Pregnancy Week by Week - Week 37-42

Month 9

They’re almost here! Just a few short weeks and your bundle of joy will be ready to enter the world. Your due date will give you a rough idea when to expect their arrival, but it’s impossible to know for sure. You may have an early surprise, or you may have to wait a week or two more – hang in there because it won’t be long before they’re in your arms!

You’re no doubt feeling the strain of 9 months of carrying your little one. The size of your bump may be making everyday things more difficult – but the good news is that it won’t be for much longer! You may be experiencing:

  • Frequent urination. You may have already noticed this, but in your final month of pregnancy it may get even worse. Your baby will shift further towards your pelvis, putting more pressure on your bladder and making you run to the loo more often than usual.

  • Swollen feet and ankles. The increased pressure on your veins may cause your feet and ankles to swell. Keep your circulation going by taking regular walks and light exercise.

  • Stretch marks. With your bump getting bigger, you may notice red, purple or silver streaks appearing on your stomach. Almost every mother ends up with stretch marks but they usually fade over time.

Development

At the start of the month, your baby will have grown to the length of a Swiss chard. By week 38, he or she will be the same size as a large leek. As they get ready to leave the womb and finally meet their mum, your baby will weigh in at around 3-4 kilograms – as big as a whole pumpkin!

Hospital Bag

Now is the time to be packing and prepping your hospital bag. Although you’ll have your due date, your baby may arrive even earlier, so getting organised in advance is the best thing to do.

Things to pack for you and your birthing partner:

  • Knickers
  • Sleepwear
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries – shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hair ties, deodorant etc
  • Towels
  • Nursing bras
  • Breast pads
  • Entertainment – iPads, books, magazines, headphones etc
  • Fan
  • Slippers
  • TENS machine
  • Pillows
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Money
  • Sanitary pads
  • Birth plan
  • Phone and charger
  • Medication

Things to pack for the baby:

  • Clothes – vests, sleepsuits, socks, hats etc
  • Nappies
  • Blankets
  • Muslin squares
  • Car seat
  • Cotton wool balls

DO

  • Cook and freeze meals. The last thing you want to do with a newborn is shop and cook. Cook batch meals and freeze them for later – you will be glad you did.
  • Use a contraction timer. Using a timer app to record your contractions is useful to keep track.

DON’T

  • Leave packing till last minute. There are a lot of things you will need in your hospital bag. Don’t be tempted to leave it till last minute – buy everything and pack it well in advance.
  • Sometimes things may not go the way you planned, but try not to panic. Keep calm and just focus on you and the baby