Pregnancy- Week 37

How your baby is growing:

The average baby is now around six or seven pounds and somewhere between nineteen and twenty inches. Eighty-five percent of babies are born between this week and the next, so don’t be surprised if you’re no longer hearing about how your baby is growing but seeing it face to face! The reason your baby is now medically considered full term is everything is complete now, many babies even begin to slow in growth and weight gain around week thirty-seven. It’s commonly believed that all that happens in the final weeks of your pregnancy is further maturation of the immune system. However, don’t go wishing for a labor yet, recent studies reveal that babies born prior to forty weeks, even if considered full-term have more health issues later in life and may even have a lower IQ!

How your body is changing:

Not a lot of change from last week, still very pregnant, still very ready to not be pregnant anymore. If you see any changes they are likely to be the signs of labor we already covered in pretty good detail. Keep an eye out for those, they can be pretty subtle. Also be sure not to miss any doctor appointments. At this point you are being monitored closely for a reason; any variety of things can call for an immediate induction of your labor.

How your life is changing:

You may be feeling pretty good about now, why? Because if you do go into labor, no one will try to stop it from happening. If you remember that nesting urge discussed earlier, there’s a really good chance it’s kicking in now. This is a good thing though because it’s extra important you have all your ducks in a row now. Make sure your bag is packed and your plan is with you. On top of all the preparations we’ve already talked about you may want to start doing trivial things that just need done like dusting the blinds. That may sound really odd, but you’re going to be really busy in the next few months and the little things may begin to get neglected.

Take advantage of your nesting energy and get some stuff done! As an added bonus this will help keep your mind off your labor and make you less prone to false alarms. As always don’t over-do it, or do anything that could be harmful to you are your baby. For example avoid activities like climbing up on ladders or moving heavy furniture. If you feel tired sit down and rest, even if the little things don’t end up done, it’s better than exhausting yourself and then going into labor. Also remember to drink plenty of fluids if you are working hard, dehydration can affect your amniotic fluid levels which are already diminishing.

If cleaning and finishing up unfinished tasks doesn’t keep you busy enough here are some other things you could do to keep busy while waiting, waiting, and waiting to go into labor. Just sitting around and waiting, usually makes it seem to take even longer.

That is why many women feel their second pregnancy goes by far faster, because they are busy with baby number one rather than just sitting and waiting.

Here are few more things that can keep you busy:

  • Do some arm exercises. Again seems an odd suggestion? You’re going to be carrying that baby around a lot and nothing is more unpleasant than having aching sore arms that just weren’t ready for that sort of work-out. You should not go ahead and start to pump some iron. In fact, lifting heavy weights during pregnancy can be dangerous, but get yourself some low weight arm weights and work those arms a bit.
  • Spend time with your partner. Babies are time consuming and really cut into couple time. Be sure you are including your partner in your activities and spending plenty of time together. Chances are he is just as nervous and anxious for your new baby as you are.
  • Make a list of people you would like called. If you want your mother, brother, sister, best friend present at your labor it’s a good idea to write down their number for your spouse to give them a call in case you are indisposed and unable to do so. (Late labor contractions can be hard to talk through.) You may also want to include a list of people you don’t necessarily expect to come but would be very excited to hear you had or are having the baby. (Out of town family and friends perhaps?) Digging for numbers during a labor is no fun.
  • You must have few names ready for your soon to arrive baby. Start refining that list and get down to one boy and one girl name in case sex of the baby is not yet known.