actual labour, so it can all seem a bit daunting and uncertain until it finally arrives. And then it’s all systems go. Here’s something to read to help prepare you for the big event.
Pregnancy nutrition at 37 weeks
As your body prepares for delivery, it’s important to maintain a healthy pregnancy diet. Baby will probably gain a bit of weight, so they still require a diet rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Keep eating those vegetables, and snack on fruits bursting with vitamin C. This helps your body absorb iron from food and supports your immune system. It also keeps your placenta work properly.
Calcium is important now and right through to breastfeeding. It helps baby’s bones develop nicely. You can get your daily requirement of calcium through your food, but if you’re struggling to do that talk to your GP or midwife.
Exercise is a good way to boost your mood and a great way to prepare your body for labour. Plus, regular exercise now is said to help you recover quickly afterwards too. And, as you may be feeling fuller and eating smaller meals, it’s important to make sure these contain protein: avocado, chickpeas and lentils are full of healthy calories.
Exploring your birthing options
Even if you already have your birth plan, it’s worth giving it the once-over as the big day approaches.
Have you chatted to your midwife about all your labour pain relief options?
Are you thinking about opting for a water birth in a birthing pool? Are you comfortable with your adjusted pain relief options for this route?
Does a home birth appeal to you? Would it be possible?
Are hypnobirthing techniques important to you?
Are you considering natural labour pain relief like acupuncture or aromatherapy and does your hospital offer these?
Your birth plan is probably already sorted, but it’s good to boffin-up on the many different birthing positions now.