37 weeks pregnant: what can I expect?
Your expected due date is not far now. At 37 weeks there will be only one thought in your mind, labor and delivery. Many pregnant women avoid setting up the nursery until the final weeks because they don’t want to jinx the pregnancy. If you have left planning your baby’s nursery until the end, you might have a lot to do in the last minute. Don’t worry about getting the paint and other things right, focus on the essentials like baby’s cot and room safety.
Physical changes in you at week 37
- The loosening of your pelvic muscles will be making your bones creak louder than usual. You are in the home stretch of your pregnancy and symptoms like backaches and frequent urination all increase at this stage. To ease your pelvic and back pains use a warm compress.
- The thin milky vaginal discharge that you experienced throughout your pregnancy will now increase in volume due to all the hormonal changes and the engorgement of your vagina. If you feel uncomfortable you can use panty liners to keep you comfortable and dry.
- At week 37 you are in the final stages of your pregnancy and you may feel sharp sudden pains in your bladder. Don’t worry, just relax and breathe, this is normal. Your baby is running out of space in your womb and the sharp pain is your baby’s head is engaging in the pelvic area.
Emotional changes in you at week 37
- Now that you are in the final few weeks of your pregnancy you will feel a burst of excitement. This will rub off on your partner too and he will be genuinely excited about being a dad. When you are this happy there is nothing else to do but spread the joy.
- Every woman’s labor or delivery can be challenging. As you approach the due date you may be concerned about the delivery and may fear the unknown especially if this is your first delivery. Speak to your doctor or midwife about your concerns.
- If you are having a scheduled caesarean delivery then you will be hoping and praying everything goes well. Your mind will be occupied with only one thought – the delivery. Try to be calm and relaxed as possible, book a spa session or watch a movie a few days before the operation to feel relaxed.
- At 37 weeks of your pregnancy you may start worrying about being a new parent. Stay positive and don’t worry, most mums say that once the baby is born the maternal instincts kick in naturally and you’ll know what to do. You can also speak to your mum and find out her coping methods when she had you.
How’s my baby doing?
- In the final few weeks of your pregnancy your baby will be gaining weight rapidly and this week alone your baby will have gained roughly around 500 grams. Now is not the time to diet or curb your hunger, if you have the urge to eat go ahead and have a healthy snack like toast, fruits, crackers, nuts or frozen yoghurt.
- At 37 weeks, there is hardly any space left in your womb for the baby to make large movements. When the baby feels too cramped in your womb, you will feel a sudden kick or jab as it tries to get comfortable.
- Lanugo the fine hair that had developed on your baby’s shoulders, chest and back, begins to disappear this week. Most of it will end in your baby’s bowels and will be a part of the waste products in your baby’s meconium – the first stools passed by your baby, which has dark green sticky appearance. The vernix caseosa coating your baby’s skin also begins to disappear this week.
Useful tips for week 37
- Take some pictures of your belly that you can add in the pregnancy scrapbook you started. These pictures will be a wonderful reminder of your pregnancy.
- Pack your hospital bag if you are planning to deliver at the hospital. Having the essential items like toiletries, diapers, pads, baby wash and blankets you need packed in the bag is going to make you comfortable about the delivery.
- If you have decided to go ahead with a home birth speak to your midwife so that you have all the essential items ready. A midwife will usually bring her own home birth kit, but it’s a good idea to ask which items she will bring and which ones should you buy.