37 weeks pregnant
What pregnancy symptoms can New Zealand women expect at 37 weeks pregnant? Your baby could literally arrive at any time now (and, you’re probably feeling ready for your little one to make their grand debut too). Start preparing yourself by finalising things like babysitters for your children, keeping the car filled with petrol, and keeping emergency phone numbers (and Uber app) handy. You should have your hospital bags packed, and hopefully have put the finishing touches on baby's room or crib.
Pregnancy symptoms 37 weeks pregnant
Because your baby is taking up all the room inside you, there’s less room for food and digestive processes. Combined with a slowing of digestion due to hormones, this is a recipe for heartburn and acid reflux. Eat small meals, try not to lie down after eating, and see if you can identify trigger foods, such as spicy or greasy meals. To help the pain naturally, eat a handful of almonds, and some women swear that milk helps to ease the pain. Your midwife can recommend an over-the-counter heartburn medicine too.
Pain is common in the third trimester, and every day your baby gets bigger, the pain might too. There’s pelvic pain as your baby’s head pushes into your pelvis and hips. There are leg cramps at night. Varicose veins could be irritating you. Gentle walks, yoga, drinking enough water, and sleeping on your left side propped up with enough cushions may help. Or maybe not.
Stretch marks and linea nigra will be occurring. Keep on applying moisturiser or oils to keep your skin supple. These are genetic and there’s little to do in order to prevent them.
Your nipples are preparing for feeding. They will extend and grow, to make latching easier for your baby if you want to breastfeed.
How much baby movement to expect at 37 weeks pregnant
Your little one may not be feeling so little any more. As a result, there’s way less room inside you to allow for the acrobatics your experienced ten weeks ago. While you’ll still be feeling kicks and movement, it’s fewer than before, simply because there’s less room in there to play. Still, there will be stretching and wiggling—the occasional foot in your ribs. If you notice a lot less movement, go speak to your doctor or midwife straight away.
Symptoms of labour at 37 weeks pregnant
Your baby could arrive tomorrow, or could keep you waiting until 41+ weeks. There’s no way of knowing for sure. Your midwife or obstetrician will be keeping an eye on you to see if you’re starting labour, and to make sure your baby is still happy and healthy.
They’ll be checking if your cervix has dilated, and how far it has. 10cm wide is what’s needed for the baby to arrive, but it’s common to be a little bit dilated for a while before baby makes their arrival. They’ll also be checking cervical ripeness. This is the consistency of the cervix, which in ordinary non-pregnant times, is firm like the tip of your nose. Close to labour, it softens to be about the same texture as inside your cheek. And, they’ll be checking how effaced you are—how thin your cervix is. You’ll be 100% effaced by the time labour is under way.
Your cervix, which naturally changes position when you have your period and during pregnancy, will move closer to the front the closer to labour you are. Your baby will also be looked at to see where he or she is in relation to your pelvis, to ensure the heartbeat is strong and regular, and that everything is ready to go.
However, it’s all a guessing game. A woman can be highly dilated for weeks, with no baby arrival. Or, there can be no signs of impending labour and a few hours later be all systems go.
You need to look out for losing your mucus plug (bloody show) although this can regrow. You might notice an increase in Braxton Hicks too.
Can I stop tearing during birth?
While you can’t 100% stop tearing, you can reduce the need for stitches by about 10%, and any requirement for episiotomy is reduced by 15%. It’s called perineal massage. This can happen for a few weeks leading up till birth, and your provider may recommend it during labour too. To do so (and you may prefer to do this in the shower or bath), sit with your legs apart. Using vaginally-safe massage oil or lubricant, place a thumb or finger inside your vagina, about 5cm in. Gently rub over the vaginal wall, pressing and stretching, from the 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock position. Do this for four to five minutes.
Size of baby at 37 weeks pregnant
Your baby weighs about 2.9kg and is around 48cm long. His or her lungs are practically mature, his grasp is firm and he or she will be bulking up in weight, ready for their debut.
Baby is now filling up all the space in your womb. You’re running out of room, with the baby putting pressure on your stomach, lungs, and digestive tract. Baby's chin rests on his or her chest, and their little arms and legs are crossed over. Baby is now ready to meet the world, although it's quite likely to be later than you expect, with 5% of babies arriving on time, and 30% running late.
Baby’s head is large
Sorry, but your baby’s head is now large, and still growing. The good news is that the skull bones are incredibly soft, to make birth a bit easier.
Is my baby full term at 37 weeks pregnant?
Not quite, full term is at 39 weeks. However, at 37 weeks, most babies are close to ready to arrive- they are still practicing breathing, could be sucking their thumb, and has mastered gripping onto things. He or she is still gaining weight- sorry mum – about 15 grams per day.
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