Your Pregnancy: Week 37

In some pregnancies, the baby is lying head down with her head facing toward the front of the mother’s body. This is called “posterior presentation” and may make labour last longer and lead to back pain. Your prenatal class will likely deal with strategies for coping with back pain during the big event.

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Your baby

• Now your baby weighs nearly 2.95 kg (6.5 lbs) and she’s about 48 cm (19 in) long from head to toe. As long as she remains in utero, she’ll continue to grow and fill out.

• At this point in your pregnancy, your baby’s head is probably pointed down toward your pelvis, ready for birth. But in three percent of pregnancies, the baby’s legs or bottom is nestled into the mother’s pelvis instead. Many caregivers believe it is safer to deliver a breech baby by Caesarean, but before you book your appointment, talk to your caregiver about “external version.” Breech babies can sometimes be successfully turned to a head-down position at 37 weeks.

Read more: Turning a breech baby>

What’s she doing down there?

Around this week, your caregiver may give you a pelvic exam to determine how your pregnancy is advancing and how your body is shaping up for labour. She’ll examine:

• your cervix to evaluate its firmness/softness and the degree to which it may have begun to thin out in preparation for labour
• whether you’re leaking amniotic fluid — which may be a sign your membranes have ruptured
• any dilatation, or opening up, of your cervix in preparation for labour
• the presentation, or position, of your baby — whether her head, legs, or bottom is coming first.
• the shape of your pelvic bones
• the station, or degree, to which your baby has dropped into the birth canal

Preparing the nest

If you suddenly feel it’s urgent to clean your kitchen top to bottom, reorganize your closets, or rearrange your furniture, you might be experiencing the “nesting urge.” Some women get these feelings just before going into labour — and while it’s natural to want to have a clean, well-organized home for your baby, try to be sensible and pace yourself. You want to go into labour well-rested, not exhausted from an all-day cleaning spree!

Read more: Newborn essentials checklist>

Did you know?

By law, all newborns must go home from a hospital or birthing centre in a federally approved car seat? A good quality car seat is an essential piece of baby gear that you cannot do without. In fact, you may want to install one in your car ahead of time for the peace of mind that you’re ready to bring your new baby home safely.

Read more: Car seat guide>

Looking ahead

Did you know that your baby should always sleep on her back? Putting babies to sleep on their backs has slashed the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Read more: Safe sleep for babies>

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