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37 weeks pregnancy symptoms not to ignore
At 37 weeks pregnant, although labor could happen soon, there are some things you shouldn’t ignore as they can indicate a complication.
Some of these signs to look out for are:
- Headache with visual disturbances
- Constant pain in the abdomen or anywhere else
- Really sudden swelling in your legs, ankles, hands, feet and face
- Mid sternum chest pain
- Feeling that your baby isn’t moving or has reduced movement
- You have vaginal bleeding
- Your water breaks. Yellow-green indicates meconium might be in the amniotic fluid.
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37 weeks pregnant baby movement
Feeling your baby’s first movements is so exciting. Over the months, you’ll have come to know your baby’s normal pattern of movement.
As you get into late pregnancy, the movements themselves might feel different – higher or lower, depending on where baby’s feet and hands are – but the pattern shouldn’t change.
Each baby has its own pattern of movement. Some babies move more in the evening, some in the morning. Certain babies kick all the time and some seem to punch.
The key thing to note is whether your pattern changes or you feel reduced movements. In either case, you need to contact your doctor or midwife for an assessment.
There are a few outdated practices that suggest you should lie down or have a cold drink and the baby will move.
Another myth is your baby’s movements slow down in the third trimester, but this is not correct and can be dangerous advice.
Babies do sleep and this should be part of their usual pattern of sleep-wake.
Make sure to contact your healthcare provider if you’re at all concerned about your baby’s movements.
Things to do this week for a healthy pregnancy
If this pregnancy isn’t your first, you might be surprised to learn that 37 weeks is no longer considered “full term” in the medical world. That designation changed in 2013 when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine issued four new definitions of “term” deliveries:
|Early term||37 weeks through 38 weeks, 6 days|
|Full term||39 weeks through 40 weeks, 6 days|
|Late term||41 weeks through 41 weeks, 6 days|
|Post-term||42 weeks and beyond|
The end of pregnancy can be long and nerve-racking. You may feel excited and want your little one to enter the world a few weeks early. Patience is the best gift you can give yourself and your baby.
These guidelines were changed in response to trends of scheduled inductions and cesareans. The outcomes of 39-week babies are much better than those born earlier, as the organs continue to develop during that time. Babies were needing more NICU care that had effects on their lifelong health and functioning. Unless there is a health risk to either the mom or the baby, it’s best to let baby cook until 40 weeks.
While you wait for labor to begin, there’s plenty you can do to get ready for your child’s arrival. Install the car seat and get it checked by your local inspector. Jot down any remaining questions you have about labor and bring them to your weekly doctor appointment. It’s also never too early to practice those breathing exercises you learned in your birth class.