Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

Pregnancy at week 37

4-minute read

Your baby

By the end of week 37, your baby will be full-term. They look like a newborn baby, measuring about 35cm from head to bottom. They weight about 3kg and are getting ready to be born.

The baby has fully mature lungs and can grip firmly with their hand. Their gut contains sticky green meconium that will form their first poo after they are born.

Your baby at 37 weeks

Length:35cm (head to bottom)

Your body

Your baby may engage – move down into your pelvis – any time from now until the birth. This is more likely to happen if it’s your first baby. When the baby engages, you should start to feel a little more comfortable.

Many women notice their breasts leak colostrum (your first milk) towards the end of the pregnancy. If this is bothering you, you can buy breast pads from your local pharmacy. You may also notice more vaginal discharge than usual. This is normal – but tell your doctor or midwife if the discharge is smelly, green or brown, of if it’s making you itchy or sore.

You are probably feeling very tired because of the extra weight you are carrying. But it can also be difficult to sleep. You may find it hard to roll over in bed and you will probably need to get up to go to the toilet a lot through the night. Try to get as much rest as you can.

Things to remember

If you haven’t already stopped working, you will probably want to stop now.

Your parental leave can start up to 6 weeks before your due date, or earlier if you and your employer agree. Your employer can also ask you to produce a medical certificate saying that you are fit to work in the weeks before the baby is born.

All employees are entitled to up to 12 months’ unpaid parental leave if they have worked for 12 months continuously for their employer. This can also include casual employees if they have been working regularly for the same employer.

Your employer may also offer you paid parental leave. You can talk to them about when you would like this to start. It’s a good idea to work out a budget to help you plan for taking time off work.

Read next

Pregnancy at week 38

Your pregnancy at 38 weeks

Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Back To Top

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.