Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 37th Week
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You are now at 37 weeks as you count the days to hold your baby in your arms. You have come to the end of the pregnancy adventure that seems very long, and you have only three weeks left until the birth. Despite this, both your baby and you continue to experience different situations.
What kind of changes does the 37th week of pregnancy create for expectant mothers? How is your baby this week? We have compiled everything you can think of, from nutrition to exercises, from pregnancy symptoms to a checklist.
Baby at 37th Week
When you reach 37 weeks, you may wonder at what stage your baby’s development is. Here are the answers to all your questions, such as weight, height, development of his systems and senses, and the skills he gained…
How Big Has My Baby got?
Your baby has grown to the size of lettuce this week.
Your baby, whose many systems are ready to adapt to the outside world, continues to gain fat and weight this week. The growth of the baby, who took about 200 grams more compared to the last week, may have slowed down a bit. During this period, the fat tissue under the skin and around the organs gradually increases.
Gestational Age (Weeks)
These values are the average values of a baby at 37 weeks. Your little one may be overweight or thin, shorter or taller under the doctor’s control. Boy babies have more adipose tissue and thicker bones than girls. This can cause babies to be of different heights and weights. In such cases, it is important not to worry and remember that such differences in the physical development of each baby are considered normal.
Development of Systems and Newly Acquired Skills
Even though your baby is born this week and is considered a full-term baby rather than premature, 37-week births are still referred to as preterm births. Because the baby’s systems continue to develop. In general, the final preparations continue in your little one’s body, which has developed as much as a newborn.
So, let’s examine at what stage the 37-week-old baby’s organ and system development is.
Nervous System + Endocrine System
Your little one’s brain development continues this week. Nerve cells multiply rapidly and connect. Thanks to the developing endocrine system, most of the hair may have grown. Nails continue to grow.
Your baby’s stomach is developed enough to digest breast milk. The sucking muscles that will feed it are about to complete their development.
Lungs have completed their development to a large extent, and now your baby is at the level of development to breathe independently without the need for respiratory support. He continues rhythmic hiccups by swallowing amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb and practices breathing.
Support and Movement System
Bones that store more and more calcium continues to harden. Especially the shin bone, thigh bone, and arm bones lose their cartilage tissue and begin to regain their bony structure. However, many bones still preserve their cartilage structure to provide a comfortable passage through the birth canal.
The kidneys strengthen the working mechanism by filtering the amniotic fluid and preparing to decompose the wastes circulating in the baby’s veins after birth. Black-dark green meconium accumulation, which is the first stool of the baby, continues in the intestines.
The event of male babies’ testes descending into the scrotum continues, which will be completed soon.
This week, your baby continues to bring your antibodies into his body and strengthen his immunity.
Sensory Organs and Developmental Features in 37 Weeks Baby
At 37 weeks of pregnancy, your little one has significantly advanced her sensory abilities.
At what stage is the 37-week-old baby’s development when it comes to sense organs? Here’s what your little one has learned this week, step by step…
Eye and Sight
The eyes have increased their sensitivity to light this week. When a bright light comes to your tummy, your pup may turn in the direction of the light. He may blink.
Ear and Hearing
Their ears are well developed. His hearing ability progresses, and he becomes able to distinguish the voices of his parents. He will remember these sounds to a great extent after he is born.
Tongue and Taste
Your baby discovers ways to use his tongue this week. He gets plenty of practice for feeding by sucking his hand, foot, or finger.
Nose and sense of smell
Although he is not in an environment where he can use his sense of smell, his nose and smell are also ready.
Skin and the Sense of Touch
Most of the lanugo hairs on his skin are shed. Her skin continues to take on the pink color. Adipose tissue continues to accumulate under the skin and helps the baby to maintain its body temperature.
37 Weeks Baby Movements
As birth approaches, the changes in the baby’s movements excite the expectant mothers the most. Long-term inactivity or unusual activity can be interpreted differently during the 37th week of pregnancy.
This week, your baby arranges himself in the womb-like a newborn. She sleeps and wakes up at regular intervals and may not move for a long time while sleeping. But at 37 weeks, baby movements can still be felt. Since the uterine wall is extremely thin, the baby’s hand, elbow, or foot can be noticed outside. It can create large waves all over the abdomen when performing a rotational movement.
Mom at 37 Weeks Pregnancy
The last weeks are perhaps the most challenging phase of pregnancy for expectant mothers. In this period, in addition to physical complaints, psychological problems due to the birth of your baby, the birth of your baby, and the worries about the moment of birth and after it begins to increase. For this reason, with the 37th week of pregnancy, stress and excitement increase.
If you are 37 weeks pregnant, let’s examine together what awaits you this week, what you should be prepared for.
What’s Happening In My Body?
Contractions, which most expectant mothers have difficulty distinguishing between labor pains or false contractions, begin to be experienced more frequently during these weeks. Your baby, who has now taken the birth position, puts pressure on the uterine muscles and prepares your body for the moment of birth. These preparatory contractions, called Braxton Hicks, indicate that labor is approaching, not beginning. Contractions that come at irregular intervals and come at rest can be considered normal in this process.
The recurring problem of the last weeks is insomnia. The growing belly can be a barrier to finding the right sleeping position. The realization of engagement can increase the pressure on the bladder and cause you to wake up at night, and make you feel the need to go to the toilet. Anxiety and stress about childbirth also play a large role in insomnia, making it difficult to fall asleep.
The sudden increase in weight gain can lead to purplish or reddish veins on the skin, especially in the abdomen and hips, in many pregnant women. It is normal for such images to occur on excessively stretched skin. The formation of stretch marks develops depending on many different factors such as genetic predisposition, nutrition, sleep pattern, moisture balance of the skin. But in recent weeks, it can be seen more frequently as your skin reaches maximum tension.
Your baby may have started putting more pressure on your spine these days. This pressure causes mild pain in the back and lumbar region that gets worse from time to time.
Relaxation in the lungs
While the growing baby in the previous weeks put pressure on the chest and lungs, making it difficult to breathe, with the 37th week of pregnancy, this pressure shifts from top to bottom, that is, the baby begins to descend into the birth canal so that relief can be felt in the lungs.
Passing mucus plug
Passing mucus plug, one of the most obvious birth signs known to pregnant women, can occur at 37 weeks. Mucus, which protects the cervix from infections during pregnancy, may come a few hours before birth or a few weeks before birth. In such a case, you should inform your doctor.
Tips to Minimize Troublesome Pregnancy Symptoms
You count the days and try to combat fatigue and pain while completing your preparations. You can try to spend this week more comfortably with some applications that will help minimize your complaints.
Here are some practical advice for the mother at 37 weeks of pregnancy;
- Try not to stand for long periods and get plenty of rest with your feet stretched out.
- Take simple measures against insomnia.
- Support your back, abdomen, and legs with pillows to make your sleeping position more comfortable.
- Take a warm shower before going to bed.
- Drink a glass of warm milk at least 1 hour before sleep.
- Be sure to empty your bladder before going to bed.
- Try reading a book.
- Do exercises that will help eliminate lower back and back pain.
- Don’t forget to rest and drink plenty of fluids by taking precautions against false contractions.
- If you have various anxieties about the moment of birth and fear birth, try to get psychological support to reduce stress. Try to ease your anxiety by talking to a fertility coach, doula, or psychologist.
- If you have stretch marks, moisturize your skin to prevent cracks’ progression and the formation of new cracks. You can use vegetable oils and organic creams for this.
What are the Birth Symptoms?
One of the issues that expectant mothers are most curious about is the birth symptoms. At 37 weeks, the baby is almost ready to be born. For this reason, it is necessary to observe the signs that will help you understand that the moment of birth has come.
- Regular contractions that become more frequent and do not go away with rest (As time passes, the time between two pains becomes shorter, while the duration of the contractions gets longer.)
- Feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen
- Period-like pain and cramps
- Engagement (It is a slimy discharge that covers the cervix.)
- Coming of water (It is the amniotic fluid that comes with the explosion of the amniotic sac. The birth takes place approximately 12-24 hours after the water comes.)
- vaginal bleeding
- Thinning of the cervix (The cervix must reach a sufficient opening to allow the baby’s passage. The required opening for this is 10 cm.)
How Much Weight Should You Gain?
From the first moment you learn that you are expecting a baby, you may have taken care of your form and gained a controlled weight by adopting a healthy diet and doing various exercises. After the last month, this situation may differ for some expectant mothers, and the baby’s weight gain of 25-30 grams per day may lead to rapid weight gain.
The weight range prescribed by doctors for 37 weeks of pregnancy is 12.5-14.5 kg. This weight range may vary in each pregnant woman, but as long as the baby’s development and your health are on track, it is not a severe problem if you gain weight below or above this weight.
By the 37th week, the baby’s development in the mother’s womb is completed to a large extent. However, the increase in adipose tissue and the development of some systems continue until birth. For this reason, the issue of nutrition still maintains its importance.
The recommendations for nutrition at 37 weeks of pregnancy are as follows;
- To keep the increased body temperature in balance, pay attention to daily fluid intake and continue to consume at least 2.5-3 liters of water per day.
- Try to eat a diet rich in magnesium and potassium minerals to help relieve waist, back, and leg pain.
- Eat little and often to prevent bloating and keep your blood sugar balanced.
- Take advantage of healthy snacks if you feel that you have gained weight quickly and your appetite is very hungry.
As you approach the end of your pregnancy, you may not find yourself moving as quickly as before, as the baby takes the birth position and the pressure on the cervix increases. However, it is necessary to prevent these symptoms experienced during pregnancy and childbirth from further immobilizing you.
You can consider the following options as 37 weeks of pregnancy exercises and physical activities that can be done:
- Brisk walks not exceeding half an hour
- stretching movements
- Breathing exercises that facilitate childbirth
In particular, stretching and breathing exercises prepare you physically during these weeks and help you relax psychologically. You can get help from an expert or enroll in special pregnancy courses to perform the exercises correctly if you wish.
37th Week Pregnancy Checklist
We can list the things you need to do for the 37th week of pregnancy as follows:
- As the time of birth approaches, get information about the signs of labor or get detailed information from your doctor about this.
- Gather all the supplies you and your baby need at the hospital and get your hospital bag ready. Put the hospital bag close to the door.
- Determine your mode of delivery with your doctor.
- With the 37th week of pregnancy, you only have three weeks left to hold your baby in your arms. You can spend this week completing the last preparations and resting a lot.
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