What to Expect when You’re 37 Weeks Pregnant
At week 37 of pregnancy, labor is looming very close and you’re probably feeling a little anxious. You should be in regular contact with your midwife or obstetrician and they’ll be checking up on your symptoms and examining your pregnancy to adjust your due date and give you an indication of how soon you can expect to go into labor.
But no pregnancy calculator is totally accurate and your guess is as good as anyone’s – the best advice is to expect the unexpected. The closer to 40 weeks you go, the better, as your baby can still do plenty of growing, learning and practicing inside the womb.
Common Symptoms at 37 Weeks Pregnant
There are a number of symptoms that are all working in unison to make life uncomfortable and exhausting around week 37. You can expect any (or all) of these symptoms:
Bloody show: Your cervix may have begun to dilate in preparation for childbirth and this can result in bloody streaks or a brown tinge in your vaginal discharge. It can be good to start wearing a maternity pad at this stage.
Braxton Hicks Contractions: Your muscles and your uterus are busy practicing for labor and delivery and you may be getting fairly strong Braxton Hicks Contractions quite regularly. Ride them out: they’re a great sign that your body will know what to do when the time comes.
Changed fetal movement: If your baby has dropped down into the pelvic cavity, you may notice a big change in his or her movements. He or she is also developing a sleep pattern and will have longer periods of stillness. As long as there are active periods every day, everything should be fine.
Leaky nipples: Your pregnancy hormones have gone to work on your breasts and are preparing for breastfeeding. Some colostrum (the first milk you produce) may begin to leak from your breasts.
Pelvis, leg, and back pain: Aches and pains in any of these three areas is the result of pressure being put on by your baby. They can make moving, sitting and sleeping (what else is there?!?) really uncomfortable.
To Do List
If at any time you are in doubt about your symptoms, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice – even if it means you’re calling your midwife or pregnancy center every second day. They’re used to it – it’s normal to feel anxious in the final weeks – and it could just be that the symptom you’ve noticed does need immediate attention.
If you haven’t already packed your hospital bag, do it now! You’ll feel much more comfortable in your own nursing gowns than one of those awful hospital things! Pack double (or even triple!) the number of pairs of underwear you think you’ll need!
And, most importantly – relax, take plenty of “me time” and try to ignore the discomfort and focus on your baby!
Useful Links and Pregnancy Articles
From the end of Week 28 on, you could go into labor at any time (but hopefully you’ll keep that baby safely inside for another 3 weeks!). In this article, we look at signs of false labor, how to tell Braxton Hicks contractions from the real thing, and the sure signs that labor is actually beginning.
The final weeks of pregnancy can really drag – it feels like forever since those magical 1st pregnancy symptoms. You’re bone tired but you can’t sleep, and the signs of pregnancy symptoms are playing havoc with your bodily functions, your emotions, and your mind! You’re continuously checking the pregnancy due date calculator to see how much longer you have to go. Sound like you? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve got some practical advice on getting through the last month of pregnancy in one (well, soon to be two!) piece.
There are a number of things you’ll need to have ready the moment your baby finally enters the world. Nursing bras and clothing, diapers, blankets, maternity pads, breast pads, baby clothing. The list of baby and maternity paraphernalia you need can feel endless. Luckily, we’ve put together a helpful shopping list and can recommend discount products from the very best maternity retailers!