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Week 37

How Big is the Baby at 37 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby may weigh close to 6 and a half pounds by pregnancy 37 weeks, and may be as much as 21 inches long during pregnancy at 37 weeks.

Your Baby's Growth and Development

Congratulations! You have now entered the final stages of your pregnancy week by week. Between pregnancy weeks 37 and pregnancy week 41 most women are considered full term.

Your baby is still busy putting on weight during pregnancy week 37. The longer your baby stays in utero, the more he will weigh when born! These added layers of fat will help strengthen your baby's overall well being and increase their chances for a healthy and safe entry into the world.

Your Growth and Development

Many women start noticing that their uterus seems to stop growing at 37 weeks pregnant. May women's uteri will remain the same size from now until birth. You should measure about 6 and a half inches from the navel.

Changes in You

By 37 weeks pregnant you may have gained 35 pounds. Many women will notice a reversal of weight gain during pregnancy at 37 weeks and in the last couple of weeks of their pregnancy. Some women might even lose a pound or two.

You are now more eager than ever to meet your newborn baby. Be sure you take some time to discuss your labor and delivery preferences with your healthcare provider at this point in time. If you haven't pre-registered you should consider doing so now.

Talk with your healthcare provider about your 'plan of action' by pregnancy at 37 weeks so you have a plan when you do start having contractions. Find out when your healthcare provider would like you to phone, and when they prefer you visit the hospital.

Your healthcare provider might take a Group B strep test during pregnancy week 37. Group B is a type of bacteria that can live in the vagina or area surrounding the rectum. Typically group B strep is present in up to 35 percent of healthy adults. Normally Group B does not pose any health risks.
However, when you are colonized with this bacteria during pregnancy, your baby might get infected with the bacteria during labor and delivery. Infected newborns will require close observation and treatment in the hospital. Your baby will need antibiotics if they are infected. Group B infections in newborns can cause serious infections such as sepsis, which is an infection of the bloodstream. It can also cause meningitis, a condition that affects the lining of the fluid surrounding the brain. Group B can also lead to pneumonia. Typically most newborns exposed will start showing symptoms during the first week of life, though late onset Group B disease may also develop a week or more after birth.

Fortunately, your doctor can perform a culture prior to delivery to see if you have Group B present in your body. If you do, your healthcare provider will likely set you up on a course of antibiotics before and during labor. This will help prevent the spread of infection to your baby.

Some women are more at risk than others for this infection, including women who have already had a baby with a Group B infection, women who develop a fever during labor, women who have a urinary tract infection caused by Group B or women who rupture their membranes before 37 weeks.
Researchers are currently working on developing a vaccine to treat Group B strep.

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