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Pregnancy Week 37

Pregnancy Week 37: A Comprehensive Guide

Pregnancy week 37 marks the beginning of the final month of your pregnancy journey. As you approach the finish line, your body and baby are undergoing significant changes in preparation for labor and delivery. Understanding these changes can help you navigate this exciting and transformative time with confidence.

Your Baby’s Development

At 37 weeks, your baby is approximately 19 inches long and weighs around 6 pounds. Their physical features are becoming more defined, and they are actively practicing breathing, sucking, and grasping.

  • Brain development: The baby’s brain is rapidly growing and developing, with the formation of new neural connections.
  • Lung development: The baby’s lungs are almost fully mature, preparing them for independent breathing outside the womb.
  • Bone development: The baby’s bones are hardening, but their skull remains soft and pliable to facilitate delivery.
  • Movement: The baby’s movements may become less frequent as they run out of space in the uterus. However, you should still feel them regularly.

Your Body’s Changes

As your baby grows, your body continues to adapt to accommodate their needs.

  • Uterus: Your uterus is now the size of a watermelon and has risen to your rib cage. This can cause shortness of breath and difficulty sleeping.
  • Cervix: The cervix begins to soften and dilate in preparation for labor.
  • Vaginal discharge: You may experience increased vaginal discharge, which is typically clear or slightly milky.
  • Weight gain: You have likely gained around 25-35 pounds during your pregnancy, with most of the weight being in the third trimester.
  • Swelling: Your feet, ankles, and hands may swell due to increased fluid retention.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions: These false contractions become more frequent and intense as your body prepares for labor.

Common Symptoms

During pregnancy week 37, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Back pain: The weight of your growing uterus can put pressure on your lower back.
  • Pelvic pain: The baby’s head may press down on your pelvic bones, causing discomfort.
  • Constipation: Hormonal changes and the pressure of the uterus on your intestines can lead to constipation.
  • Frequent urination: The baby’s position can put pressure on your bladder, causing you to urinate more frequently.
  • Hemorrhoids: Increased pressure on the veins in your rectum can lead to hemorrhoids.
  • Mood swings: Hormonal fluctuations can cause mood swings and irritability.

Preparing for Labor

As you enter the final stretch of your pregnancy, it’s important to prepare for labor and delivery.

  • Create a birth plan: Outline your preferences for labor and delivery, including pain management, birth position, and postpartum care.
  • Pack your hospital bag: Include essential items for you and your baby, such as toiletries, clothing, and diapers.
  • Arrange childcare: Make arrangements for someone to care for your other children during labor and delivery.
  • Rest and relax: Get as much rest as possible in the weeks leading up to labor.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration during labor.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Nourish your body with nutrient-rich foods to support your health and energy levels.

When to Call Your Doctor

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Vaginal bleeding: Any amount of vaginal bleeding can be a sign of a problem.
  • Leaking fluid: Amniotic fluid leaking from the vagina can indicate a ruptured membrane.
  • Severe abdominal pain: Persistent or severe abdominal pain could be a sign of labor or a medical emergency.
  • Headaches that don’t go away: Severe or persistent headaches can be a sign of preeclampsia.
  • Blurred vision or flashing lights: These symptoms can indicate preeclampsia or other complications.
  • Decreased fetal movement: If you notice a significant decrease in your baby’s movements, contact your doctor.


Pregnancy week 37 is a time of both excitement and anticipation as you prepare to meet your little one. Understanding the changes your body and baby are undergoing can help you navigate this final stretch with confidence. By following your doctor’s instructions, preparing for labor, and staying attentive to your body’s cues, you can ensure a safe and healthy delivery.

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