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 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.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: September 2019