You are now in the final month of your pregnancy. Birth approaches rapidly and a child born after the 37th week of pregnancy is considered full term. Baby is about 6 pounds and over 18 inches long; so even if she decides to make her entry into the world now, she is unlikely to need neonatal intensive care or significant medical intervention.
Though you are probably getting quite impatient by now, remember that up till the 40th week, each day that the baby spends longer in the womb means less time required to be spent in the hospital for the baby. You may want to go and visit the hospital and see where you’re going to deliver your baby.
Many women get a burst of renewed energy about now – it’s probably that nesting instinct. But remember not to overdo it. Concentrate on being happy and stress free and conserve your energies for labor and the arrival of your baby.
Changes in the baby
Though baby now has very little space to move, she is probably still kicking and elbowing and rolling around; and you can feel it all!
- Baby is probably sucking her thumb now, getting into practice for suckling after the birth.
- Though the lanugo has worn off mostly, lots of children are born with some of that fine downy hair which wears off soon afterwards.
Changes in the mom to be
You have been feeling breathless with your lungs being as crowded as they are. However as soon as the baby’s head drops into the pelvis (engages), you will feel a lightening of that pressure and may be able to breathe easier, literally! However if this is your second or third baby, the head may not engage until you are actually in labor.
- Your cervix may be dilating or effacing (thinning) now in preparation for the delivery.
- You may be having some pretty vivid dreams right now. Don’t read too much into them.
Tips for the 37th Week
You should be visiting your doctor regularly, so he or she can monitor your pregnancy properly.
- You can take the time to do some perineum massage about now. The perineum is the area between the vagina and the rectum. Helping to condition the area could reduce the chances of having a tear down there or needing an episiotomy.
- Also massage your nipples in preparation for breastfeeding.