At 37 weeks, you're 9 months pregnant with the end in sight.

Your baby is practicing special skills this week (like sucking his thumb and grasping) that he'll show off upon his arrival.

At your next prenatal appointment, your practitioner will likely check your cervix for clues about how you're progressing.

Your Baby at Week 37

At a Glance

Dress rehearsal
Dress rehearsal
If your baby were born this week, he’d still be early term but will be full-term by week 39. He’s practicing for his grand entrance by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, blinking and turning from side to side.
Hang on!
Hang on!
Your baby has developed more dexterity in his fingers. He can now grasp onto smaller objects, like a toe or his nose.
More thumbsucking
More thumbsucking
Your baby is likely sucking his thumb a lot these days in preparation for his feeding sessions after birth.

37 weeks pregnant is how many months?

If you're 37 weeks pregnant, you're in month 9 of your pregnancy. Only a few weeks left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.

How big is my baby at 37 weeks?

At 37 weeks pregnant, your baby's still packing on about a half an ounce per day or half a pound a week. In fact, until the end of week 38, he’s technically considered “early term.” At this age, the average fetus weighs about 6 pounds — though boys are likely to be heavier at birth than girls.

Baby’s stretching and moving

It's a little crowded in your uterus, so he may not be kicking as much. Instead, your baby's probably stretching, rolling a bit and wiggling — all of which you’ll be able to feel!

Practicing for birth

So what's keeping your little one busy while waiting it out until delivery day? Practice, practice, practice.

Right now, your tiny superstar is rehearsing for his big debut, simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking his thumb, blinking and pivoting from side to side. One day you feel his bottom on the left side, the next it's flipped around to the right!

Baby’s head is huge!

Here's an interesting fact: At birth, your baby's head — which, by the way, is still growing — will be roughly the same circumference as his chest.

And guess what's making a quite-literal impression these days on those shoulders and hips? Fat — causing little dimples in those cute elbows, knees and shoulders, along with creases and folds in the neck and wrists.

Your Body at Week 37

37 Weeks Pregnant

Dilation and effacement

It's anyone's guess when your baby will decide to make his appearance — will he be sociably early, fashionably late or right on time? — but that doesn't stop your practitioner from guessing when labor will begin.

Just what is your doctor looking for? First, for dilation, or how far your cervix has opened. Specifically, your cervix needs to open to 10 centimeters for the baby to pass through into the birth canal.

Your health care provider is also looking cervical ripeness — aka the consistency of the cervix. It starts out being firm like the tip of your nose, then softens to the same texture as the inside of your cheek before labor. Next, your practitioner will check for effacement, or how thin your cervix is; it'll be 100 percent effaced before you push your baby out.

The position of your cervix, which moves from the back to the front as labor approaches, will also be assessed. And last but not least, your doctor or midwife will measure the position of the baby in relation to your pelvis. The lower down your baby is, the closer you are to delivery.

Although it all sounds very scientific, it's actually not. These processes can occur gradually, over a period of weeks or even a month or more in some women — or overnight.

So while they're clues that you're indeed progressing, they're far from sure bets when it comes to pinpointing the actual start of labor. You can be very dilated and not have your baby for weeks. Or your cervix can be high and closed during an exam one morning, only to be open and ready for business — and labor — by noon.

Perineal massage

You already know about the mind-body benefits of massage — but have you heard of perineal massage?

Yes, it sounds — and can feel — a little awkward, but perineal massage may help to gently stretch your perineum, the area of skin between your vagina and rectum, which in turn can minimize the "stinging" that occurs when a baby's head crowns during childbirth. It may also help you avoid an episiotomy and tearing.

If you want to give it a shot, it's best not to DIY it the first time. Seek out a pelvic floor therapist, who can show you how to do it right. (Word to the wise: Be gentle.) Once you know what you're doing, you can keep up the good work — or have your practitioner take over during labor itself.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 37

Changes in fetal activity
Changes in fetal activity
Heartburn or indigestion
Heartburn or indigestion
Bloody show
Bloody show
Varicose veins
Varicose veins
Pelvic pain
Pelvic pain
Leg cramps
Leg cramps
Stretch marks
Stretch marks
Breast changes
Breast changes
Pregnancy brain
Pregnancy brain

Tips for You This Week

Finish baby's nursery

Fewer than 5 percent of babies arrive on their due date, so don’t assume you have three weeks to get through your to-do list and get the nursery set up.

Focus on the bigger tasks, like assembling the crib — it takes longer than you think — arranging the changing table stocked with diapers and wipes, and carrying in the rocking or glider chair if you’re planning on nursing (or just snuggling). Make sure to get help with any of the heavy lifting from your partner or a close friend or family member.

Don’t go crazy, though. You have enough to do — and your baby won’t care what color the walls are painted.

Slow weight gain is normal

Not gaining the pound a week you’ve come to expect during the third trimester? That’s okay. You may not gain any weight at all during the last month.

Stretch out your meals

Feeling more bloated than ever? You can blame the pregnancy hormone progesterone for slowing down your digestion — which then leads to bloating and cramping.

One way to beat the bloat: Eat your meals slowly. When you scarf down your lunch in five minutes flat, you swallow more than just food. You also swallow a lot of air, which will then settle into your stomach as gas bubbles.

Get an exercise ball

Looking for a good late-pregnancy workout? Get on the ball! An exercise ball is a safe and effective tool for strengthening your core muscles during pregnancy. And looking not-too-far ahead, it can also provide welcome relaxation and physical relief during pregnancy and labor.

Choose a high-quality ball made from burst-resistant material, and be sure you buy the correct size for your height: 22 inches (55 centimeters) for those shorter than 5-foot-3, and 26 inches (65 centimeters) for those taller (though check the instructions to be sure).

Stay sane while you rest

Here are some things you can do if you're on bed rest: Stock a mini-fridge or cooler with lots of water, fruit, yogurt, cheese and sandwiches. Be sure the phone, magazines, books and TV remote are all within arm’s reach.

Try to establish a routine — even if the highlight is a soak in a tepid tub, then a nap or a morning on the couch, then an afternoon in bed. You’ll feel a little better if you give the day some sort of structure.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Frame one of your ultrasound pictures and know that you are simply starting the parenting process a little earlier than most, doing what’s best for your child even if it’s a hardship for you.

Remember: Every day you stay in bed or off your feet is one more day your baby stays inside you, giving him the best chance at being born healthy and strong.

Make a belly cast

Belly casts date back to ancient times when they were used to commemorate the miracle of life. These do-it-yourself plaster replicas are easy and fun to make. Just sit back as your chosen ones apply strips of wet plaster onto your belly (it usually dries within 15 minutes).

Once the cast is dry, decorate and display as you like. (Is the dining room table too prominent a spot?) You'll find many resources online; just type "belly cast" into a search engine and sculpt away.

Practice using your baby gear

You have the car seat, the stroller, the playard and the rest of the baby gear — now all you need is an actual baby. Before your little one makes that big arrival, grab an unwitting (and willing) baby stand-in — a doll, stuffed animal or even a very patient pet (within reason!) — and make a few practice runs.

Try strapping dolly into the car seat or strolling teddy around in your hallway, holding the little bundle in one hand while folding up the stroller in the other. If you feel silly using a faux baby, don't use anything at all. But do practice. You'll feel more prepared when it's showtime!

Meanwhile, you'll also want to be prepared to track your baby's feedings and diaper changes, which is easier said than done when you're taking care of a newborn on very little sleep. The solution? There's an app for that  more specifically, an app baby tracker for that. Trust us, it will help you seamlessly stay on top of how often to feed and change baby.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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