At week 37, you aren't quite to the end yet, but the finish line is in sight. If your baby is born this week, he will be considered "early term," which isn't the worst thing but read on to learn more about what is happening in these final weeks.
You may notice new symptoms or sensations around this time, like lightening as the baby moves south and engages with your pelvis or Braxton-Hicks contractions as the uterus practices for the big day. Sleeping will also be difficult as it is harder to get comfortable, and anxiety might be keeping you awake.
Monitoring Baby's Movement Patterns
Monitoring your baby's movement patterns is essential so you will recognize a change in the pattern; if the frequency of movement decreases, report this to your doctor right away.
Group B Strep Culture Results
Should you test positive for Group B Strep (GBS), your OB will be keen to start antibiotics at least 4 hours before delivery to reduce the chance of infection in the newborn.
Early Labor Signs
Actual labor will persist no matter what effort you make to relieve it, while false labor can often be relieved with a change of position or relaxation. Real labor will increase in intensity, and the pattern will become more consistent and closer together over time. The following are signs of early labor:
- Losing Your Mucous Plug — Your mucus plug is thick mucus within the cervical canal, protecting the uterus during pregnancy. The plug has been responsible for safeguarding the uterus and baby from bacteria and infection. The plug might fall out in a noticeable lump or gradually as an increase in vaginal discharge over several days.
- Bloody Show — If the discharge is tinged brown or pink, it is called "bloody show."
- Regular Contractions — Call your doctor immediately if you suspect or know that your water has broken or your contractions are closer than a few minutes apart.
- American Pregnancy Association - Week 37
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist - How Your Fetus Grows During Pregnancy