What's happening this week
Week 37 and your baby is full term and ready for the off!
At a glance
- Your baby is now considered full term and could be born any day
- Their tummy is full of meconium which will come out in their first nappy
- If they are born this week, they may be covered in tiny lanugo hair
How big is my baby at 37 weeks?
Your baby now weighs close to 3kg (but will be gaining about half a pound a week) and will be around 50cm long from head to toe. They’re now considered full term and ready to meet you! Whether they do or not in the coming days is another matter entirely, and lots of first babies do stay put for a bit longer!
Your baby’s lungs are more than likely capable of adjusting to life outside the womb, and your baby now has a tummy full of meconium, which will form the contents of their very first nappy (green and sticky!).
At birth, your baby’s head is the same size as their hips, abdomen and shoulders and will change shape through the first few weeks after the birth.
They will now also be in the ‘engaged’ position, head down, and ready to go. If they are born this week, they might still have a little lanugo hair on their bodies, or patches of vernix, the waxy white substance that has protected them in the womb.
Your baby’s immune system is continuing to develop this week and after birth your breast milk will continue to supply them with the necessary antibodies to stay healthy.
Read more on preparing for your new arrival:
You at 37 weeks pregnant
Most women will go into labour between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, although you will be closely monitored and induction will be discussed once you go beyond 41 weeks.
You are probably feeling quite anxious to meet your baby now, and might be feeling a bit worn out and tired of lugging your baby bump around! There really is not long left to go, so try and relax and chill out as much as possible and wait for those first early labour signs to appear. This could be your waters breaking, contractions starting, or seeing a 'show', as the bloody mucus plug that is covering your cervix comes away ready for your baby to be born. Phone your midwife for advice if you experience any of these.
What to think about in week 37
Once your baby has arrived, obviously everyone is going to want to come for a peek and a cuddle – but as many of your friends with babies will no doubt tell you, this can become quite overwhelming in the days immediately after giving birth!
Although you won't know just now exactly how you are going to feel once your baby is here, it could be a good idea to have a chat with your partner sooner rather than later about how you are going to handle the constant influx of well-wishers eager to see your new baby. Some new parents can find themselves desperate for a bit of time on their own with their newborn in those first few days, so making sure you are both agreed on a visitor strategy could save a lot of stress!
Also...Don’t forget to start preparing for your Bounty Portrait session when you start thinking about what to pack in your hospital bag.
Bounty Portrait offers FREE in-hospital portrait sessions of your precious little one with no obligation to buy. You’ll also get a FREE portrait gift – choose from one of three different gifts and a FREE announcement service to share your first photos with loved ones
For that perfect Portrait session don’t forget to pack…
- A soft cuddly toy – this makes a great photo prop
- A blanket – whether it’s been knitted specially or bought. Adding this to a picture makes a great photo keepsake
- A plain top for you if you want to be in the photos
- That special ‘first’ baby outfit.
Your baby will be here really soon and as your maternity leave starts, preparing every tiny aspect of being ready for your new arrival is probably all consuming now. Whilst you can’t prepare for breastfeeding, the more clued up you are before you start, the more ready you are to find out how rewarding it is for you both.
Your midwife is there for you to ask all your breastfeeding questions and some initial tips you may want to remember are that all babies are different and your baby may have some days when they feed more than other days, don’t expect any immediate patterns. When it comes to how much milk your baby needs, there is no set guide but usually your baby should be asking to be fed at least 8 times in any 24 hours. Babies should feed for as long as they want on each breast called ‘responsive’ or demand’ feeding. Babies are good at letting you know they are hungry because they will give you signs like rooting (moving his head from side to side), sticking their tongue out and trying to suck their hand.
Still in need of baby name inspiration? Baby names trends certainly do the rounds, for a few years there all the rage, then they gradually die out and start to sound more unusual again. Old fashioned names are back in favour, but a little gem in our retro baby name list may have something you’ve not come across yet.
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