Baby's Growth and Development When You're 37 Weeks Pregnant
When you’re 37 weeks pregnant, you have a reason to celebrate. Your baby is considered full-term. These are a few changes she experiences:
- Your baby’s weight gain slows considerably, but she’s got just a little more room to grow.
- Essential fat (aka baby fat) will continue to form. This will round her out and help her stay warm after birth.
- If you have an ultrasound during the 3rd trimester, the technician might measure the head, stomach, and femur to estimate your baby’s weight.
- She weighs more than 6 pounds.
Wellness and Nutrition When You're 37 Weeks Pregnant
During your 37th week of pregnancy, you, your partner, your baby, and your doctor are making final preparations for your baby’s arrival. Your doctor sees you once a week until labor and delivery. When you’re 37 weeks pregnant, this is a good time to finalize the details of your birth plan and take time to relax.
Weekly prenatal checkups!
- You’ll be seeing your doctor once a week beginning with the 37th week of pregnancy. Your exam probably includes:
- Weight measurement
- A blood pressure test
- An analysis of baby’s activity and movement
- A pelvic exam to check baby’s position, height of fundus, and cervix dilation and effacement
- A check for preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure during pregnancy
- Vision changes such as blurred eyesight or seeing spots could be preeclampsia, symptoms which you should mention to your doctor
- Looking for signs of labor
- Take time at this visit to speak with your doctor about your questions or concerns, such as:
- What are the signs of labor?
- When should you go to the hospital?
- Between weekly appointments, let your doctor know if you experience vaginal bleeding or leakage that is greenish-brown; constant, severe abdominal pain; or decreased baby movement.
- Relax and let go. Either by yourself or with your partner, practice relaxation techniques to release tension and reduce stress. Some techniques to try include:
- Body, facial, or foot massage for pregnant women. Avoid being on your back, though.
- Relaxed breathing
- Guided imagery with the help of a partner or by listening to a CD
- Meditation or prayer
- Progressive muscle relaxation where you tighten and release muscles throughout your body beginning with your toes
- Yoga for pregnant women
- Relaxation can provide you with many benefits, including:
- Reducing anxiety about childbirth
- Helping you rest
- Helping you sleep
Exercise Tip: Avoid exercises or stretches that require you to be flat on your back for more than a few moments.
Infant Car Seat Safety Essentials
- By law, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), all infants should ride rear-facing starting with their first ride home from the hospital. Learn more at the AAP Web site.
- AAP guidelines state that all infants younger than 1 year and who weigh less than 20 pounds always should ride rear-facing.
- Because laws and child safety seat standards change, it is recommended that you get a new car seat approved for use for newborns.
- Proper car seat installation is paramount. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions that came with your car seat.
- If you need help, find a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician. Lists of certified CPS Technicians and Child Seat Fitting Stations are available on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site at www.nhtsa.gov, or at www.seatcheck.org. Your local emergency department, children’s hospital, or even baby store also might be able to connect you with a certified CPS Technician.
Your Changing Body When You're 37 Weeks Pregnant
When you’re 37 weeks pregnant and in the weeks that follow, you can breathe easier. You might begin to notice some big changes in your body:
- Your baby might move down into your pelvis. When this happens, you might notice some of your late-pregnancy symptoms go away.
- Your shortness of breath might go away as your lungs have more room to move.
- Less pressure on your digestive organs might alleviate heartburn and constipation. Digestion might be easier, too.
- You probably feel more pressure on your bladder.