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weeks pregnant

37 weeks pregnant - what to expect

Your baby is considered ‘full term’ now. They're about the length of a stalk of Swiss chard.

Week 37 infographic.

What does my baby look like?

During this final month, your baby will move further into the pelvis. About 95 percent of babies are positioned head down, and most face their mummy’s back.

When the head moves down into the pelvis, your midwife will describe it as ‘engaged’ - you might even notice your bump drops slightly.

Your symptoms - what to expect

Piles

One of pregnancy’s least fun side-effects. These small lumps inside or outside your anus can be uncomfortable and particularly sore when you do a poo.

Use a cool cloth to ease the discomfort - and don’t hesitate to chat to your midwife about ways to manage them.

Heartburn?

Your womb pressing on your stomach can leave you bloated, burpy, sick or with a nasty heart burning sensation.

Other common pregnancy symptoms include headache, constipation and swollen feet.

Read 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them) to find out more.

In a cleaning frenzy?

Noticed a sudden burst of energy and the need to ‘nest’? You’re not alone - lots of mums get this.

Getting your home ready for its new addition is great, but try to avoid the temptation to do lots of heavy-duty cleaning. This is a time to rest!

If you find that you are over-cleaning or find yourself needing to do some things over and over again, speak to your midwife about this.

Actions to take

Expecting twins?

If you are expecting twins or more, you’ll probably be having your babies very soon - twins are born earlier than single babies.

The pregnancy length for multiples is:

  • Twins: 37 weeks
  • Triplets: 34 weeks
  • Quadruplets: 32 weeks.

If your babies are not born by then, most twin pregnancies are induced by 38 weeks because the health risks increase after that.

“Book a treat for yourself, like a massage, for after your baby’s arrival. Knowing that two months after my due date I’d be able to have some ‘me’ time again was a goal to work towards.”Zoe, mum of one

Practical plans for the birth

Still haven’t packed your hospital bag? Get to it! Your baby could arrive any day now.

If you have other children, make arrangements for someone to look after them when you go into labour.

This is also a good time to consider your support after the birth too. Who could you ask to help out every now and then?

Think about how you’ll get to the hospital or unit where you plan to give birth. If your birth partner will be driving you, it’s important to make sure there’s enough petrol in the car and that they are sure of the route and where to park.

Remember any change for the parking charges too!

Getting help and support for your emotional wellbeing

Sources

1. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Jonathan Cape, p. 208

3. You and your baby at 37–40 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices:http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-37-38-39-40.aspx [accessed 12 June 2015] (last reviewed: 11 February 2015; next review due: 11 February 2017).

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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