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You are 37 weeks pregnant

Mar 18, 2010 at 5:32 PM Chime in now

What's New This Week?

14 inches
Height of your baby
Weight of your baby
crenshaw melon
Size of your baby

Your Body

Welcome to the last month of your pregnancy! And here’s something else worth celebrating: By the end of this week your baby is considered full term—even though the whole shebang technically can last 40 weeks. Congrats! That means that if you go into labor any time from here on out, your doctor likely won’t likely do anything to try to stop or slow it. The baby is ready to arrive—and by this point you’re probably counting down the days (hours! minutes!) until your official due date. Keep in mind that only about five percent of babies are born on their actual due date, so don’t set yourself up for disappointment by focusing on that “magic” day. If the baby hasn’t dropped lower into your pelvis (a process called lightening) already, by this week he may. Engagement, which usually accompanies lightening is when the fetal “presenting part” (the term doctors use to describe which part will come out first—it’s usually the head) moves below the upper part of the pelvis in preparation for birth. But again, this phenomenon might not happen until labor begins, especially if this is your second or third pregnancy. From this week on, your doctor will likely want to see you once a week—and may examine you to see if your cervix is changing and readying for delivery at each checkup. And don’t worry if she checks you and doesn’t see any “progress”–plenty of moms get that feedback and then go into labor.

Your Baby
Still growing! At this stage, your baby is gaining about a half an ounce each day. While the typical size of a baby at 37 weeks is about 6-1/2 pounds, a lot of it has to do with the gender. Generally, boys weight more at birth than girls (although plenty of 10-pound females have entered the world—as have healthy, smallish 6-pound males!). You may already have an idea of how big your baby could be. Doctors often can guesstimate the baby’s size based on ultrasound exams.

Your Life Right Now
Are you still having sex? A lot of couples enjoy it right up until the end of pregnancy. It may take some new maneuvering and novel positions to get around that belly of yours, but it’s not only OK at this point (assuming you have a healthy, normal pregnancy) it may help start labor along! Prostaglandins in semen may help ripen your cervix—when your baby is ready. And, nipple stimulation (which some doctors don’t recommend as a method) can promote the release of oxytocin, a pregnancy hormone which stimulates contractions. Of course, being intimate is a great way to stay connected as you both prepare for this incredible and overwhelming event! On the other hand, if sex is the furthest thing from your mind right now—we hear you! Getting up the stairs at night to bed is an ordeal, without having to worry about being in the mood when you get there. Also some men, as much as they love you, may have a hard time dealing with the enormity of your 9-month belly at this point and can’t help thinking that sex will hurt or bother the baby in some way. Of course, it won’t—but don’t be offended if your usually-frisky guy is a little less in the mood these days. Also—just checking—the car seat’s already in the car at this point, right? If not, get to it!

Moms Like Me/ I wish I had known
"If you do plan on walking, make sure to drink plenty of water. I tried to kick start labor by walking a ton, but I didn't drink enough and my doctor was going to start me on intravenous fluids. The concern is that dehydration can slow labor. But drinking water during early labor can help keep you hydrated.  So drink up!" –luckymommylonny


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