You’re 37 weeks pregnant and it’s time for you and your baby to prepare for his arrival. Think weight gain, rest and some light reading!
Your baby’s development
This week your baby is the size of a… leek.
Your baby officially reaches full term at the end of week 37 – slightly confusing, because he’s still not quiteready to be born. This week your baby will:
· Carry on piling on weight – about 500 grams this week actually, thanks Mum!
· Practise all the skills he needs in the outside world, from breathing and swallowing to hearing and grasping things.
· Have a full head of hair. The fine lanugo covering his body will be reabsorbed into his system.
· Not be able to move much in the womb, but will certainly let you know if he’s uncomfortable – a kick or nudge serves as notice that he wants you to change positions.
Your physical pregnancy changes
In the final few weeks of pregnancy, your physical symptoms will increase. Expect that you’ll:
·Feel more backache as your baby gains weight swiftly, putting strain on your spine.
·Need the bathroom even more frequently as your baby engages more with your pelvis, and presses on your bladder.
·Experience an increase in vaginal discharge due to more hormonal activity preparing your body in the run up to labour.
·Have creaky joints (especially your pelvis) – this will return to normal after the birth.
Your health and fitness during pregnancy
Going on a slow walk – for as far as you can manage – can be very therapeutic. Not only does it get you out of the house but it gives you time alone in the fresh air with your bump. Walking can also encourage your baby to drop down into your pelvis if he hasn’t already done so. This is the position he needs to be in prior to labour.
Take time to rest, too. You will be feeling tired as your baby’s due date approaches and your body carries the extra weight.
Your week 37 pregnancy checklist
· Take the opportunity to relax while you have the time.
· Start reading up on the signs and stages of labour. Preparation will help you feel more in control when the big day finally comes.
· Practise those breathing techniques.
· Complete any practical errands that you need to run before the little one arrives.
· Try to take a daily walk in the fresh air – it’s good for you both.