You’ve made it through another week! By the end of this week, you’ll officially be seven months pregnant. Here are a couple of things you should expect by week 31.
How Big Is My Baby?
At 31 weeks, your baby will be about 16 inches long and weigh about 56 ounces. It means that they’re about as big as coconut and that they’re coming up to their birth length. They’ll still gain about 48 to 80 before they’re born.
My Baby’s Development
By now, your baby’s limbs and body will be proportionate to their head. While most of their bones will continue to develop, their skull will remain soft for a smoother delivery. Their head will still have tender spots after birth, called fontanelles. These will harden a couple of months after they’re born.
This week, your baby’s brain will go into turbo mode. It’ll be creating trillions of connections between nerve cells. From here, they can process more information and even track light. Because of this, they can tell light and dark apart but don’t expect them to stick to a sleeping schedule just yet. Additionally, they can use all five senses.
What Is My Baby Doing?
During this week, expect your baby to be active in your belly. He or she will be pedalling the feet, moving the arms around, and sucking the thumb. Some babies suck their thumb so much while they’re in the womb that they develop a callus. However, this isn’t anything to be worried about.
We have more big news: your baby should be moving to the head-down position to prepare for labour. Don’t worry if your baby hasn’t moved to this position by the end of this week. It may take longer for some babies, and some others will even flip back and forth in the following weeks.
Most moms won’t have a scheduled ultrasound during this time. Doctors may only ask expecting moms who have pregnancy complications.
However, you can go to independent imaging centres and ask for one if you’re excited to see your baby. Something exciting you can get is a 3D or 4D ultrasound. In a 3D ultrasound, you’ll see the entirety of your baby’s face. As for a 4D ultrasound, you’ll see them move in real time. It means you’ll see what they’re up to when they’re awake.
My Changing Body—Week 31
Have you gotten used to that baby bump yet? You might notice that it’s getting more difficult for you to do everyday tasks. Tying your shoes may be nearly impossible; god forbid that you have to pick up something you knocked down.
As for what’s happening inside, you can now feel your uterus about four inches above your belly button. It means that it’s putting significant pressure on your internal organs, pushing them up. Because of this, you might experience shortness of breath. Your uterus may also be pressing against your sciatic nerve, causing sciatica.
Your hips and lower back might also be aching because your ligaments and tendons are relaxing, allowing your bones to spread and prepare for delivery.
During this week, expect some of the following symptoms:
- Braxton Hicks Contractions - You might have already experienced the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions and are very common at this point. During this particular week, it shouldn’t be too painful or come too often. If you’re experiencing it frequently, check in with your doctor as this may be a sign of preterm labour.
- Frequent Urination - During this time, you might find yourself in the bathroom more often than usual. Your uterus continues to expand and put pressure on your organs, including your bladder. Because of this, it’ll have less space to store urine, meaning you have to empty it more often.
- Itchy Skin - Is everything itchy all the time? That’s a common symptom now that you are 31 weeks pregnant. You can’t help but paw at your abdomen, breasts, buttocks, and arms. Instead of scratching, reach for aloe vera or a soothing lotion instead.
- Sleep Problems - Expect to have sleep problems during the third trimester. It’s the consequence of a lot of other symptoms: the size of your baby bump, anxiety, backache, leg cramps, and having to get up often to pee.
How Is My Life Changing
At 31 weeks, it’s hard for your belly not to be the centre of attention. You might be getting some unsolicited advice from other people. Try not to take all of these seriously. While some tips may be helpful, you’re still the mom.
At the same time, it’s easy to lose yourself in the pregnancy. Make sure that you take some time off to do things you enjoy that doesn’t relate to your baby. Spend some time pampering yourself, writing, or even catching up on your favourite TV shows.
Week 31 Mommy Checklist
For this week, try to accomplish these tasks:
- Learn the signs of preterm labour.
- Start shopping for your baby if you haven’t gotten a start on that yet.
- Look into people you want to be with during labour. Start looking for a doula if you plan on having one to be there for you when you give birth.
- Finalize your maternity leave and related plans.
Tips For The Partners
As for the partners, here are some things you can help prepare:
- Find out who your partner wants to be around during labour. Prepare to be there if they wish for you to be by their bedside.
- Help your partner with everyday tasks that they may have difficulty performing now.
- Prepare an emergency plan in case your partner goes into premature labour.
A Sneak Peek To Your Week 32
Look forward to these things next week:
- Your baby’s nails and hair will have grown.
- More fat will develop under your baby’s skin, making it opaque.
- Your hunger may start to wane by next week.