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Prenatal Visit Week 37

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on March 19, 2021

You'll pass a milestone at the end of your 37th week -- your baby will become "early term." Most women have their 11th prenatal visit during this week. At this week's prenatal visit, your doctor will make sure everything is ready for a safe delivery and healthy baby.

What You Can Expect:

Your doctor will make sure your baby has moved into a head-down position.

Babies who are bottom down, called breech, probably won't turn by themselves after this week. If your baby is breech, your doctor may suggest trying to turn your baby with a procedure called external cephalic version (ECV). ECV works more than half the time but depends on many factors. If ECV is not successful, your doctor will talk with you about the best way to deliver your baby, and may suggest a C-section.

Your doctor may ask if you plan to work until your due date. Depending on your job and your health, your doctor may restrict how much you work, particularly if you're on your feet all day and have a health issue.

As with other visits, your doctor will:

  • Check your weight and blood pressure.
  • Measure the height of your uterus to gauge your baby's growth.
  • Check your baby's heart rate.
  • Ask if your baby's movements are occurring about as often as at your last appointment.
  • Ask you to leave a urine sample to check sugar and protein levels.
  • Review details about the type of birth you'll be having, whether vaginal or C-section. If you have any final questions, ask them at this appointment.
  • Remind you to bring your overnight bag, two infant car seats, and two cord-blood collection kits (if applicable) to the hospital for your delivery.

 

Be Prepared to Discuss:

During this appointment, your doctor will want to talk about:

  • How often your baby moves. Your baby has less room to move as it grows larger. Your doctor will want to know that your baby is still moving as often as usual, even if the movements aren't as vigorous as before.
  • Your baby's size. Doctors can estimate a baby's size before birth. Your doctor may suggest a C-section if your baby is very large and you are very petite.
  • Newborn heel-prick test. A hospital doctor or nurse will collect a few drops of blood from your twins by pricking their heel. Babies are tested for a variety of inherited conditions, infectious diseases, and blood problems. Most babies are healthy, but these tests can catch certain conditions before symptoms appear.
  • Newborn hearing test. A hospital pediatrician will use computerized equipment to test your babies' hearing before you leave the hospital. If the tests show a hearing loss, your doctor will refer you to a specialist for more testing and possibly treatment.

 

Ask Your Doctor:

Tap the Action button above to select questions to ask your doctor.

  • If my baby is breech, can I have an ECV?
  • Will an ECV be painful for me or my baby? Are there risks?
  • Will my baby remain head-down if an ECV is successful?
  • Do most women work until their due dates?
  • Should I call your office if my baby stops moving often?
  • Can I have a vaginal birth if my baby is very large?

If you're having twins:

  • Why are twins who share a placenta delivered sooner?

 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "If Your Baby Is Breech," "Newborn Screening Tests," "Newborn Screening," "Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th ed."

American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 6th ed."

Vicki Mendiratta, MD, associate professor, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Sharon Phelan, MD, professor, obstetrics and gynecology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

Sonja R. Kinney, MD, associate professor; director, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology; medical director, Olson Center for Women's Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

William Goodnight III, MD, assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill.

Harish M. Sehdev, MD, associate professor, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Natali Aziz, MD, assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

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