You are now comfortably into your third trimester, your bump is a lot more pronounced and you are starting to think about what your new life with a baby is going to be like. Your body will start to make some drastic changes at this stage, but this is normal so don't worry about it. Keep reading to find out what to expect at 31 weeks pregnant.

symptoms of being 31 weeks pregnant
symptoms of being 31 weeks pregnant

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 day.

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.

Final Thought

There is nothing wrong with early preparation, start learning about pain relief during labour so that you can decide what will work best for you.

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