Congratualtions....you've reached another milestone in your pregnancy journey! By 37 weeks your baby is now classed as 'full term' so there's the perfect excuse to get your partner, friends or family to treat you to a pamper session or nice meal to celebrate!
Changes to you and your bodyYou may be feeling increased discomfort this week as your baby moves down into your pelvis in preparation for birth. If you've been suffering from stomach pain or feeling short of breath due to the baby pressing into your stomach or lungs these feelings will hopefully start to ease, however you may find increased discomfort when walking which can attribute to the attractive 'waddle' often seen in women during the very late stages of pregnancy!
You will have more frequent antenatal appointments with your midwife or consultant now as the birth approaches, so make sure you take the time to ask any questions or raise any concerns you have about the birth. Even minor concerns can start feeling like huge issues if they are not addressed, and you should never feel that any question is too trivial or silly to ask a medical professional – they are there to help you and make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Changes to your babyBy week 37, your pregnancy is now classed as at full term. This means your baby has fully developed and is ready to be born any day now. Although don't get too excited and expect your baby to be in any rush to be born. Most are content to stay where they are and continue to steadily gain weight until the 40 week due date or even later.
By this point your baby will have grown to around 50cm long and will weigh around 6.5lb. Up until this time your baby will have been covered in a downy hair, Lanugo, but this will have mainly be shed by week 37.
Up until this time your baby will have been covered in a downy hair, Lanugo, butYour baby will also have started to lose the vernix caseosa, a waxy or cheese-like substance that coats the skin, though some of this may still remain at birth.
this will have mainly be shed by week 37.
Many babies will have a good head of hair by now, and you'll soon be able to see if the old wives tale about hariy babies being the cause of extreme heartburn for mum was true for you! While others won't grow any hair until well after they are born, and many lose their initial hair in the first few weeks after birth.
Preparing for the birthBecause your baby is now full term there is a higher chance of you going into labour at any point. If you haven't by now, you should prepare a bag to take with you to the hospital. It is a wise idea to get your birth bag ready even if you are planning a home birth because you may be required to go to the maternity unit at some point. Remember to pack supplies for both yourself and your baby, including nappies, nightclothes, and day clothes and going home outfits. Make sure your ‘going home’ outfit is loose fitting and comfortable, you'll still have a bit of a baby bump after giving birth so don't be disappointed if you can't fit into your best skinny jeans just yet!
Though the old cinematic cliche of your waters breaking in the supermarket doesn't happen nearly as often as you might think, it is best to leave your hospital bag in an easy to find place, so panicking dads-to-be don't need to search for it!