Pregnancy Calendar Week 37

YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 37

Congratulations! You’ve now got a full-term baby! It’s taken a lot of hard work, but you’ve reached this wonderful milestoneenjoy and celebrate. Your baby has grown to around 6.5 pounds and she’s 20-21 inches from head to toe. She continues to gain weight and keep busy practicing movements and functions she’ll put into full gear when she gets here. The aches and pains of pregnancy are still with you, many of which you’ve had for a while now. This week we cover one of the most common, bothersome symptoms of them all.

Your Body

At 37 weeks pregnant, the gassy feelings you’re no stranger to since becoming pregnant are probably getting more intense.

Gas and Bloating

If your bloated, tight, uncomfortable belly has you feeling like your only wardrobe options are “fat” pants with forgiving elastic waistbands, you’re not alone.All of us have gas, but increased gas—and the bloating that comes with it—is a pregnancy woe that all pregnant women deal with. The main reason you’ve got more gas is because of an increase in the level of the hormone progesterone, which is relaxing the smooth muscle in your gastrointestinal tract. This slows down digestion, which causes increased gas in the form of flatulence and belching, too.Plus, here in the final stretch of pregnancy, your expanding uterus keeps crowding your abdominal cavity. This adds to the slowing of your digestion and presses on your stomach, causing even more bloated, gassy feelings.To get relief from gas and bloating, try these tips:

  • Cut out foods that are the most likely culprits for gas, which includes beans, whole grains and certain vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower. Eliminate greasy, fried, fatty foods and carbonated beverages like sodas. Keep a food diary to see if you can spot a connection between eating a certain food and getting more gas.
  • Eat smaller, frequent meals during the day.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.
  • Chew your food slowly and thoroughly. You’ll aid early digestion and avoid swallowing air, which can form gas pockets in your stomach.
  • Drink from a glass or cup. Don’t drink from a bottle or use a straw.
  • Avoid chewing gum and sucking on hard candy.
  • Exercise regularly with daily walks to help move things along in your GI tract.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.

If what you’re feeling is more like abdominal pain or cramping—or if you have blood in your stool, diarrhea or severe nausea/vomiting—call your doctor to discuss your symptoms and get the help you need.

Your Baby

In the 37th week of pregnancy, baby is focused on more weight gain and lots of practicing for the new world that’s waiting for her.

Your baby is gaining about ½ ounce every day.

With only a few more weeks to go, your baby is using every single day to put on more pounds. From now until you deliver, expect your little one’s weight gain to be approximately ½ ounce per day of mostly baby fat. But, if your baby is a boy, he may be putting on even more as boys tend to be heavier at birth than girls. And here’s a fun fact: Expectant moms carrying boys tend to eat more than those with girls. So, if you don’t know the sex of your baby yet, your eating habits may be a telltale sign!

Your baby is busy with practice, practice, practice.

Inside your womb, there’s a lot going on with baby as she continues fine-tuning all of the skills she’ll need to survive and thrive on the outside. Here’s what’s on baby’s list of fun things to do these days: breathing in and exhaling amniotic fluid, blinking, stretching, sucking her thumb (getting ready for suckling milk), rolling, moving her arms and legs around, wiggling and turning her body from side to side.Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 37:Eat small, frequent meals now.From now until the big day, you’ll want to eat small meals throughout the day because you don’t know when you’ll go into labor. Once you do, you’ll only get ice chips at the hospital (just in case you need a C-section). Keep yourself feeling full all the way up until you deliver by eating mini-meals and snacks every 2-3 hours.

Keep moving!

We know it’s tough, but stay active here in the last few weeks. Errands are a great way to get some extra steps in your day. Instead of finding the closest parking spot, park farther away. A few more steps every day add up and help your baby drop lower.

Things You Should Do

  • With your baby full-term now, ask your OB about performing a Group B Strep Test if you haven’t done this yet. This quick, cervical swab can protect your baby from a serious bacterial infection during delivery.
  • Start to cook larger portions now. For anything you make, double the ingredients and freeze half of the meal. This will provide you with quick, healthy, easy-to-make meals after baby’s here. Great meals to cook and freeze are meatloaves, soups and goulash.

Words You Should Know

Hypoxia: Lack of adequate oxygen to the baby due to cord compression or a mother’s low blood pressure.

Induction: Using artificial means (including drugs like pitocin or rupturing of the membranes) to begin labor.

Oxytocin: A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that, when released, causes uterine contractions.

Pitocin: Brand name of a synthetic form of oxytocin.

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