- At 37 to 40 weeks, your baby is full term.
- The baby’s lungs are mature and ready to function on their own.
- The baby gains about 1/2 pound a week.
- The baby usually drops into a head-down position and rests lower in your abdomen.
- By the end of the ninth month, the baby is 19 to 21 inches long and weighs 6 to 9 pounds.
- Your belly button may stick out.
- Your breathing should be easier once the baby drops, but you’ll have to urinate more often because the baby is pressing on your bladder.
- Swelling of ankles and feet may increase.
- Your cervix will open up (dilate) and thin out (efface) as it prepares for birth.
- You may be uncomfortable because of the pressure and weight of the baby. Rest often.
Prenatal Care Guide
- After the 36th week, visit your health care provider once a week for prenatal care checkups.
- You may not gain any weight at all this month; you may even lose 1 or 2 pounds.
- Decide if you are going to breastfeed or formula-feed your baby.
- Time your contractions. You are in labor if your contractions:
- Are regular or evenly spaced apart (every seven minutes, for example)
- Happen more than five times an hour
- Last for 30 to 70 seconds
- Get worse as you move around
- Call your health care provider if you think you are in labor.
Article courtesy of The March of Dimes
This is it! At 37 to 40 weeks, your baby is full term.