37 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Your pregnancy is almost over, but your baby will continue to grow a little more. She's probably gaining about 14 grams approximately per day this week, acquiring fat and plumping up before birth most of the lanugo, the fine body hair that covered her while she is inside your uterus. Her fingers are now able to make clutching actions. She may also react to bright lights in the environment by moving or turning towards them. She may also be going into a head-down position in preparation for labour, if she hasn't already.

The Size of the Foetus at 37 Weeks Pregnant

At 37 weeks, the average foetus is about the size of a Swiss chard. Wondering how your baby may be positioned at 37 weeks? Although we can’t be sure exactly how your little one is curled up inside your belly this week, check out this illustration for a general idea of what you might see if you could take a sneak peek inside:

embryoimage-week37-700

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Mom's Body at 37 Weeks Pregnant

At 37 weeks pregnant, a mom-to-be may experience extra vaginal discharge, diarrhoea and some early signs of labour. Check out the list below to know what to expect and the body changes at 37 weeks’ pregnancy.

37 Weeks Pregnant in Months

Since pregnancy doesn't divide neatly into months, it’s possible that you’re between nine and 10 months pregnant at this point.

Signs of Labour at 37 Weeks

Mucus Plug:

At 37 weeks pregnant, your cervix may be beginning to dilate. When this starts to happen, you may lose the seal that protected your uterus from infection throughout your pregnancy. This seal is known as the mucus plug.

Extra Vaginal Discharge and/or Bloody Discharge:

If, at 37 weeks pregnant, you notice some extra vaginal discharge that is clear, pinkish, or slightly bloody, this may be the mucus plug. Seeing this mucus discharge is an indication that labour is starting or is not far off.

Keep in mind, you can lose the mucus plug hours, days, or even weeks before labour begins. Some moms-to-be don’t notice it at all. At 37 weeks, if you do notice the mucus plug on your panties or on the toilet paper after you wipe, or if you are unsure if this means your labour has started, you may want to call your doctor for advice on what to do next.

Twins and triplets are more likely to be born earlier than a single baby, so keep an eye out for signs of labour if you’re 37 weeks pregnant with twins or more. Read more about vaginal discharge.

Diarrhoea:

Loose bowels could be an extra indicator that you're going into labour.

Other signs may include lightening, early contractions, a change in energy levels, water breaking, early contractions. Read more about the signs of labour you must look out for.

37 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

At 37 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

Pelvic Pain or Pressure

Is your baby sitting lower in your pelvis these days? This dropping — also called lightening or engagement — can occur a few weeks before your baby is born, and you might notice it if you feel a little extra pressure on your lower abdomen. This pelvic pain can even make it hard for you to walk. If pelvic pressure is causing you discomfort, a warm bath may provide some relief. Contact your doctor for more advice on what to do to relieve pelvic or lower back pain.

Shortness of Breath

If your baby hasn’t dropped yet, she might be pressing up against your lungs, making breathing a little more difficult for you. Try to rest more, move slowly, and sit or stand up straight to help give your lungs more room to expand with each breath. Once your baby “drops” lower into your pelvis, this may take some pressure off your lungs and diaphragm, making it easier for you to breathe.

Nausea

Some moms-to-be experience nausea around 37 weeks pregnant, and it could be a sign that labour is about to start. Try to eat four or five smaller meals instead of three larger meals. Bland foods like rice, toast, or bananas can also help get you through these bouts of nausea.

Snoring

This one might not trouble you as much as your partner. Most moms-to-be go through some breathing changes during pregnancy thanks to hormonal changes, and toward the end, some snoring is not uncommon as the mucus membranes in your nasal passages tend to dry out. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and use a humidifier in your bedroom if your partner complaining about your snoring.

Unstable on your feet

By now, your pregnancy weight gain means the center of your gravity has shifted, making it easier for you to lose your balance. This extra weight from your baby, the placenta, amniotic fluid, and more can make it challenging for you to move around. Once your baby drops lower into your pelvis, the distribution of your weight may even change again, so be extra careful whenever you’re on your feet! To keep yourself steady, stand with your feet pointed in the same direction with your weight balanced evenly on both feet. Try not to tilt your pelvis forward or backward and avoid lifting or carrying heavy or bulky items.

Contractions

At 37 weeks pregnant, you could start feeling contractions that you might recognise as being like menstrual cramping. Contractions that are irregular and go away when you move or change positions are likely Braxton Hicks “practice” contractions. But, if you feel contractions that occur regularly, get progressively stronger, and don’t subside if you move or change positions, you’ll want to call your doctor for advice. Timing your contractions and having this info to give your doctor on the phone, will give him all the important information. Learn how to time contractions here

37 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • There are a variety of different birthing positions and comfort measures that can help you during labour and delivery. Some require equipment such as a birthing bed, chair, pool, or ball. It’s a good idea to ask ahead of time what’s available at your hospital or birth center. Also, try to keep an open mind; once you’re in labour, you may find that what you find comfortable is different from what you expected to be.

37 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • Research your options for feeding your baby. The choice of breastfeeding or formula feeding is yours to make, but you may want to find out more about each. You can talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant to get more information.

  • If you haven’t already purchased one, you’ll need a rear-facing car seat properly installed in time for your baby’s trip home from the hospital. Make sure the car seat you buy meets all safety standards. If you’ll be using a hand-me-down car seat from a friend or family member or re-using a car seat you used with one of your older children, make sure it’s in good condition and is still within the expiration date set by the manufacturer.

  • You may want to ask some trusted friends, neighbours, or family members to help out with things like grocery shopping, laundry, or looking after your older children or family pets in the first few weeks with your newborn. Make a list of what you might need help with so that your helpers know exactly what they can do to lighten the load.

  • Around this time your doctor may offer a Group B streptococcus (better known as group B strep or simply GBS) test. This routine test (which is usually done by your doctor taking a swab of your vagina and rectum) checks whether you carry the GBS bacteria. If your test result is positive, your doctor will be able to advise what treatment you’ll need to ensure your baby doesn’t come in contact with the bacteria during birth should you give birth vaginally.

  • You may be wondering when your pregnancy will be considered full term. You can read up all about it in our explainer on full-term pregnancy, but essentially your pregnancy will be considered full term at the start of 39 weeks. Between now and then your baby still has lots of developing to do. You don’t have too long to wait – you’re only weeks away from meeting your newborn!

  • Knowing what kinds of things may be in-store in the first few minutes and hours after your baby is born might help you feel more confident and in control.

37 Weeks Pregnant: What to Ask your Doctor

As you move closer to your delivery week, here are questions you can ask your doctor:

  • What happens if your baby doesn’t turn head-down?

  • Under what circumstances might you need a caesarean section?

  • Is your birth partner allowed to be with you when you give birth? What if you’re having a caesarean section?

  • How many people can you have with you during labour?

  • What happens right after you give birth?

  • How long are you likely to stay in hospital after you give birth, and what happens during that time?

37 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • If you haven’t already done so, pack your hospital bag. The big day could be just around the corner!

  • Stock your freezer with meals you can simply heat up. After your baby is born, you may not have time to cook.

  • Finalise your baby’s nursery and get any baby essentials you haven’t bought yet. Keep in mind that most babies don’t arrive exactly on their due date and that yours could come early.

  • Consider getting a waterproof sheet to protect your mattress in case your water happens to break while you’re asleep.

  • If you opt for breastfeeding or pumping in your future, make sure you have several quality nursing bras.

  • Consider setting up a comfortable “feeding station” in your baby’s nursery or elsewhere in your home. For example, you might like to buy a comfy nursery glider, place a lamp or night light next to it, and have a nursing pillow and a quilt on hand to help you feel comfortable. Some parents also have a nursing basket nearby with supplies like tissues, burp cloths, nipple cream (if you’re planning to breastfeed), and snacks for you.

  • Start stocking up on diapers and collecting rewards points from our Pampers Baby World app.

  • You might already have your eye on lots of what you’ll need, but you may like to check out some feeding essentials (and nice-to-haves) like the best baby bottles and the best bottle warmers.

37 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms Not to Ignore

Here are some symptoms for which you must consult your doctor

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting

  • Baby movement or kicks are lesser than usual

  • An alteration in vaginal discharge from milky white to watery, mucous, or red — even if simply pink or blood-tinged

  • Painful or burning urination: A bladder infection can be identified by painful or burning urination, the need to go again minutes after peeing, little or no urination, and urine that is murky, blood-tinged, or has a strong odour

  • Chills or a fever of at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Vomiting that is accompanied by pain or a fever

  • Double vision, blurring, fading, flashing lights, auras, or "floaters" are all examples of sudden vision alterations or visual disorders (spots in your field of vision)

  • Persistent or severe headache

  • More than usual swelling: Persistent swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes or swelling in your hands, or severe and sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, particularly in the morning. When you press your thumb into your skin, and an indentation remains for a few seconds, then the swelling can be a concern

  • Abdominal injury, such as from a fall or any other accident

  • Intense itching of your torso, palms, or soles, arms, legs, or a feeling of itchiness all over your body

  • Pain in your upper belly or shoulder, especially under the ribs on your right side

  • Exposure to a communicable disease, like chicken pox or rubella, Flu, COVID-19 and Zika virus

  • Depression or severe anxiety

  • Any other persisting health problem that you have had in the past and notice that it is becoming worse. It may not be related to pregnancy, like worsening asthma or a cold that gets worse rather than better, you must contact your doctor