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What is Labor?
Being able to produce a life is an inherent gift to a woman. Once a woman decides to embrace motherhood, she becomes extra cautious towards slightest change in her body. One such signal that the baby is due to arrive in this world is an experience of labor. Labor is nothing but the contractions experienced by the pregnant woman when her child is prepared to be delivered. These are in form of pains experienced in various body parts.
The mother is usually expected to deliver in her 40th week of pregnancy. However, one may not complete her full days and can also experience labor earlier than expected. There are various ways to induce labor naturally. This article will provide you with information regarding the signs of labor in 37th week of pregnancy.
If you deliver at the juncture of your 37th week, the baby is perfectly healthy. So do not worry even if it is earlier than expected. The labor is divided into terms of pregnancy depending upon the week in which it strikes.
1. Early Term:
Labor pain strikes between 37 weeks to 38 weeks and 6 days. This is the earliest you can expect to deliver. After your 37th week sets in, you can expect the little one’s arrival any time.
2. Full Term:
This is the duration between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days.
3. Late Term:
This is the time of labor between 41 weeks 0 days to 41 weeks and 6 days.
4. Post Term:
This is the latest any woman can experience labor. Usually, by this time, the doctor suggests a cesarean to be performed to deliver the baby instead of a natural delivery. It is the duration between 42 weeks 0 days and any more days beyond that.
You may have always thought that your pregnancy term is limited to 9 months which automatically calculates to 36 weeks and no further. But hang on! there’s time until you hold your child in your hand. These guidelines were changed in response to trends of scheduled inductions and cesareans. It was observed that babies at their 39th week have better developed organs and a very healthy body.
Baby Development at 37th week:
By now, the baby may be roughly around 5-6 pounds of weight. The baby’s hair color is determined by this week. Its position has by this time come to head-down. Which means the head is downward facing towards your uterus and this is a preparation for a normal delivery. The baby has developed all body parts by this time and is fit to enter the world if it so wishes.
37 Weeks Pregnant- Signs of Labor
The Signs of Labor can be divided into two broad categories. False Contractions which are Braxton Hicks Contractions and True Contractions.
Braxton Hicks Contractions:
These are also commonly termed as false alarms of labor. But these are a potential signal towards a real labor that you may shortly experience. These include the following symptoms:
1. The baby has moved down in your belly:
You may notice your stomach bulging towards the gravitational force now. The baby drops lower in the stomach as it is preparing for birth. This phenomenon is also called lightening.
2. Vaginal Discharge of Mucus:
You may notice that your vagina is excreting more mucus. The texture of this mucus is sticky. It is thick and white in color.
3. Discharge of Bloody Mucus:
While the mucus is oozing out from the body, you may notice blood drops also. The two phenomena above are together called Mucus plug or Bloody Show.
4. Increased Lower Back Pain:
You may feel the pain in your lower back becoming worse. You may also experience cramps in your abdomen.
5. Tighter Uterus:
You may feel your uterus becoming tighter and you will be unable to control the urge to urinate even for a few minutes.
Braxton Hicks Contractions a false alarms and just imitate true signs of labor. They may however act as an early sign for true labor. Wondering how to differentiate between a true labor and a Braxton Hicks Contraction? Well the answer is very simple. The above signs will become less intense once you take rest. Such is not the case with a true labor. Resting will not make any signs of a true labor to go away. Infact as the time for your baby to arrive comes closer, you will feel that the signs of labor a becoming more severe.
Signs of True Labor:
1. Contractions at Regular Intervals:
The contractions become more frequent, usually experienced between every 15-20 minutes. You may also have to time them with a timer to keep a track. If you notice the frequency increasing, these are signs of a true labor.
2. Resting Does not Heal the Contractions:
The contractions from a true labor will only become more intense and painful. They will not be cured or stop with rest.
3. Stronger Contractions:
The contractions become stronger and stronger as time passes. The false labor contractions do not get stronger.
It is advisable that you time your contractions. You must track the time intervals among which you experience them. This will also help you determine if your contractions are getting stronger and stronger. This is a sign of commencement of labor.
When to See Your Doctor?
Apart from the above instances, you must make sure you see your doctor if you feel your baby’s movements have become very less. Your baby may not be feeling good inside and there are always chances of a cord accident that may need urgent medical attention.