At Week 37 your Baby is Considered Full Term

Week 37 is an important milestone in your pregnancy because it means your baby is now full term. While labor and delivery are likely still a few weeks away, it is possible your baby may come a little bit early. At this time, you may be feeling tired and more winded frequently as you move around, and those earlier boosts of energy you had may feel like a distant memory.

Growth of baby

By this late stage of pregnancy, your baby weighs between six and seven pounds and is gaining about a half ounce of fat each day. The space inside the uterus is getting tight and you’ll feel all the movements of baby as he or she shifts about in the womb. According to Baby Center, on average, most babies are a bit over 19 inches by week 37.

What baby looks like

Since week 36, your baby looks very much like he or she will appear when it comes time to make an entrance to the world. Baby has been fully developed since week 12, and his or her organs and other features have been steadily maturing and growing ever since.

About the 37th week of pregnancy

Even if he or she does make an early arrival, the pregnancy will be considered by doctors to be full-term as baby is fully developed by the end of week 36 and his or her lungs are developed enough to “fully adjust to life outside the womb,” notes Baby Center.

While baby is considered full term by week 37, ideally doctors want the baby to remain in the womb for as close as possible to 40 weeks. According to the New York State Health Department, babies that arrive prior to 39 weeks gestation “have a greater chance of breathing problems, low blood sugar and other problems that may result in being admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit.”

Additionally, Braxton Hicks contractions are likely occurring more frequently now and sometimes it may be difficult to ascertain if these contractions are pre-labor ones or the real deal. It is important to pay close attention to any changes in your body at this point and be familiar if something different or unusual happens. Do not be afraid to call your healthcare provider if you think you might be in labor or if any sort of spotting or bleeding occurs.

At week 37 you’re almost there, just a short period of time before you get to meet your new bundle of joy. If you haven’t done so already, now is a very good time to pack your hospital bag so you are prepared when the time arrives to head to the hospital for delivery.