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It’s week thirty-one, and your baby is now about the size of a coconut, weighs just over three pounds, and measures around sixteen inches in length.
Engaging in longer stretches of restful sleep, you may notice extended periods of calm within your womb. However, when baby wakes up, he or she is amazingly active. Wriggling and squirming about, your little one is flailing around, kicking and punching to the point where they wake you from your sleep.
Growing exceptionally fast, your baby is plumping up and putting on baby fat at an expeditious rate as it begins to accumulate under the skin of her body.
As the countdown begins to the big day, both you and your partner may be overwhelmed with anxiety. A great way to alleviate scary emotions and to facilitate bonding between the two of you is to take antenatal and childbirth classes together to emotionally prepare for the momentous experience that awaits.
To learn more about week thirty-one of pregnancy and all of its captivating developments, read on below!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
31 Weeks Pregnant
During week thirty-one of your pregnancy, you may be experiencing an increase in Braxton-Hicks contractions and beginning to wonder if they might actually be an indication of preterm labor symptoms.
Braxton-Hicks contractions are harmless and are merely “practice” contractions that your body goes through in preparation for labor. On the other hand, pre-term labor contractions are a cause for great concern.
The way to distinguish between the two types of contractions is to take note of their frequency, duration, and intensity. If the contractions are occurring on an irregular basis and halt when you change your position, then you are more than likely experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions.
In contrast, if your contractions are chronic, last for an extended amount of time, and remain static despite changing positions, you may be experiencing preterm labor contractions and should contact your doctor immediately.
On a lighter note, symptoms such as baby brain may become especially pervasive during this time. You may feel like you’re forgetting everything, from important tasks to oopsy moments like leaving your keys in the front door.
Resulting from the shrinking in the overall volume of brain cells, baby brain is an extremely common condition for pregnant women in their third trimester. Not a cause for concern, baby brain is temporary, and your brain cells will revert back to a normal state within a few months after giving birth.
At-a-Glance Chart of Common Week 31 Pregnancy Symptoms
|Hip pain due to the loosening of ligaments in the pelvic area relaxing the pelvic bones to the point of pain.
Hip pain becomes very noticeable during this time in pregnancy and may continue to increase in severity as your pregnancy progresses towards the big day.
|Symphysis pubis dysfunction is a frequently occurring condition that is a result of severe loosening of the pelvic bones. This condition can be improved by using a “birth ball” or taking a position on your hands and knees to take the weight of your belly off your pelvic area|
|Exhaustion; feelings of malaise||Mood swings|
|Compulsive nesting tendencies||Hemorrhoids|
|Severely impacted sleep||Gas|
|Mood swings; emotional peaks and valleys||Chronic nausea and vomiting|
|Breathlessness: May increase in severity as your baby begins its descent into your pelvic area. This condition may continue up until giving birth.||Increased back and pelvic area pain|
|Leg cramps||An increase in Braxton-Hicks contractions|
|Anxiety, nervousness, fear, agitation||Significant increase in frequency of urination|
Your Baby’s Health and Status
31 Weeks Pregnant
Working overtime during this period in your pregnancy, thebaby is maturing faster than ever.
Your little one is rapidly learning how to process information and the innumerable signals being sent from all five senses.
While in the process of becoming more intelligent as the days go by, your baby is busy engaging in all sorts of activities such as pedaling their feet, sucking on their thumb, making faces, swallowing, breathing, hiccupping, waving their hands about, and even turning their head from side to side.
On the precipice of a massive growth spurt, your baby is well on its way to becoming a full-fledged baby, ready to exit your womb and experience the world at large.
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
31 Weeks Pregnant
- Brace yourself; baby is going to put on another two pounds in the coming weeks, and your aches and pains may increase in severity
- If you are experiencing symptoms of breathlessness, gentle low-impact exercise may provide you with some relief
- Don’t stress out too much about your baby brain symptoms. It’s par for the course in pregnancy. Stay organized by writing things down and using the many useful aspects of your smartphone such as the calendar, reminder settings, alarm settings and more
- Mitigate your back pain and body aches by delegating any heavy lifting and intensive tasks or chores to your partner, friends, or family. Maternity belts are also a great option to help relieve backache symptoms
To-Do List and Reminders
31 Weeks Pregnant
- Decide on the type of birth you will be having. Whether you are intent on using pain medication, an unmedicated, drug-free approach, or even having a caesarean birth, make sure that you are well-informed about the route you plan on taking
- Sign up for a childbirth class if you haven’t done so already. Childbirth classes are extremely valuable resources for pregnant women and their partners. Offering insights far beyond what you might expect, these classes cover pain-relief options for labor such as epidurals, medication, spinals, and a variety of drug-free approaches. Also offering a range of relaxation techniques, these classes are an outstanding resource for preparing both you and your partner for the upcoming big day
- Pack a bag for the hospital to be ready for your due date. Include a change of clothing, toothbrush, toothpaste, healthy snacks, slippers, a comfortable pillow, cozy blanket, nursing bra, and a camera.
- Stay vigilant in looking out for pre-eclampsia symptoms
- Invest in flat shoes with plenty of support to assist with clumsiness
- Decide you will be in the room with you during labor
- Research options for pain relief during labor
- Ensure that your health insurance is in place and is accepted by the hospital or service you will be using for birth
Pre-term labor contractions: Occurring in about twelve percent of all pregnancies, preterm labor and its corresponding contractions are a result of uterine contractions causing the opening to the cervix to open early.
As a result, the baby is born prematurely and at risk for a range of health problems such as immature, underdeveloped lungs, difficulty in the regulation of body temperature, impaired feeding, and impacted weight gain.
Many preterm babies will require intensive care, a range of medications, and even surgery.
Cool Things to Know About Week 31 in Pregnancy
- Fast approaching the big day, your baby is quickly growing within your womb and will reach its official birth weight. From this point until you give birth, baby will gain about three to five more pounds