Your Baby at 31 Weeks
At 31 weeks pregnant your baby is around 44 cm in
length and weighs 3-4Ibs. During the last few weeks of pregnancy expect the
baby to grow another inch and gain half a pound each week.
The baby will have changed position with the head
facing towards the entrance of the womb, and their legs will start to press
against the chest. This position prepares the baby for birth as they continue
to move down towards the pelvis.
During this stage all the bones in your baby's body
will continue to grow stronger apart from the skull. This area will remain
pliable and soft to enable it to travel through the birth canal.
As you pass on antibodies required for their entrance
into the world, the immune system will fully develop to prepare them for the
change of environment.
As your baby keeps growing and taking up space in the
womb amniotic fluid is at its lowest. This means that you no longer have the
same cushioning between you and the baby and so you will feel their kicks a lot
more. Some mothers have reported that it can be painful at times.
At 31 weeks pregnant, your fetus begins to act more
like a baby; they close their eyes when asleep and open them when they are
awake. The uterus walls are getting thinner which means more light is able to
penetrate the womb. This enables your baby to differentiate between night and
Changes to Your Body at 31 Weeks Pregnant
You will start to look and feel really pregnant, and
thanks to the positioning of the baby, developed the pregnancy waddle that is
so common at this stage.
At 31 weeks pregnant, you should also expect your
uterus to start tightening up every so often, this is referred to as the
'Braxton Hicks' contractions. This is natural and it is how your uterus
prepares for contractions during labour.
You will feel a lot more tired than normal, and get
out of breath quicker than before as you struggle to carry the extra weight. Take
the necessary rest when you feel like this, but if you've got things to do, you
can get an energy boost by eating extra portions of nutritious foods such as eggs,
apples, salmon, pumpkin and spinach.
Even at this late stage, it is advised that you remain
as active as possible. Swimming is great for pregnant women as you can exercise
at the same time as having the water support your weight. It is also very
relaxing for you and the baby.
Third Trimester Insomnia
If you find it difficult to sleep when you are 31
weeks pregnant, count yourself as one of the three in four women who suffer
from insomnia during the third trimester. It is caused by a combination of
extreme hormonal changes, leg cramps, the size of your stomach, heartburn,
frequent trips to the bathroom and the feeling of anxiety about giving birth.
There is nothing wrong with early preparation, start
learning about pain relief during labour so that you can decide what will work best
For more information about what to expect at 31 weeks
pregnant click on the following link: