It is almost time and you are going to meet your baby very soon. Next week you will be “term” and if your baby is born at Week 37 then it is no more a premature birth. Your baby is not likely to have any issues if it is born now.
If there is still a lot left for you to organize then you should finish off the pending work immediately. Many women wait until the third trimester to go shopping for their baby’s clothes and essentials. They wait for everything to go off well and postpone setting up the nursery. At week 37 you are reassured that your baby is completely all right. You can check with your doctor or your midwife to give you some insight into the growth of your baby and how it is developing. Your body has dealt a lot with the changes in pregnancy and you may not be able to remember the time when you were not pregnant. There is a high chance that you may see your mucus plug anytime soon. Referred to as a bloody show this discharge means that your labor is due very soon.
Above all the physical symptoms, pregnant women at week 37 start to feel anxious. This is a common feeling at this stage of pregnancy. There are many things that are not known and many things left to be done before the date arrives. Our advice to you is to just relax. Your baby will not care at all about the color of the nursery.
You’re Baby in Week Thirty-Seven
Your baby is full term now but can benefit from staying in the uterus for some more days. It is now almost 6 pounds in weight and closes to 20 inches in length. The practitioner will not be able to tell you accurately how big the baby will be when it is born. This is because some of the pounds that you have gained are because of the increase in the amniotic fluid, your breast size and the size of your placenta.
In fact, your baby will not gain a lot now. But your baby will continue to add more ounces. Your baby will add approximately 14 gms of fat each day till the day it is delivered. Also, your amniotic fluid will start to get reabsorbed in your tissues and this will decrease the quantity of fluid around your baby. This may make you feel that your baby is moving very less but actually, it is as active as it always was. It is still moving in the cramped area. As your uterus starts to stretch, more light will enter the space of the baby and it will move its eyes towards the light.
Because of the placental hormone that is stimulating your breasts to produce milk, the same hormone will lead to a swell in your baby’s mammary gland as well. After your baby is born it will shrink back in size.
At this point in pregnancy, 3 percent of babies will still be in the breech position. This is when their head is up and feet or buttock is close to the cervix. Your doctor may ask to do a pelvic examination to assess the presenting parts of the baby. At this stage your baby’s buttocks, feet, had and hips can easily be distinguished.
Yours as well as your baby’s body is preparing for the rigors of labor in this last few weeks or days till birth. The umbilical cord is passing antibodies to the baby and preparing it for delivery. These antibodies prevent the baby from catching any disease or germs when comes outside the womb.
The weight that your baby is now adding will help it survive when it is born. Its body needs insulation when it is out in the world as it cannot depend on the warm amniotic sac to keep it cozy. Its body will have to start doing all the job after it gets delivered through you will be close by to give it warmth.
Your baby’s senses are also getting time to improve its burgeoning skills. It can now hear and also recognize your voice. Once the baby is born you will be able to notice that it turns in your direction when it hears your voice. It knows that this is its mother’s voice. Along with its capability to hear its sight is also improving each day. Its fingers are becoming coordinated and it can grasp its face and toes. After it is born it will be able to grab your finger.
Sonographers do not mostly see the baby’s reaction to light when it is in the uterus. Since ultrasounds are performed in dark rooms it is not possible to understand how the baby reacts to light.