Welcome to the 31st week of your pregnancy journey! Believe it or not, you are almost done with this journey! You might even go into labor within 6 or 7 weeks and it will not be considered early labor. It is very unlikely for you to stay pregnant for another 9 or 10 weeks. So, say goodbye to the pregnancy bump as it will vanish very soon!
By this week, your baby’s brain connections are rapidly developing, which is a great thing as he needs to make billions of those connections. So, he is on the right track to becoming a smarty. He can even process information and pick up signals from all of his five senses.
Your baby spends most of his time sleeping at this point, he takes longer snoozes and naps, specifically REM sleep. If you want to wake him up for some playing time, try eating or drinking something sugary. Always guaranteed to do the trick!
Changes Happening in Your Body by Your 31st Week
Your bump and your baby will keep on growing for the next few weeks and up till labor as you both will go through a final growth spurt. Your baby still has plenty of fattening up to do before he arrives in his new world!
If this is your first baby, then your doctor or midwife will probably take out a measuring tape to measure the size of your womb, your womb size can be estimated by checking the stomach starting the top of your pubic bone to the top of your bump.
They will also feel your bump gently to try to figure out which way your baby is positioned. Some babies are positioned head down, ready for birth already! You might have even felt your baby move and change position and seen your bump move downwards.
If your baby is positioned head up, then it will be plenty of time before he gets in his delivery position. Some babies don’t even move down into the pelvis until their labor starts.
If your baby stays head up, then it might affect the type of birth you can have. In certain cases, the baby might be in an awkward position as the placenta might be blocking his way down. In such cases, a cesarean might be recommended.
Before you decide how you are going to give birth, you will be able to speak about all the risks and benefits of that method with your doctor or midwife. Making a decision that you are feeling comfortable with and knowing everything about is going to make the entire process easier.
Around this stage of your pregnancy, your baby is practicing sucking, which is an essential skill he will need after birth. Breastfeeding gets your baby off to a great start as your breast milk contains antibodies that support your baby to fight infections.
Your baby will be less likely to encounter any stomach bugs or develop breathing problems. As well as being available at any time! Whenever your baby needs it, it can be available.
Breastfeeding is a win-win situation for you and your baby, as you give him a stronger and healthier body, breastfeeding can help you lower your risks or getting breasts or ovarian cancers. As well as burning around 300 calories per day!
Some women cannot breastfeed due to different health situations such as taking a certain medication that goes into breast milk or if they are recovering from surgery. In such cases, you can still get your baby off to a great start with formula bottles and plenty of cuddles!
Symptoms of the 31st Week of Pregnancy
You might be experiencing some fake contractions, it feels like your bump tightens up for about 20 or 30 seconds and then relax again, those contractions shouldn’t hurt at all. They are known as Braxton Hicks and sometimes even referred to as practice contractions.
You might experience those contractions after having sex or after a tiring activity. Sometimes even when someone touches your bump they might occur. Those contractions are harmless, however, if they get painful or start to feel them regularly then it might be a sign of early labor, still, speak to your midwife or doctor about any changes in the contraction patterns.
Your 31st week of pregnancy symptoms might include:
- Sleeping problems
- Baxton Hicks
- Bleeding gums
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Random pain around muscles
- Sore breasts
- Leg cramps
- Stretch marks
- Thicker hair
- Swollen gums
- Urine infection
- Bloating or constipation
- Spotty skin
- Feeling too warm
- Greasier skin
- Vaginal infection
- Thicker hair
Your Baby’s 31st Week Development
Your baby is now around 41.1cm in length from head to toe and weighs about 1.5kg. Which is around the same size and weight as coconut fruit.
Your baby is now very active as he practices sucking his fingers, moves around doing some odd somersaults. Your baby gets bigger and bigger as the days go by. His skin is looking less wrinkled too. The amount of amniotic fluid around your baby is increasing due to your baby weeing into it.
Your baby can also recognize the voices and sounds around the womb, so he can hear you and the noises around you too. Encourage your partner to do some baby talk to your bump as this creates a strong bond between them.
This Week’s Tips
Drink Plenty of Water
As you get bigger and bigger during this trimester, your inner thermostat is going to be higher and higher, but drinking enough amount of water can help you keep your cool and disperse excess body heat in the form of sweat.
Drinking a lot of water also helps you reduce fatigue feelings, control headaches, and keep you more active and more focused.
Stretch Your Body
Most women carry all the tension in their necks, especially during the third trimester because your posture is already off. You can prevent those pains and keep your body and muscles relaxed and your mind clear by doing some simple stretches.
Start with tilting your head to one side and not raise your shoulders during, try to rest your shoulders to the back instead. Hold that posture for three to five seconds then exhale. Repeat the same movement on the other side, too. You can try doing this several times per day and you will start feeling the difference in your muscles flexibility and durability.