Three weeks, 21 days or so. Or maybe even today.
At 37 weeks you're officially classed as full term. YAY! So if you went into labour right now (maybe you’re even reading this with twinges) then the doctors wouldn’t try to slow down or stop your labour.
If you haven’t done it already then make sure your pregnancy hospital bag is packed and ready to go. It’s a good idea to stick it by the front door and not in the car boot in case plans change when all the action starts.
You’ll focus on every twinge and movement this week so it’s a good idea to remind yourself of the signs you’re in labour.
If you’re finding it a bit easier to breathe (but feel like you need to pee even more) then your baby has dropped down into your pelvis. If they’re head first it’s called ‘engaged’ (sorry there’s no diamond ring on the way).
And although you may feel like you’ve got a basketball between your legs it doesn’t mean labour is round the corner. If you can then keep active, gentle walks and toddling around the house with lots of rest in between can move your baby into the right position.
What does my baby look like?
Your baby is now almost 50cm and just under 3kg and rapidly running out of room to move which is why you’ll feel twingy pains all over the place (and yes we do mean everywhere).
You’ll notice your baby has a definite pattern of when they’re sleepy and awake and this usually carries on after they’re born.
How will I give birth?
There are a few different ways you can give birth.
You might go into labour naturally or need some help through induction. Most inductions and C Sections are planned but if things happen during labour your doctor or midwife might step in and decide with you to change the plan.
Most babies come out of vaginas, around 6 in 10. Whether you’ve gone into labour on your own or been induced you’ll go through three stages and the whole process can take hours or even days. If you tear during birth you might need some stitches.
You can read more about what happens during labour: What to expect during labour
C Section (Caesarean)
Around 3 in 10 babies come out the top hatch, otherwise known as a C Section or Caesarean. The docs make a cut at the bottom of your stomach. Your baby comes out of that hole and comes up to you, then you’re stitched up. The whole thing takes an hour or so and you’ll be numbed from the waist down (epidural). Sometimes if there’s an emergency you’ll have a general anaesthetic. You’ll have a scar but your knickers cover it.
Sometimes babies decide to be a little tricky and need a bit of help to get out. This is called an assisted birth. The doctors use a suction cup (ventouse) or forceps (surgical tongs) to pull the baby out gently. You have to give your permission for this to happen and you’ll get pain relief. It’s a good idea to express your wishes about instrumental delivery in your birth plan. Sometimes they need to do a cut between your vagina and your bum called an episiotomy to get your baby out. You’ll need stitches if this happens.
There’s no right or best way to give birth. Make sure you’re clear about what you want in your birth plan but be ready to adapt and change during labour. If you have any worries about labour, delivery or your birth plan then chat to your midwife.
And you can always ask our Facebook community about their experiences.