37 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey there, pregnant moms and dads-to-be! Welcome to your 37th week of pregnancy! I gave birth to my firstborn baby at 37 weeks. As I’ve mentioned in prior weeks, my sixth baby arrived prematurely at 30 weeks (learn more about my experiences with Bracey in my Baby’s First Year series), but I’m finishing up this series anyway. Without further ado, let’s start learning about your 37th week of pregnancy!
37 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
37 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Unfortunately, this is not the title of a new broadway thriller. Instead, bloody show refers to a bloody discharge that can begin to appear around week 37 of pregnancy. Typically, this means that your mucus plug has passed already or is in the process of loosening, which means that your baby is close to being ready to pop out. Also, as your cervix begins to expand, the many blood vessels within it may begin to rupture, which can cause some bleeding. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about this or if the flow becomes heavier.
Mirroring your expanding navel, at this point in your pregnancy your nipples may begin to stick out like Pinnochio’s nose. Like me, you may be wondering why this is happening. Quite simply, you’re getting ready to feed your baby. A protruding nipple makes it easier for the baby to latch on during breastfeeding!
There have been many times in the past where I have wondered why my doctor treated my cervix like a fruit — looking to see if was ripe. Ripeness is actually an appropriate metaphor, as your doctor will be routinely checking the consistency of your cervix. As you approach labor, cervical softening will occur until your cervix reaches the consistency of your cheeks — a drastic change from its typically hard texture.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 37 Weeks
At week 37, your baby weighs 6.5 pounds and is 19 inches long, about the size of a winter melon. During this week of your pregnancy, your baby likely is commencing fetal engagement, a two-step process in which your baby drops into your pelvis (lightening) and settles into the proper position to leave the uterus and enter the real world. The term fetal station refers to how far your baby’s head sits within your pelvis. Also, with each second, your baby is growing more brain cells.
By Week 37, your baby’s growth is beginning to plateau. Frankly, that’s a good thing, because you likely have no more room for your baby. Interestingly enough, at birth, a baby boy will weigh slightly more than a baby girl. Your baby is continuing to suck their thumb to build sucking muscles, is practicing breathing, and is blinking (it’s pretty dark in there, so your baby might not see much).
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
The opossum has one of the shortest mammalian gestation periods — only 12 days! That’s less than half of your menstrual cycle!
Cesarean Sections — The Alternative to Natural Birth
What is a C-section and why might I need one? While you may be in favor of a vaginal birth (and very much against the notion of having a C-section), you might end up needing a C since your doctor might decide that complications warrant the procedure. Remember, the safety and health of you and your baby are priority number one.
Your Pregnancy at 37 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
At this point, you’ll be visiting your doctor weekly for an interesting prenatal appointment since there’s much ado about something! As always, your doctor will check your belly, your wrists and ankles for swelling, and your blood pressure. Your doctor will examine your cervix to check for signs of labor. If your cervix has begun to shorten, labor might be more imminent. Your doctor will take a urine sample to test for protein and sugar. Your doctor also will assess your baby’s weight.
The following prenatal tests are available at 37 weeks of pregnancy:
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Quick, Healthy Snack Tip
Nutty Pretzel Wand: Cover a pretzel wand with a few inches of peanut butter and roll in your choice of chopped nuts or dried fruit. (FoodNetwork)
Why Peanut butter? Everybody loves peanut butter, unless you are allergic. Peanuts belong to the legume family and are a great source of protein. These legumes are full of healthy fats — specifically oleic acid and linoleic acid — and are a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B3, folate, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Peanut butter is highly caloric, but when used in moderation, it can be a great snack!
How Many Weeks in 9 Months?
9 months in weeks equals between 36-40 weeks, although this can differ depending on the length of the months during which you have been pregnant.
Week 37 Pregnancy Checklist
- Commence a trial run of all your baby gear
- Hydrate and get lots of rest
- Schedule a week 38 prenatal appointment
- Check in on your partner’s wellbeing
- Read, watch TV, and start a new podcast
- Take care of yourself
- Go one last date with your partner before the craziness begins
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists