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37 to 40 weeks pregnant

In the final weeks of pregnancy, your baby is ready to be born. Learn about what happens from weeks 37 to 40.

At 37 weeks, your pregnancy is considered full-term.

The average unborn baby weighs around 3kg to 4kg by now. They are still swallowing amniotic fluid and experts estimate that babies at 37 weeks 'drink' approximately 450ml of fluid per day.

Their gut (digestive system) now contains meconium – the sticky green substance that'll form your baby's first poo after birth. It may include bits of the lanugo (fine hair) that covered them earlier in pregnancy.

By 38 weeks the umbilical cord will be about 50cm to 60cm long. Your unborn baby's heart and circulatory system are fully formed now.

In the last weeks of pregnancy, their head should move down into your pelvis - you might notice your bump move downwards. When this happens, some professionals might say your unborn baby is "engaged". Sometimes this doesn't happen until labour starts.

The lanugo that covered their body is now almost all gone, although some babies may have small patches of it when they're born.

Because of the hormones in your body, the baby's genitals may look swollen when she or he is born, but they'll soon settle down to their normal size.At this stage, they are ready to be born and you'll be meeting her or him some time in the next few weeks.

Related topics

Contractions and other signs of labour

Inducing labour

Page last reviewed: 14/11/2018
Next review due: 14/11/2021