37 weeks pregnant: Your baby is now as big as a stalk of swiss chard
Earlier, pregnancy would be termed as full-term only at the 40-week mark. However, later on, doctors labelled the bracket of 37 to 42 weeks as a full-term pregnancy. So, we on Cloudnine would like to congratulate you on reaching full-term pregnancy! You are so close to seeing your little one now. You could have your baby anytime ranging within a few days to the next three weeks. Exciting, isn’t it?
We know moms, you are probably at your most uncomfortable right now, but think of it this way: you get to see your little one not too long from now! At this stage, they are already as big as a stalk of swiss chard.
Babies born at this stage would be termed as “early term” babies. This is because although they are ready to be born, they could still use the few extra weeks to develop further before birth. At this stage, your baby is very close to fully developed, but they are still working on some parts of themselves. Here’s what is new with them this week.
Your baby is now 48 cm long and weighs approximately 2.9 kg. They are almost as big as a stalk of swiss chard
Your baby is inhaling and exhaling a lot of amniotic fluid this week
Your baby now spends their time practising blinking and turning from side to side
Your baby has improved dexterity now and can grasp on to smaller things such as their own toes and nose
At this stage, the baby can tend to suck their thumb a lot more; this helps them prepare for breastfeeding post-birth
Your baby does not have enough room for too much movement anymore, but you will still be able to feel your baby stretching, rolling, and wiggling in your uterus
Your baby’s head is much bigger in proportion to the rest of their body still; it is almost the same circumference as their chest at this stage
The most prominent change that is visible at the 37th week is the increasing amount of fat accumulating under their skin, especially near their shoulders and hips. Fat deposits are also visible in their elbows, knees neck, and wrists, giving them that cute dimpled effect
Your baby has now coordinated their sucking and swallowing skills, which indicates that they are now ready for feeding after birth
Babies born at this stage would be called “early term” babies. Although they are not at any life risk or risk of disability after birth, they are labelled as “early term” since their brain, lungs, and liver are still developing.
What you can expect to see in the ultrasound this week
Most doctors recommend a weekly ultrasound once you enter the third trimester of pregnancy. This is crucial to check for any abnormalities or areas of concern. Read on to know what you must expect to see in the ultrasound in the 37th week.
The doctor will inspect for and try to detect any fetal abnormalities if there are any.
You can see your baby sucking their thumb quite often at this stage
Your baby’s head may have begun to descend down the birth canal. This is commonly referred to as “dropping”.
Within whatever space available, you can see your baby rolling and wiggling around in your uterus
You can also see your baby blinking this week
Things to do this week
Now that you are so close to labor, you must think ahead and focus on the time of delivery and the time after birth. Make sure you are prepared so you do not have to panic after bringing the baby home. Here are some of the things you can do this week.
You will be having your baby sometime very soon now, so make sure you have your car seat installed by this week
The Braxton-Hicks contractions that you have been experiencing for the past few weeks may become a lot more prominent and frequent this week onwards. To combat the discomfort, you can try to rest and drink lots of water whenever you experience such contractions
Try to time your contractions whenever they come. If you are able to time them, and they occur at regular intervals, you might be in early labor
Now that you have reached full-term, your labor could be at any time, within the next three weeks. Make sure to keep a hospital bag ready nearby, in case of emergencies
Stock up on baby clothes, diapers, and other necessary things.
Enjoy these last few days or weeks of time that you get before the arrival of your little one; you’ll find that alone time is very difficult to get after you have a baby!
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