Pregnancy week 37 is the entrance to the final part of your pregnancy. Your little baby is 19.1" long and weighs 6.3 pounds. Babies are considered full term this week, and can deliver anytime. Most first time moms usually tend to deliver late. This week your little one is still putting on weight. As your baby stays longer in the uterus, the heavier the newborn baby will be. The more fat deposited the better for your little one. Your baby will be strong and sturdy and the fat will insulate your baby, for living in the external environment. From now on there will be little if any complications, in delivering a strong and healthy baby. Even if in pregnancy week 37, you are considered full term, your little one is still putting on weight. Some women will find that the uterus will not enlarge anymore in pregnancy week 37.
In pregnancy week 37, the chances that you have reached your maximum size is very high. Although your little baby, actually not so little anymore, is still growing, your uterus does not grow very much. Most women would have gained 35 pounds by now. Some women will go on to a weight gain of 45 pounds and some others will only gain around 20 pounds. Your fundus in pregnancy week 37, has reached its maximum height of around 6.5 inches above your belly button.
Once you deliver your baby, your body will not go back to normal instantly. Some women who were grossly overweight may lose it as fast as they gained, whereas some smaller women may find it difficult to lose weight. It all depends on so many factors. Breastfeeding is a good way to shrink your abdomen, as every time you breastfeed, your uterus will contract, and this will help it become smaller.
Your doctor may test you for Group B strep, during this period. These bacteria live in your vagina and the region around the rectum, and are present in about 35% of adults who are otherwise healthy. During delivery, the baby may become infected and this may cause serious complications in a newborn baby, such as sepsis, meningitis which affects the lining of the brain, or it can cause pneumonia. In pregnancy week 37, if you are tested positive, they will put you on a course of antibiotics during pregnancy and delivery, to help protect the infant.
Some women may develop a fever, and some will find the infection can break the water bag or the amniotic sac.
Some pregnant women are more prone to this infection than others. This includes women who get a fever while in delivery, women that have a Group B urinary tract infection, women who previously delivered a baby with Group B infection and women whose water breaks or their amniotic membranes rupture before they reach pregnancy week 37.
By week pregnancy 37, you may have decided many things by now. What type of delivery you want to opt for? If you have opted for a painkiller, than what type of painkiller you would like to have. Whether you want to breastfeed your newborn infant or not? Whether you want an episiotomy done or not? Who do you want present at the delivery. Whether you would like to deliver in water or not? In addition, there may be other questions that may arise. Just jot all of them on paper and answer them, and you will soon have a birth plan for yourself.