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Week 37 of Pregnancy

Written by Amina Hatia RM
Medically reviewed by Marley Hall BA RM Diphe
March 14, 2022

At 37 weeks you are now officially considered ‘at term’ – which essentially means that if your baby were to be born now they are probably big enough, and things like their lungs have matured enough to not have difficulties with for example breathing after birth or need any additional support.  

However, it’s also important to bear in mind that you may still have another few weeks ahead and the longer that baby stays in you, if you and baby are both well – the better.

By now you will probably be seeing your midwife very regularly – not longer than 2 weeks apart and more if you need any additional care. During the appointments, alongside the routine checks, your midwife will also be discussing with you your plans for birth, where you are planning on having baby and your plans for feeding baby – so a great opportunity to discuss any concerns or queries you may have.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to book any antenatal classes or feel you need someone to help guide you through the labour and birthing process, our weekend courses are ideal for just this!  You’ll get all the information, advice and support you need from our registered midwives who are all actively working in maternity units across the country and happy to answer any questions you may have or offer any support you need.

A common occurrence at 37 weeks is finding it hard to sleep at night and then suffer from the lack of sleep the following day. Having an afternoon nap or just even lying down on your side is a great way to catch up on some rest and some studies show that it can actually help baby too, so find a comfy place to lie on your side and have a siesta.

How big is my baby at 37 weeks?

Your baby at 37 weeks is now the size of a bunch of Swiss chard in length – measuring just over 48.5 centimetres from head to toe. At this stage your baby is still putting on about half a pound a week in weight and will be just 3 kilograms.

What happens in week 37 of pregnancy?

At 37 weeks your baby’s digestive system contains a substance that is tar like, very dark and sticky and greenish black in colour – known as meconium. This substance that your baby will poo out after birth and for the first few days, is made up of bile and other things such as lanugo – the downy hair that has covered baby, alongside the amniotic fluid your baby has been swallowing inside you.  

The lanugo has also started to shed by now and at 37 weeks there will only be patches of it on baby – which will disappear over the next few weeks or soon after baby is born.

37 pregnancy symptoms

Leaking Nipples – It’s not uncommon in the latter for the third trimester to experience fluid leaking from your nipples. This is not an issue at all – your breasts have been producing milk from 20 weeks onwards, so is an indication that all is working as expected. 

The fluid you see at this stage is called colostrum, which is an amazing and powerful first food your baby will drink straight after birth.

Some women are advised by their midwife to start actively trying to express colostrum (referred to as colostrum harvesting) before birth – often if you have a higher risk pregnancy, gestational diabetes or baby is being born by planned caesarean operation. Even if you haven’t been advised to harvest colostrum, you may want to collect the milk leaking in a sterile container and freeze it for use after baby has arrived.

Week 37 pregnancy tips

  • Go over your birth plan – discuss it in detail with your partner or birth supporters to ensure everyone knows what is important to you. Ideally you want to print it out and staple it to the front of your notes – that way it can’t be missed!
  • Ensure that you are always going to sleep on your side – this is best for baby and you and reduces the risk of stillbirth. 
  • You’ll also need to prepare to ensure baby has somewhere safe and suitable to sleep once they are born. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the same room as you, next to your bed in their own cot/crib/Moses basket. But there are other things to be aware of too – which we cover in detail in our Baby First Aid class as part of our antenatal courses.