Your developing baby – week 37

by Kaiser Permanente |
Fetus at week 37, illustration

At week 37, your baby is around 18 to 19 inches long and is about the size of a honeydew melon.

At 37 to 40 weeks your baby’s position is usually set, and most babies are in the head down position. So, when you come into your office visits, we will feel to see if the baby’s head is down. 

If for any reason we’re not sure based on feeling your abdomen, we’ll do a quick ultrasound and make sure that your baby’s head is down. If your baby is in the breech position, (bottom down instead of head down) there’s still a chance that your baby can flip spontaneously. Another option would be a manual external cephalic version which is trying to manually rotate the baby, or planning for a scheduled cesarean birth. If your baby does not turn by the due date, then we would discuss scheduling a cesarean birth. 

It is important to keep track of your baby’s movements at this point. You should feel the baby move 10 times in every two hours. Every single movement or motion counts, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be something very forceful. You’ll notice that the baby’s movements will take on a slower motion as opposed to forceful movements or kicking. The frequency of the baby’s movements should not slow down, but the   feeling of the movement may change.

At 37 weeks, your baby’s:

  • Circulatory system is done developing.
  • Musculoskeletal system is also done developing.
  • Lungs, brain, and nervous system are finishing their development.
  • Fat continues to be added all over, which keeps the baby warm after birth. 

This article has been created by a national group of Kaiser Permanente ob-gyns, certified nurse-midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and other specialists who came together to provide you with the best pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn information.

Some of the content is used and adapted with permission of The Permanente Medical Group.