— Now the baby is full-term!
Finally, the baby is full-term. Congratulations to both you and the baby! Usually, 37-41 weeks are considered as full-term pregnancy periods. This period is the time for your baby to prepare for the birth. Some pregnant women at this time may feel extremely stressed, whereas some others are extremely anxious about to see their little one.
The cervix may begin to dilate in preparation for the labor. This indicates, the mucus plug that closes off the uterus from bacteria and infection will start discharging from your body. This mucus plug can be discharged from your body weeks, days, or hours prior you go into the labor.
As no one can predict the baby’s arrival, it is a good idea to know about the labor signs and symptoms thoroughly. Read on to know more about the true labor signs and symptoms…
Symptoms experienced by a 37 weeks pregnant woman:
As you are full-term now, your little one will arrive into the outside world at any time from pregnancy week 37-week 42. It is the right time to pack your hospital bags and make them ready. For first time mothers-to-be, it will be quite confusing to decide what to pack in the bag. You can ask women who have already delivered their babies.
During this period, you may experience insomnia, which is common in most pregnant women. With the larger belly size, obviously, it will be difficult to get a good night sleep. Also, you are possibly experiencing frequent urination. Leg cramps are also a common condition that will bother most 37 weeks pregnant women. Getting worried about the upcoming labor and delivery can also lead to insomnia during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
You may also experience more vaginal discharge during this period. If you have any discharge of mucus tinged with blood, then the condition is a bloody show. This indicates a sign that labor is on its way.
Physical changes that occur in a 37 weeks pregnant woman:
When you are 37 weeks pregnant, you may almost experience most of the labor signs, such as:
Contractions: Rather than the false labor contractions that you have experienced during your previous weeks, this week you are going to have true labor pains. As time passes, true labor contractions become even stronger, more frequent and last longer. During the initial period, these contractions may be 20 minutes apart, and after a few hours they are 10 minutes or 5 minutes apart.
Water breaks: Oftentimes water breaks occur after contraction and sometimes water breaks start even before the contractions occur. You may notice a fluid leakage from your vagina when the amniotic sac breaks. During this period, immediately you need to call your care provider.
Diarrhea: Diarrhea is the most common problem in women during 24-48 hours prior they go into labor.
A sudden burst of energy: Sometimes women enter into a nesting mode immediately before the labor begins. Nesting is nothing but the occurrence of sudden exhaustion and energy burst simultaneously. You may have an uncontrollable urge to clean your house and make it ready for the upcoming life. Remember that don’t overdo any of the activities during this period and you are going to need those energy levels to bear pains during your labor and delivery.
Bloody show: For first-time mothers-to-be, the mucus plug may be passed few weeks prior to the labor. When losing the mucus plug, you may observe stingy mucus tinged with red, brown or pink blood.
Fetal development that occurs in a 37 weeks pregnant woman:
When you are 37 weeks pregnant, the baby is about 21 inches long and about 6.5 pounds weight.
This period, the baby begins the production of a hormone called as cortisone to help the lungs mature enough to manage to breathe on its own. The baby acquires enough synchronization to grasp the things on its own fingers.
By this week, the baby has almost well-developed organs and also starts their effective functioning. Your baby’s lungs are now fully matured, and he/she is not considered premature even if delivered during this period.
The growth of the hair on your baby’s head continues until the birth. Fat deposition still continues in this week and makes your baby look fuller.
The baby concentrates more on breathing, swallowing and sucking in order to prepare for the life outside the womb.
What care should be taken by a 37 weeks pregnant woman?
Have you heard about the non-stress test? It is conducted at the hospitals or birth centers in order to know about the baby’s health with an external fetal monitor. Usually, this test lasts for 20 minutes to an hour. It helps to identify the baby’s movements and heart rate.
A nonstress test is recommended for 37-39 weeks pregnant women with any of the following conditions:
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure
- A post due to date pregnancy
- Sudden increase or decrease in the baby’s movements
Wearing a good supportive bra is very much essential as the breasts are growing bigger and fuller in order to prepare for breastfeeding. You may also use breast cream to avoid cracking or dryness of the nipples.
Have a wonderful journey of pregnancy!! Go on to know more about the exciting things during pregnancy week 38…