The 37th week of pregnancy marks the beginning of the 10th month of your pregnancy. Soon you will finally be a mommy. It is completely normal that you are a little nervous and uncertain. Find out here how far your baby is developed in the 37th week and what birth positions there are.
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Important facts about the 37th week: What you should know
The rupture of the membranes is the first sign of the impending birth and can already occur in the 37th week. This refers to the breaking of your water.
This is still a bit early, but it is not dangerous for your baby. All organs are already developed. The water usually breaks before the first contractions.
You probably imagine the water breaking as a real gush, don’t you? But this is not always the case. In some women, only a few drops of amniotic fluid come out. Sometimes they are even barely noticed.
If you notice leaking amniotic fluid – even if it is only a few drops – you should go to a clinic immediately.
What happens to you
In the 37th week of pregnancy, your large baby belly presses on organs such as the stomach and intestines. This is why nausea and abdominal pain are more common in the 37th week.
Your patience will be severely tested in the 37th week. On the one hand, because everything is more tedious and difficult. On the other hand, because you are probably thinking a lot about the birth.
You can hardly wait, but at the same time you are nervous and wonder whether the baby will be born on the expected date or earlier.
Ultimately, your baby decides when he or she wants to come into the world. In the rest of this article, you will learn how to prepare for the birth now.
Tip for fathers-to-be
If the nursery is not yet finalized or the household is not yet child-proof, now would be a good time to start redecorating. Find out what you have to pay attention to and give your offspring a good start in life.
Pregnancy complaints in the 37th week and what you can do about it
Abdominal pain and cramps
A slight twinge and abdominal pain that feels like period pain is often an accompanying complaint of low labor and is not uncommon in the 37th week of pregnancy.
Gentle massages or soothing teas can work wonders to relax the abdomen.
Fetal movements in the 37th week of gestation can be quite different – while some mothers are plagued by light kicks and knocks almost every hour, other babies are very quiet and hardly noticeable.
Both are completely normal and no reason to worry: If you do find something strange and feel uncomfortable, ask your midwife or gynecologist for advice.
Your belly has become a big round ball. The extra weight puts a lot of strain on your back, which is why back pain is not uncommon.
A pelvic belt or a support girdle can help against back pain. This stabilizes your back as well as your belly
You should know these 4 birth positions
The expected date of birth is getting closer and closer – the perfect time to start thinking about the upcoming birth. In this section we will introduce you to 4 birth positions.
The quadruped position
Many pregnant women automatically assume this position during birth. You kneel in bed or on a mat on the floor and bend your upper body, for example, on a gmynastic ball.
During the pause in labor, you can rest and gather strength for the next contraction. Another advantage of this birthing position is that you can move your pelvis easily.
The deep squat
This birth position is great for the late expulsion phase. You sit either on your heels or on the birthing stool. Your partner or the midwife can support you.
The diameter of your pelvis increases with this position. This makes it easier for your baby to go deeper. However, this position is very strenuous.
Midwives recommend that you only adopt this position at an advanced stage of birth.
The lateral position
Many babies are born in the lateral position. This position is great if you are very exhausted and want to rest between contractions. This position is also popular during an epidural.
The supine position
As the name suggests, you lie on your back in this birthing position. However, caution is advised here.
If you lie too flat, you will often notice a change in the baby’s heartbeat, as this can lead to vena cava syndrome.
This is when your baby lies on the great vena cava, which runs through your body. Due to the compression, your baby’s blood supply is reduced.
In obstetrics, however, there are situations in which this position is needed. For example, women should lie in this birthing position during a surgical delivery (forceps delivery or suction cup delivery).
This way your midwife has the best overview and can help accordingly.
What complications can arise during birth?
Many expectant mommies are afraid of giving birth. The main reason for this fear is the complications that can occur during childbirth. In this section we will explain the most common birth complications.
Bleeding during birth
A small amount of blood loss is completely normal during any birth. Did you know that a woman can lose as much as 15% of her blood during childbirth without her blood count dropping or becoming anemic?
Heavier bleeding can be a serious risk. They can be caused mainly by placental complications.
Premature placental detachment from the uterine wall or a placenta lying in front of the cervix (placenta praevia) are usually the cause.
Since placenta praevia is usually detected during an ultrasound examination, in most cases it is diagnosed before the onset of labor. Delivery should then – as a precaution – be by cesarean section.
Heavy bleeding during labor is therefore more likely to be due to premature placental abruption. In case of heavy bleeding, a blood transfusion is sometimes necessary.
Mild bleeding should be observed and, in particular, the amount of bleeding, the baby’s heart sounds, and the progress of labor should be carefully monitored.
Complications during delivery caused by the placenta can be very dangerous for both you and your baby.
Premature placental abruption is when the placenta detaches from your uterine wall before you deliver. A cesarean section will also be performed, otherwise your baby could go into oxygen deprivation.
Pelvic end or breech presentation
Normally, your baby is born head first. If your baby has not moved head down in the last 3 to 4 weeks of pregnancy, your baby will probably remain in the breech position until birth.
He or she will then sit cross-legged on your cervix, so to speak. This happens in about 2 to 3% of all births.
These factors can Breech presentation lead to
- Multiple pregnancies
- Too much(polyhydramnios) or too little amniotic fluid(oligohydramnios)
- Congenital uterine malformations
- Uterine fibroids
- Low or present placenta (placenta praevia)
- Premature birth
Birth with a suction cup
In a suction cup birth – also known as vacuum extraction – a flat, cup-shaped suction cup is placed on your baby’s scalp.
The vacuum extractor applies a gentle suction to the head. This gently pulls your baby out of the vagina. The birth is slower this way, making a vaginal tear less likely.
Forceps consist of two curved metal spoons that are carefully inserted into your vagina and gently guide the baby’s head out of the birth canal.
Forceps can only be used after the opening stage, when your cervix is fully dilated. Forceps birth often leaves red marks on the sides of your skull, but they soon disappear.
What happens to the baby
In the 37th week of pregnancy, your baby is about 48 cm tall and weighs 2.9 kg. This makes it about the size of a pineapple.
How far your baby has developed in the 37th week of gestation
Your baby has probably moved deeper into your pelvis in the 37th week. This can also be seen in your belly: it sinks a little further down – and not without reason.
This position keeps the baby’s head stable on your pelvic bone. In this way, the baby is optimally protected. In the event of premature rupture of the membranes, there is no longer any danger of the umbilical cord becoming trapped in the 37th week of pregnancy.
Your offspring no longer has much room to move around. Therefore, your baby sleeps a lot to gather strength for the birth. Occasionally, it even dreams and sucks its thumb. Sweet, isn’t it?
In the 37th week of gestation, brown fatty tissue is created. This is responsible for heat regulation. The molecules from the brown adipose tissue are converted into heat by his body.
During this time, your baby loses more and more cheese gunk and also the remaining lanugo hair. Both of these get into the amniotic fluid and are absorbed by your baby. This further stimulates the baby’s intestines.
This is important now
Afraid of giving birth in the 38th week?
You finally want to hold your baby in your arms and can hardly wait? Often, many moms-to-be experience fear and anxiety about the birth in addition to anticipation.
Your body is currently controlled by hormones that have a strong influence on your emotions. Nevertheless, you should talk about your worries and fears.
If you are overwhelmed by your feelings, talk to someone about them. This can be your partner, a friend, your midwife or your doctor.
Especially after the birth, it is important to pay attention to your mental state. A little baby blues is normal in the first few days.
If the sadness persists, you should seek help immediately. You may be at risk of postpartum depression.
You are probably also unsure whether you are really able to recognize the contractions. Especially if you have had frequent contractions in the last few weeks, it is not so easy to recognize real contractions.
In the 37th week of pregnancy, use the remaining time until the birth to inform yourself. Inform yourself about the birth process, different birth positions and the time after birth.
A childbirth preparation course is a great way to exchange information with other parents who already have more experience. Alternatively, you can always ask your midwife for advice.
Maybe you have already noticed that the kicks against your belly have become less. As an expectant mother, you are naturally worried whether everything is okay. However, this is not uncommon in the 37th week of pregnancy. Your baby simply has hardly any room left to kick around in your belly. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your worries and fears. An ultrasound can also confirm that everything is okay with your baby
Under no circumstances should you induce labour yourself during the 37th week of pregnancy. In principle, this should only be done from the 40th week – under the supervision of your doctor or midwife.
Your baby grows again and gains about 30 g per day. The lanugo hair is now slowly falling out and the cheese smear is disappearing more and more.
Your doctor can tell you by ultrasound which position your baby has taken in the 37th week.
In the 37th week your baby is about 48 cm tall.
Milk or fennel tea are true miracle cures for heartburn in the 37th week of pregnancy.
Abdominal pain that feels like menstrual pain often accompanies lower contractions. A sometimes strong stinging in the lower abdomen often accompanies this process.
Videos about the 37th WOP
Join Diana and Kelley in her 37th week of pregnancy and learn more about what to expect this week.