37 Weeks Pregnant
As you countdown to your due date, your baby is busy gaining weight. This week he or she is approximately over 6 pounds, the size of a small watermelon.
You certainly feel like you’re carrying a small watermelon. Hang in there, you’re very close to your due date. During the next couple of weeks, your baby’s brain and lungs will mature fully.
37 Weeks Pregnant
While almost all baby’s born this week are completely capable of surviving, the next couple of weeks are still important. They’ll continue to gain weight and their brain and lungs will completely develop. If you are going to have a c-section, for instance if this is a second cesarean, your doctor will schedule it for week 39. Your baby is considered full-term by 39 weeks pregnant.
Your baby is also busy practicing – practicing breathing, sucking their thumb, moving from left to right, blinking, etc. This practice is important because they’ll need these skills once born.
The intestines are busy too, building up meconium. This substance is greenish-black and is made up of by-products from your baby such as, amniotic fluid, dead cells, and lanugo that has come off. This is what your baby will pass for his or her first bowel movements.
How You Are Changing
As you waddle around and perhaps complain about your aches and pains, you are no doubt filled with anticipation for your baby’s arrival. You’ll be getting the final things ready, possibly sending your partner out on an errand or two as you are running out of energy.
As your baby takes up more and more room inside your body, you feel more and more uncomfortable. You’ll feel pressure and pain in areas you might not have known you had. Not to worry, this is all normal but you may be counting the days until it’s over.
If you haven’t felt Braxton Hicks contractions thus far, you probably will be soon. Some of them become frequent and strong, but remember your looking for contractions that are frequent, intense and regular.
It’s not possible for you to know when you’re going to go into labor. Every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. But here are some of the things to watch for in the days or weeks before labor begins:
- Lightening – when your baby drops, or descends, into your pelvis.
- Braxton Hicks contractions – when they get more frequent and intense
- Passing your mucus plug – this is like a cork that seals your cervix. It helps protect your baby from the world outside, until it’s time for delivery.
- When your water breaks – most women have regular contractions before this happens, but sometimes this happens first. If you don’t go into true labor quickly, you will be induced.
- Bloody show – this is a sign that your mucus plug has already come out, it is the passage of a small amount of blood through the vagina. This occurs just before labor.
If you haven’t already, pack your hospital bag for both you and your baby. Being prepared ahead of time definitely makes things easier for you and your partner.