Week 37: Final preparations in the womb begin
When you're 37 weeks pregnant, you have a reason to celebrate: Your baby is considered full term. These are a few changes she experiences:
- Your baby's weight gain slows considerably, but she has just a little more room to grow.
- Essential fat (also called baby fat) will continue to form. This will round her out and help her stay warm after birth.
- If you have an ultrasound during the 3rd trimester, the technician might measure your baby’s head, stomach, and femur to estimate her weight.
- She probably weighs more than 6 pounds.
Your Week 37 nutrition and health
How nutrition can play a role in getting a good night's sleep
The last few weeks of your pregnancy are an exciting time. But this also could lead to the occasional sleepless night. To help make sure your nutrition is helping you get a good night’s sleep, rather than preventing it, here are some tips to follow for the duration of your pregnancy:
- Eat light dinners. Big dinners might make you drowsy, but they also could prolong digestion, which can disrupt sleep patterns. Instead, try eating your biggest meal before midafternoon, and eat a light evening meal.
- Eat an evening snack. Choose a light grain-and-dairy snack, such as crackers with low-fat cheese and fruit, or low-fat yogurt with toast and apple butter. Wait an hour before lying down. These foods will digest quickly so you can rest.
Your changing body
Starting now and in the weeks to follow, you might find that you can breathe easier. You also might begin to notice some big changes in your body:
- Your baby might move down into your pelvis. When this happens, some of your late-pregnancy symptoms could go away.
- Less pressure on your digestive organs might alleviate heartburn and constipation.
- Digestion might be easier, too.
- Your shortness of breath might dissipate as your lungs now have more room to move.
- While you might feel less pressure in your upper body, you could feel more pressure on your bladder.
What to expect at your next checkup
During your 37th week of pregnancy, you, your partner, your baby, and your doctor are making final preparations for your baby's arrival. Your doctor sees you once a week until labor and delivery. Week 37 is a good time to finalize the details of your birth plan and to take time to relax.
Your weekly exam likely will include:
- A weigh-in
- A blood pressure test
- An analysis of your baby's activity and movement
- A pelvic exam to check your baby's position, height of fundus, and cervix dilation and effacement
- A check for preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure during pregnancy
- A check for vision changes such as blurred eyesight or seeing spots could be preeclampsia symptoms which you should mention to your doctor
Getting ready for your delivery
Take time at this visit to speak with your doctor about your questions or concerns, such as:
- What are the signs of labor?
- When should I go to the hospital?
Between weekly appointments, let your doctor know if you experience vaginal bleeding or greenish-brown discharge; constant, severe abdominal pain; or decreased baby movement.
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