37 Weeks Pregnant: The End of Your Childbirth Classes
At 37 weeks pregnant, you are nearing your due date and soon will be welcoming your new little one. However, your baby is not yet considered full term until the end of the week.
A change on your baby’s size can be seen on this week. Your baby, when you’re 37 weeks pregnant, is now as big as a Swiss chard, which weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures little more 19 inches.
More on Your Baby’s Growth
While your baby stays inside your womb for the next two weeks, his brain and lungs continues to develop for complete maturity. The baby will still gain weight around a half an ounce each day or half a pound a week. There is also a difference between a newborn baby boy and girl when it comes to their sizes. Boys are heavier than girls. This may be due to the fact that a woman who is pregnant to a boy consumes more food than the opposite.
At this point, your baby has a big head (and is still growing), which has similar circumference as his chest, hips, and shoulders. However, it will gradually change a few weeks after his birth. Most babies already have their head completely covered with hair, growing ½ to 1 ½ inches long. There are also babies who are born with different hair color from their parents, but do not be shocked about this because it can come pretty normal.
It is also the week when your baby’s main organs are capable to function on the outside world except for the brain and lungs that still need some time.
Your Pregnancy during 37 Weeks Pregnant
Weight and discharge
This time at 37 weeks pregnant, you will not significantly gain weight (total gain weight should be 25 to 35 pounds or 11.3 to 15.9 kg). You will frequently experience long duration of Braxton Hicks contractions that will give you more discomfort. Increasing vaginal discharge can be seen during this week and it is normal. Don’t panic if it gives off an odd smell or a feeling of itchiness around your vaginal area. This is because a pelvic engorgement and hormonal activity is occurring in your body.
Once you notice that there is a bloody show or mucus stains along with small amount of blood on your undies, you’ll probably soon have labor in a few days. When you see a large amount of blood or experiencing bleeding, contact your health care provider right away.
You will also experience frequent urination as your bladder cannot store few milliliters of fluids. Aside from contractions, you will also feel more aches including in your back part and a creaking pelvis.
Since your baby’s size changes and grow more, you may find it hard to sleep comfortably at nighttime. When sleeping, you may also experience intense dreams or nightmares because of your pressuring anxiety about your concerns on labor and parenthood.
The amniotic fluid will also start to decrease and your cervix enters dilation and effacement. There’s no telling when you will have labor, but doctors can take guesses when it will start. They will check you for dilation or see the opening as well as the ripeness of your cervix. For the baby to go through the birth canal, the opening should be 10 centimeters wide.
The doctor will check and conduct an assessment on the thinness of the cervix, which it should be 100 percent effaced before you push the baby out. It is called the effacement. Another thing they check is the cervix’s position, as it moves from back to the front when labor is nearing. Next, they will get the measurement of your baby’s position to your pelvis. When your baby is located on the lowest part, you are nearing delivery. A mucus plug will obstruct the cervix opening which blocks the bacteria from going through the uterus. It is also a heads up that your body is dilating and is preparing to give birth.
Healthy Tips and Necessary Preparations to do this Week
Classes and concerns
If you are taking childbirth classes, it should be finished by now and you should begin to prepare your necessities for birth. Check if your bags are already packed and might as well decide how you will drive yourself to the hospital. Who will accompany you? Make sure you had your local inspector install and check infant car seat for your little one.
You may also list some questions or concerns you want to ask your doctor. While on the wait for labor, apply the knowledges you learn during you childbirth classes including breathing exercises to help you calm and save you from anxiety. Try to also distract yourself from nervousness and other nerve-wracking thoughts by doing these things. Go out and talk with your friends or use your time to have some good sleep.
Record your baby’s movement, when he is active and note, and also include the number of kicks. When you notice that your baby is not making any movements, contact your doctor to have your baby checked. There are also rare cases that the decreasing movement of the baby may involve cord accident or problems that need to be checked by your practitioner.
Final tasks at home
Now is also the best time to get ready including tidying things in the house. Some women do some cleaning around their house to make sure everything is neat and organized when they return home with their newborn.
The arrival of your baby is making everyone in your family excited especially you and your husband. You sometimes can’t get enough sleep because you are thinking of your baby’s appearance and imagining other things. But also at the same time, you can’t help but be concerned about your safety and your baby when you give birth, fearing the worst scenarios. When these thoughts came to you at 37 weeks pregnant, share your concerns to your family, friends or to your health care providers for supporting advice. Sometimes, you will be able to cure all insecurities and worries away simply by talking it out. After all, a problem shared is a problem half-solved.