Motherhood & Parenting
Congratulations! You are 37 weeks pregnant and strong! Only 3 more weeks to go before you see your little adorable human live from your own eyes. You have officially reached the final month of your pregnancy this week. Your delivery date is almost near and your huge 37-week baby bump is self-evident for that.
Soon your baby would hegemonize over your entire lifestyle and become your number one priority. Your maternal instincts would have already kicked in these past few months. If they haven’t, they surely will, once the baby arrives. You and your partner must have already anticipated the possible changes post your delivery.
Anyhow, you and your baby both will now be considered as ‘early term’ at 37 weeks pregnant. Even though you are in your final month of pregnancy, the baby still has some finishing touches left before popping out. Your body would now give you signs that it is preparing for the most awaited day.
The size of the baby at 37 weeks is similar to that of a standard canary melon. By 37 weeks of your pregnancy, your baby would have become about19 inches (48 centimeters) in height and 6 1/2 pounds (2,966 grams) in weight, approximately. These sizes are of an average newborn. It is okay if your baby differs from these mentioned figures.
A healthy baby, on birth, can weigh anywhere between 5 1/2 pounds (2,500 grams) to 10 pounds (4,500 grams). Also, the height range for a healthy baby can be anywhere between 17 3/4 inches (45 centimeters) to nearly 22 inches (55 centimeters).
Meanwhile, your baby is preparing itself for taking breastfeeding. It is learning and practicing swallowing and sucking with the help of amniotic fluid and its thumb. The coordination of both has improved quite a lot and has become better by now. Your baby would be occupied in the last few weeks of your pregnancy doing these activities. The baby usually gets ready with this coordination perfectly by 36 weeks to 38 weeks of your pregnancy.
Also, your baby has developed an admirable dexterity this week. Now she or he has got a hold of things, quite literally! Your baby can now hold or wrap its fingers around its toes or nose. It can grasp small things with its tiny little fingers. Very soon, you would be able to fit your finger inside its little fists and keep all your worries at bay at the moment. These moments could also turn to the moments of ‘ouch’ when your baby would pull your hair with these same little fists and won’t let go of it.
Your baby would very soon get a hold of you!
At 37 weeks pregnant, your body is getting pretty serious about your pregnancy. Your body has realized that your bun is almost ready and baked inside your oven. It is now diligently working for the finale of your pregnancy. And you would be able to feel these preparations with these following pregnancy symptoms and discomforts.
1. Increase in Braxton Hicks Contractions
The practice contractions, or Braxton Hicks contractions, would become more frequent in the last few weeks of your pregnancy. You would find yourself experiencing these contractions a lot more than you usually did until now.
These occasional or sudden tightening of the muscles surrounding your uterus may either be mild or strong. The magnitude or degree of intensity varies from one pregnancy to another. Many women complain about having these Braxton Hicks contractions every 10 to 20 minutes in the last few weeks of their pregnancy.
2. Losing your mucus plug
In your first trimester, the cervical mucus plugged in your cervix to act as a buffer between your uterus and germs. This mucus plug that existed in order to protect your pregnancy would now start to lose a little bit. As your due date nears, this mucus plug would start coming off before you are ready to deliver.
In some pregnancies, only a part of this mucus plug comes off while in the others the whole of it comes off. This released mucus can at times appear as a thick discharge tinged with brown or red streaks. Also, some women may witness pink or red spotting along with this discharge. Such spotting is called ‘bloody show’. It is not necessary that you see this discharge taking off yourself. Some women don’t even realize passing this.
Your uterus would stretch more this week to provide space for your baby. This stretching of tissues would make your belly more translucent, letting the light pass through it. Your baby would be able to sense this light from the inside and react to it with blinking and moving. Also, the tissues inside your womb would start absorbing amniotic fluid to free space for your baby and make it ready for birth.
This decrease in amniotic fluid may make you feel like your baby isn’t moving or has become lethargic, don’t worry, it is as active as before and wiggling inside like before. You may also witness your baby grasping things in his hands in the scan.
Practice using your baby gears
You must have already done with the nesting and stuffed all the things that you would need. Baby gears like prams, car seats, baby carriers, and rest the baby gears stocked up in the nursery. It is a good time to practice using these. Once your baby arrives, you would hardly find any time or patience to figure these things out. You can use a stuffed toy or doll as your dummy baby for the same.
You might be feeling bloated these days. Drinking an ample amount of water would ease you a little and help you with fluid retention. Also, it would also help you a little with cramps and contractions.
Amidst all these nesting and preparing for your baby, don’t forget to take care of yourself. We know you are eagerly waiting for your baby’s big debut and trying your best to provide for it. Don’t stress yourself on such thoughts. Just go with the flow and trust your maternal instincts!