You're near the end, and you're probably sick of hearing it. But that's okay, because you'll soon have a lovely little one in your arms! It's a hard time due to discomfort, but perfect for last-minute dates with your spouse before life changes forever. Here's what your body is up to this week.
If you're lucky, your cervix has begun to dilate and efface. What this means is that your cervix is beginning to open (dilate) and thin (efface). Both are good signs and important steps before you go into labor, as it helps prepare a soft pathway for your baby's birth.
The question you might have is "can you feel your cervix go through these changes?" The answer is "most likely not," although you will continue to have Braxton Hicks contractions as your uterus prepares for the big push later on. As your cervix ripens and your body goes through the final stages of preparation, it's a good time to learn about early signs of labor so you'll know exactly when to go to the hospital.
As your baby continues to kick and move, he or she is stretching and flexing muscles in an almost practiced routine to get ready for birth. Baby should continue to move up until the very end, so make sure to contact your provider if you notice an absence of movement.
Baby's head has reached its full size, which might be large or average. Either way, the baby should be moving into a head-down position soon to avoid any complications from a breech birth.
Now is the time for last-minute preparations, such as packing your hospital bag. Another good thing to tie down at this point is a baby sitter for any other children while you're at the hospital having the baby. If you have these few details taken care of by 37 weeks, you'll be much less stressed!