Skip to main content Help with accessibility

37 weeks pregnant

holding bump


Your baby's development at 37 weeks

Your baby is considered full-term in week 37 of your pregnancy and because they’re so big now, you’ll feel even their smallest movements inside you. As their birth approaches, it’s important to maintain your balanced diet, making sure you get enough nutrients like calcium, which is also important while breastfeeding.

Reaching full-term in week 37

By the time you're 37 weeks pregnant, your baby is fully developed and considered full-term1. There is no reason to delay labour if it starts at this stage – your baby is ready for the outside world2.

"By week 37, your baby is fully developed and considered full-term.”

"Your baby’s development at 37 weeks"

Now weighing roughly 6.5lbs and measuring around 34cm from crown to rump2, they are most likely in the head-down position ready for birth. As they move lower into your abdomen and relieve the pressure on your ribs, you may start to feel more comfortable1.

Your baby’s digestive system is now ready to digest breast milk and pass out any waste. The first poo will contain the waste that has built up throughout pregnancy too, a sticky substance called meconium. Green in colour, it may contain some of the fine hairs that acted as an added layer of insulation on your baby’s body during pregnancy. Much of this lanugo will have now come off their skin, although some babies are born with small patches still remaining1.

Although physically fully formed, your baby’s immune system is still developing. After birth, your breast milk will provide antibodies and immune factors that will help to protect them from infection while building up their natural defences2.

the gift banner pregnancy
 the gift  of future health Learn more

Calcium for you; calcium for your baby

Calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth3; maintaining muscle function, helping blood clot; and maintaining nerve function3.

It is an important mineral for your baby’s developing bones during pregnancy and because your baby will get all of their nutrition from your breast milk, you should make sure you consume plenty of calcium-rich foods when you’re breastfeeding, too.

In fact, your daily breastfeeding calcium requirement is 550mg more than during pregnancy4.

“According to the Department of Health, you should be able to get all of the calcium you need by eating a balanced, healthy diet.”

According to the Department of Health, you should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a balanced, healthy diet. However, If you don’t eat any dairy foods, you will find it tricky to get enough calcium, particularly if you are breastfeeding when your recommended intake is 1250-1350mg of calcium per day4.

If you think your diet is low in calcium, talk to your health professional about taking a calcium supplement.

Next Steps

Use this guide to the calcium content of certain foods to work out if you are getting enough calcium each day5.

Food Calcium content
200ml semi-skimmed milk
30g Cheddar cheese
150g plain low-fat yoghurt
200ml calcium-enriched soya milk
2 dried figs
6 almonds
90g cooked spinach
1 scoop dairy ice cream
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tinned sardines with edible bones
2 slices white bread
2 slices wholemeal bread

View references

Hide references

drop down arrow

1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 37-40 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2015. Available at: [Accessed September 2016]

2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 49.

3. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136, 25.5.2012, pp. 1–40.

4. Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London TSO. 1991

5. Adapted from: Theobald, H. Dietary Calcium and Health. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin,2005; 30, 254–255.

Last reviewed: 9th September 2016
Eating during and after labour bread header

Food and snacks for labour

Have you packed your snacks for labour? Learn which foods are best and what to consider when packing your hospital bag.

Learn more

Feel prepared with our free mobile app

Our free Preparing for Birth mobile app has practical tools & expert advice helping you feel prepared for the birth of your baby.

mother and baby on bed

Guide to successful breastfeeding

How long should a feed last, and is your baby is latching on properly? Watch our short breastfeeding guide to find out.

Learn more

Join Aptaclub on Facebook

Like our Facebook page to join the thousands of mums-to-be and new mums who are discussing and sharing their experiences.

Foods to avoid in pregnancy bump header

Join Aptaclub baby club and help shape your baby’s future

Register today to help us tailor our early life nutrition advice to every stage of your baby’s journey.

Over 4050 mums-to-be have signed up this week


Aptaclub on YouTube

From packing your hospital bag to breastfeeding positions and weaning advice, our how-to-guides are available to help you at every stage.

Writing a birth plan

Birth plan

 From birthing positions to pain relief, a birth plan lets your midwife know your wishes for labour and birth. Find out how to write yours.

Learn more
your healthy breastfeeding diet vegetables header

Your healthy breastfeeding diet

From herring to halloumi cheese, find out how what you eat while breastfeeding can positively influence your baby’s future health.

Learn more
Bonding with your bump helps your baby learn

Bonding with your bump helps your baby learn

Neuroscientist Dr Eino Partanen explains why talking and singing to your unborn child during pregnancy is good for both of you.

Learn more

WhatsApp Welcome to Careline via WhatsApp

Our experts are available to chat Monday - Friday, 8am-8pm, excluding bank holidays.

By clicking start, you will open a new chat in your WhatsApp app with our Careline team.


Having trouble?

If you're having issues sending the Careline a message via WhatsApp, please try calling us on 0800 996 1000 instead.