At week 37, your baby is now about 14 inches long from crown to rump (21 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 6 and a half pounds.
Congratulations for getting this far! Your baby is ready to enter the real world. If he were born today, he wouldn't be considered premature or at high risk for complications. Still, if everything is going well with your pregnancy, you might as well hold onto him for a little while longer. He's putting on weight, his brain is developing, and his immune system is growing stronger by the day.
He's also starting to get seriously crowded. You'll still feel him move from time to time, but he can't kick like he used to. He's ready for more elbow room, and he'll get it soon.
If you haven't done so already, you should start gathering your belongings for the big day. For most mothers-to-be, that means packing for a trip to the hospital. Here are some of the things that you should have handy:
- your insurance card and any necessary forms
- heavy socks (more than one pair)
- a couple of comfortable t-shirts or nightgowns (bring a nursing nightgown if you're going to breastfeed. The nightgown needn't be elegant because it will get messy.)
- a long robe for walking in the hallway
- rubber-soled slippers
- three pairs of panties (although hospitals often provide you with disposable panties because you will be bleeding after the birth)
- toiletries, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, lip balm, and soap
- loose-fitting clothes for your trip home
- a back-facing infant car seat
- some comfort items such as a favorite old pillow, massage oil if you have a partner who plans to pamper you, and maybe a favorite type of juice or other drink to sip during labor
Also consider bringing a portable music player if you want to listen to special songs.
It's also a good idea to make a dry-run trip to the hospital where you'll deliver so that you'll know how long it will take to get there.
And finally, don't forget the camera! You'll cherish pictures of your brand-new baby at birth for the rest of your life.
American Academy of Family Physicians. Pregnancy Calendar.
Campbell, Stuart, MD. Watch Me Grow. St. Martins Griffin.
Curtis, Glade, MD. Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 5th edition. Da Capo Press.
Shanahan, Kelly, Your Over-35 Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide. Prima Publishing.