Pregnancy week 37: you are already a full-term baby

At 37 weeks pregnant, the mother’s anxiety only increases, so it’s a good time to review the information on the signs of labor. The suitcase to go to the hospital, the baby’s basket and everything necessary to receive the new member of the family should be ready.

After the 36th week of pregnancy, the baby is considered full-term, since there is what doctors call fetal viability. This means that your baby has all the ability to survive outside the womb, so she can go into labor at any time. However, the greatest effort must be made to manage the nerves and control the anxiety of these days, since when some women can give birth between 36 and 38 weeks, there are others whose gestation can last up to 40 and 42 weeks.

In these cases, it is the specialist who will determine if it is necessary to induce labor or perform a scheduled cesarean section. But, for now you do not have to worry about this, since we will focus on talking about the 37 weeks of pregnancy and the symptoms that you may feel in these days.

Heartburn and incontinence

Due to the size of the 37-week fetus , your digestive system has less room for its functions. Consequently, it is normal to feel satisfaction with eating very little, followed by heartburn that will bother you for a few hours. 

On the other hand, urine loss when coughing and laughing will be more frequent, since the pressure on the bladder increases, so you may have several episodes of incontinence per day.

In this regard, some women may believe that it is amniotic fluid or discharge when they feel wet panties. Clearly, each secretion has its characteristics: urine is yellow and has a particular smell, the flow is viscous, while amniotic fluid is watery , odorless and transparent.

However, to be surer, you can buy the home test for amniotic fluid loss, which consists of a slip bag that contains a test strip that indicates with green or blue color if there is loss of amniotic fluid. If the stain is yellow, then it is urine.

Clarified this point, we must mention another of the most common symptoms in the last weeks of pregnancy: insomnia. The reason is that many mothers find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position or the latent concern of not knowing when the time of delivery will come, causes them a lot of stress and they cannot rest.

If you suffer from the latter situations, you can use a pregnancy pillow to help you find a better posture, as well as meditation techniques, aroma diffusers and relaxing music to calm anxiety. 

your body prepares

At 37 weeks of pregnancy there are several labor symptoms that indicate that your body is preparing for the big moment. However, in the final stage one of them is stabbing pain in the pubis, also known as pubalgia and occurs due to dysfunction of the joint that joins the two pelvic bones. 

Similarly, there are contractions at week 37 that may be of the Braxton Hicks type that continue to be frequent. Usually, some new mothers can be confused and believe that it is the beginning of labor. For this reason, it is important to have communication with your doctor or take pre-partum courses to learn the characteristics of labor contractions and know how to differentiate them from Braxton Hicks.

These days, some pregnant women also begin to notice a brown discharge in their panties, which is cervical bleeding that indicates that the cervix has begun to dilate. This can also appear after vaginal examination performed during pregnancy in the latest medical check-ups. So don’t be alarmed if you start to spot brown or have a light pinkish discharge late in pregnancy, as it means it’s a matter of days before you go into labor.

How is the baby this week?

For this date, your baby’s measurements are between 49 and 50 cm in length and, on average, the weight of the fetus at 37 weeks is 3 kg.

If you’re wondering how tall a baby is at birth, it’s likely that the size and weight of the last few weeks will remain stable until birth. Clearly, this can vary from baby to baby, making it difficult to determine the exact weight your baby will be born at.

In the previous weeks, the skin of the fetus was protected by vernix caseosa, a whitish substance that functioned as a barrier against bacteria, viruses and fungi. For this stage, the protective layer is shed from the skin, as is the lanugo, a fine hair that covers the entire body of the baby.

Now, the space for the little one is limited, therefore it is normal that you no longer feel it move as before. In addition, in these last weeks the baby spends most of the time sleeping.

At this point in your pregnancy, your baby should be in the cephalic position, that is, his head is embedded in the pelvis. But, if in the last sonograms your little one was in the breech or breech position , you may be wondering until what week the baby can turn around. 

According to medical literature and specialists, in most pregnancies between weeks 28 and 32, the fetus is placed in the cephalic position, but we cannot forget that each pregnancy is unique.

Therefore, if your baby is not positioned for delivery, there are some maneuvers that can be performed by the doctor to help the fetus change position . Also, there are some alternatives such as swimming face down in a pool, using bells and flashlights near the vagina, as well as other techniques that appear on the internet on how to stimulate the fetus to change position.

If after trying various methods, the baby continues to be breech or breech, your doctor may consider performing a scheduled caesarean section at week 39. 

be patient and rest

If in your case everything is going well, the baby is in the cephalic position and you only have normal discomforts of the last few weeks, we suggest you stay calm, do not give in to the anxiety and questions of people about how long it will take to give birth. Your concern should be to have everything you need in your suitcase for the time you have to go to the hospital, see baby baskets or have the space with the baby’s crib ready.

There’s no point in searching the internet for how to give birth early at 37 weeks, when the best thing you can do is rest and tell your baby to come out when he’s ready. Nature will take its course and your body will be the perfect refuge for your baby while he is not ready to be born.

On the other hand, it is likely that these days you will see a flow that is more abundant than normal with the appearance of transparent mucus. This does not explicitly mean that you will deliver at 37 weeks, as the loss of the mucous plug can take several days. Therefore, the due date can be at 38 or 39 weeks. 

We reiterate, it is a matter of patience, learning to differentiate Braxton Hicks contractions from labor contractions and maintaining communication with the midwife or doctor to know when you should go to the hospital or continue with your birth plan .

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