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

3-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.

BACK TO TOP

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.

BACK TO TOP

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.

BACK TO TOP

Your pregnancy journey

Click here for week 38


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

Last reviewed: September 2019


Back To Top

Need more information?

Pregnancy & work: rights & entitlements | Raising Children Network

Pregnant and working? Read this article for essential information on pregnancy and work, workplace rights, work duties, parental and maternity leave.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Parental rights and finances

Parents have rights in regards to workplace issues, parental leave, discrimination and breastfeeding. Financial assistance and benefits are also available.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Paid parental leave

Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to Parental Leave Pay, employer-funded paid parental leave, Dad and Partner Pay, or unpaid leave. Learn more.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Parental leave - things to consider

When deciding how much parental leave to take, it's important to think about what works best for you and your family. Here are a few things for you to consider.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Submit your claim if you didnt do a pre-birth claim - Services Australia

If you didnt do a pre-birth claim you can start a claim after the birth of your baby.

Read more on Centrelink website

Parental rights

The law sets out the rights and responsibilities that parents have in relation to bringing up their children and provides information on parental rights.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Premature babies and birth | Raising Children Network

Premature babies are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Our essential guide covers premature birth, babies, development, NICU and more.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Pregnant with twins? About twin pregnancy | Raising Children Network

Pregnant with twins? Twin pregnancy can have more complications, so you’ll need more check-ups. Here’s what to expect in your pregnancy and antenatal care.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Signs of premature labour

Preterm labour is when you go in to labour before your pregnancy reaches 37 weeks.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Pregnancy and work

It is up to you when you tell your employer that you are pregnant

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

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?

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.