Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 37
How big is my baby?
Fetal size: crown-rump 35cm (14 inches), crown-toe 47cm (18.5 inches). Fetal weight: 3 kilos (6.5 pounds).
The average size of a healthy full term baby in Australia is 3.5 kilos. There are many variations on this figure, and the size of your baby is linked to both parents' birth weight and their adult height.
Your baby is still growing and gaining weight!
What pregnancy symptoms will I be experiencing?
By Week 37, you should have reached your peak for weight gain during your pregnancy. Your total pregnancy weight gain should be between 9 and 13.5 kilos (20-30 pounds).
This week your health care practitioner may do a pelvic examination. Things he/she will evaluate include:
- Condition of the cervix - how soft, firm or thin it is (the cervix thins out and softens during labour),and whether there is any dilation
- Amniotic Fluid (intact or leaking)
- Presentation of your baby (head or breech) and how far your baby has advanced into the birth canal
- Your pelvic bones and their shape
Signs of Labour
The first signs of labour can be missed, but when labour is establishing the signs are definite:
This is the protective plug of mucous and old blood that comes away from the neck of the uterus and passes into the vagina. The show generally indicates that labour will start within a few days. If a lot of blood is passed it is advisable to contact your health care professional.
These are the regular painful tightenings of the uterus that occur throughout labour. They may be far apart to begin with, but will gradually become longer, stronger and closer together. Contractions initially feel like period pain coming and going, and last for about 20 seconds. Once they are regular and more painful, it is a sign that labour has started. Backache and even sore legs can accompany contractions. It is important to be aware that the birth can take up to 18 hours to occur from the start of painful regular contractions.
This is when the membranes of the amniotic sac break. It can either be a slow trickle or a sudden gush of fluid from the vagina. This can happen when labour starts, or during labour or sometimes even hours before labour commences. Your health care professional should be notified if you think that your waters have broken and you should take note of the colour of the fluid.
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