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37 Weeks Pregnant


Image: Fetal Development At 37 Weeks

By the end of this week your pregnancy is considered full term – congratulations!

Your little one is still growing, and in the last few weeks she’s likely to put on a whole extra kilo! Around this time you might begin to feel like your baby is ‘dropping’ inside you. Some women even say they worry baby will slip out! (Don’t worry, that won’t happen).

This process is known as ‘lightening’ or ‘engagement’ in preparation for labour. If this is your first baby, she may be engaged in your pelvis already, but if it’s your second or third it’s likely to take a bit longer. This is because after your first baby your pelvic bones change a bit.

One positive aspect of engagement is that you should feel less pressure on your lungs and stomach, making it easier to eat and take a deep breath. You might find walking a bit problematic, even painful at times. Read our article on pelvic pain for tips on how to deal with this, as well as information on pelvic floor exercises – which are especially helpful for your constant need to pee!

Have you planned your route to the hospital yet? Make sure you always have fuel in the car from now on. If you haven’t done so already, it’s a very good idea to get your labour bag packed now. You should also probably review the various stages of labour with your partner so he won’t be too shell-shocked when the big day comes!

Worried about signs of labour? Have a read of our information about the different contractions you may experience. If you’re a bit concerned that you haven’t done enough antenatal classes you can do some last-minute labour prep at a ‘Labour Weekend’ run by the NCT. You can phone for details on 0300 330 0770.

Having said all that, try to relax. Experts say stress can affect your baby so give yourself a bit of chill-out time. Curl up with your partner in front of a movie. Try to avoid the rush hour traffic if possible, and rest as much as possible in your lunch hour.

Is there a way that I can predict my baby’s at-birth weight?
Your Anomaly Scan (or ‘20 Week Scan’) report will have an ‘estimated fetal weight’ included on it. From this, you should be able to trace your little’s one estimated weight on the graph – that’s assuming that your baby keeps growing along the same growth line.

Ultimately this estimate is likely to be more accurate if you go in for a later pregnancy scan, say 32 weeks or later – what’s often known as a Well-being Scan.

Possible Scan at Week 37
The purpose of a Well-being Scan is to check that the baby is growing well and that the pregnancy is developing normally. You may want to have this scan if your baby has been moving less, if you have had unusual tummy pains, light bleeding or if you have had some kind of accident (for example on the road or in a fall).

A Wellbeing Scan is particularly important if you have had pregnancy complications or problems in a previous pregnancy. This scan is usually only offered by the NHS if there is a complication with the pregnancy.