After 37 Weeks

37-40 weeks


Your baby could arrive any day. You are fully prepared, physically and mentally, now its time to relax, and enjoy the calm before the arrival that will change your life.

37-40 weekly visits

At each visit, we will continue to assess baby’s movements, ensure your blood pressure remains normal and check baby’s heart beat. We will perform an abdominal examination to estimate size and position of the baby and also gauge if the baby is engaging down the birth canal.

After 40 weeks

No matter how hard we try and predict, we can never be certain of the date your baby will arrive. Most babies don’t come on their due date and some can stay in for many days after they are due. This can be very frustrating. Some women may even need help getting into labour (an induction of labour). The timing of this will be decided based on your individual situation.



Do I need a birth plan?
  • You really can’t plan your birth but there are things that you can do and think about to be more prepared.
  • You may have particular ideas about the kind of birth your want – who you want there, how you want to manage your pain, what you would want if things don’t go as plan – We will take the time to fully talk through these, understand your desires and help facilitate them.
  • The most important thing to remember is that no two labours or births are the same. These are not events that we can have total control over. Even if we do everything in our power to prepare, your body and baby may have other plans.
  • Your birth plan is best if it is flexible. If you aim to stick rigidly to a plan you may have strong sense of disappointment if things happen differently
  • Relax, listen to your body, trust that we have a good understanding and respect of your wishes and will guide you toward our common aim…healthy mum, healthy baby.
Who should I have to support me in labour?
  • The people you have around you during your birth can acutally improve your experience of it. It is important to have people who make you feel safe and free to express what you need in the moment, even if it means telling them to leave. There are times when you will neach peace and quite so it may be best not to have too many people.
  • Make sure your people understand their role and they are happy to provide this support for you.
What do I need to bring to hospital?

During labour

  • Camera
  • Own pillow if desired
  • Comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting messy
  • Thongs or slippers
  • Oil, talc or lotion for massage
  • Spray bottle for cooling
  • Lip cream for dry lips
  • Your favourite play list

For your support person

  • Bathers and towel for bath and shower
  • Food – snacks, juice, celebratory drinks if desired

After birth for you and your baby

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Night wear, dressing gown and slippers
  • Nursing bras and breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Extra underwear
  • Maternity pads – at least three packets
  • Newborn nappies
  • Baby wraps
  • Capsule fitted in your car for the day of discharge

Don’t bring

  • Jewellery, credit cards, other valuables or large amounts of cash
How do I know if I’m going in to labour?

In most pregnancies, labour starts naturally between 37 and 42 weeks.

When labour starts a number of changes take place in your body:

  • The cervix (neck of womb) softens and shortens.
  • The fluid filled membrane sac surrounding your baby tears (your waters break).
  • The cervix dilates (opens).
  • The womb contracts to push your baby out.

Signs you may be going into labour may include:

  • An increase in vaginal discharge that is thick, mucus like and slightly bloody.
  • A gush or ongoing trickle suggesting your waters have broken.
  • Lower back pain or period-like cramps.
  • Your uterus tightens and your belly feels hard and then completely relaxes. This occurs more and more regularly and is not improved with simple pain relief like paracetamol.

If you are not sure, contact the hospital where you are booked.

Make sure you contact hospital immediately if:

  • You are experiencing signs of going in to labour and you are pre-term: <37 weeks.
  • There is greenish fluid coming from your vagina.
  • You are having vaginal bleeding.
  • Baby movements have reduced.


Remember you can go into labour at any time now and things can happen suddenly. Try and be as prepared as possible so when the time comes you can calmly focus on what’s happening with your body.

What to do

  • Make sure your bags are packed and ready for hospital
  • Organise care for your other children if you go into labour suddenly
  • Decide who you would like to support you through your birth and make sure they understand what their role is
  • Plan how you will announce the birth to family and friends
  • In an emergency make sure you contact the delivery suite at Calvary North Adelaide on 8239 9146 as soon as possible. They are available 24 hours a day and will ask you to come in and contact me if concerned.


  • Painful regular tightening’s
  • Severe constant abdominal pain
  • Leakage of fluid from vaginal
  • Bleeding
  • Reduced or absent fetal movements

Become our patient




Calvary Hospital – North Adelaide

Level 2, 89 Strangways Terrace, North Adelaide SA 5006



Phone: (08) 8361 7888


Put your email address in the space below to receive email updates. Be sure you don’t miss an important piece of news.