Support and information from NCT
NCT offers reliable support and information about the various stages of pregnancy, week by week.
Your developing baby
In week 37 of pregnancy, your baby will usually engage. This means their head will move down into your pelvis ready for the birth, although it doesn’t mean birth is imminent. In this position they have more room and you should feel the difference as there’s less pressure on your diaphragm, ribs and stomach.
When they engage they should be head down with their back against your belly. This is called ‘occiput anterior’ (OA) and is the best position for labour. The majority of babies are in this position, but some babies aren’t.
Engaging breech babies
If your baby is breech at 37 weeks, which means they are not head down but feet down, it may be possible for an obstetrician to turn your baby using a technique called external cephalic version (ECV). Having an ECV shouldn’t be painful for you; although it can be uncomfortable. You may be offered a drug to help your uterus stay relaxed.
In order for a baby to be turned, its bottom needs to be pushed up out of your pelvis so that there’s space for them to move around. The doctor will then push quite firmly, holding the baby to prevent them returning to the breech position.
Feeling scared of giving birth
Fear of childbirth is perfectly normal – every pregnant woman, even the most confident - has some degree of concern about what it will feel like and what might happen. But for a minority of women, the worry is a lot stronger. The condition, sometimes known as ‘tokophobia’, means fear of childbirth.
If you’re affected by fear, do share this with your midwife so you can talk through your feelings and worries and how to deal with them.
If you are expecting twins, you will now be ‘at term’ and will soon be welcoming your babies into the world. The majority of twin pregnancies will run to week 37 and it is very unusual for a twin pregnancy to last more than 40 weeks. For more information about twin births, visit Twins Trust.
Have you been fitted for a nursing bra?
If you are planning to breastfeed, you can be fitted for a nursing bra from this week.
NCT offers reliable support and information about the various stages of pregnancy, week by week. Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.
Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.