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Week 37
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 35 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Check out this week:
Easy Labor Authors Are Here to Answer Your Questions
Dr. William Camann and Kathryn Alexander, authors of Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth are here to discuss how you can make confident, informed choices regarding pain relief preferences. [Click Here]
Healthy Pregnancy Over 35 Author Interview
Laura Goetzl, MD, MPH, author of Health Pregnancy Over 35, is visiting to discuss the unique concerns of women over the age of 35. [Click Here]

Fetal Development:

9th monthAverage size is around 6.5 pounds now! The baby practices breathing movements preparing for life outside the womb. His/her grasp becomes firm, and s/he will turn toward light.

Multiples: Twins are considered "term" at 37 weeks, and their lanugo will begin to disappear. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 82% of twins weigh less than 6 pounds, 10 ounces at birth.

Be sure to visit our Multiples Mania Cubby for lots of info from multiples parents like yourself!

Maternal Changes:
Vaginal discharge may be heavier now and will have more cervical mucous in it as your body prepares for labor. What position is your baby in? Is it head down or butt first? Whichever position your baby is in now is generally the way s/he will stay. If your baby is breech, you may need a cesarean or your care provider might recommend an external version in which your abdomen is manipulated in such a way that it turns head down. This is successful 60 to 70% of the time.

The baby could come at anytime. Is your hospital bag packed yet?

Multiples: You're considered term at 37 weeks for twin pregnancies.

If You're Planning to Breastfeed:
If you're planning to return to work outside the home at some point after delivery, you can still breastfeed your baby. Many moms pump their breasts at work so that baby's careprovider can feed her with expressed breast milk in bottles. Other moms are able to visit the baby during the day for a few feedings while other others take their babies to work with them. Explore your options BEFORE you go back to work (preferrably before you begin maternity leave). Read our articles:
  • Breastfeeding, Pumping and The Working Mom in our Working Parents Cubby
  • Working It Out; Breastfeeding at Work in our Breastfeeding Cubby

Ideas for Dad:
Remember the Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared"? Unexpected things happen during labor and delivery so try to plan for as many things as possible while keeping in mind that flexibility is important. Try to have all the little details completed beforehand so you can handle the unexpected events. Just what are these little details? How about . . .
  • hospital registration
  • routes to the hospital mapped out and have more than one route in case a road is blocked for whatever reason
  • know where the entrances to the hospital and the parking lots are located
  • lists of phone numbers written out - you might forget an important person or even their number when you're excited/nervous, etc
  • roll of change for the pay telephone or a battery charger/electric cord for your cell phone (but check with the hospital to see if they'll allow you to use a cell phone inside the hospital - most will not!)
  • mom's hospital bag and whatever YOU need at the hospital (change of clothes in case you come from work, etc)
  • infant carseat IN THE CAR ready to go
  • arrange for who will care for any older children if they aren't attending the birth
  • have the camera, video recorder, etc in the car

YIKES! All of those last minute details! With these out of the way, Dad, you can be there for mom so take the initiative and be a good Boy Scout. Be prepared!

Inspirational Thoughts:
Every birth is a getting to know. ~Paul Claudel

Reading:

Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five by Penelope Leach, published by Knopf, 1997

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