Ah! Why does he have to kick so hard? Hey! My baby moves when I sing to him. It’s week no. 31 of my pregnancy and my baby is busy moving around his mama’s tummy. But these aren’t the only changes that occur during the 31st week of pregnancy. Here’s a guide to week 31 pregnancy and the changes you and your baby will experience:
31 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms:
Here we listed out some common 31 weeks pregnancy symptoms you may experience:
- Leg cramps
- Disturbed sleep
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent urinations
- Leaking breasts
- Edema (swollen feet and hands)
[ Read: Leaking Breasts During Pregnancy ]
Changes In The Body During 31st Week Of Pregnancy:
With (approximately) two months left until your delivery, the due date may seem far away. As much as you want the little one to see the world soon, there’s still time left for him to complete his full term. Find out here about 31 weeks pregnancy diet.
- Your body is now undergoing some major changes. For one, you are gaining weight. An average woman would have gained around 9 to 12 kilos around this time.
- You may feel your uterus filling up the abdomen. It’s because it moves up by a few inches, pushing the internal organs away from their original place. The movement of the organs leads to shortness of breath.
- Practice breathing exercises to combat the shortness of breath.
- The uterus also pushes the bladder leaving little room for it to store urine. The result- frequent visits to the bathroom.
- Once you are done peeing, wait for a few seconds and then try again. The action will help you avoid frequent visits to the bathroom.
- Among other changes, you will also experience terrible backache. It’s because the expanding uterus forces your lower back into an unnatural curve. The pelvis also loosens up to allow room for a comfortable delivery.
- Pregnancy hormones and a burgeoning tummy increase blood flow to the veins, which can lead to varicose veins. Take regular walks to maintain blood circulation.
- Do you keep dropping things or often feel exhausted? Blame it on the pregnancy hormones! These hormones loosen the joints and ligaments and make you clumsy and forgetful. To avoid these mishaps, remember to be extra careful when doing things. Slow down while walking on a slippery floor or during a shower.
- You may also experience an increasing discomfort, especially when you are sleeping. Keep a pillow between your knees and below the abdomen. And if leg cramps keep you awake at night, try standing on a cold surface. Low levels of calcium and magnesium also lead leg cramps. You may need to consult your doctor to manage your supplement intake.
- Have you forgotten things lately? The stress of carrying a baby in your tummy along with a lack of sleep can make you feel continually exhausted. The brain slows down and makes you forget things. Manage a foggy memory by writing things down or set reminders on your phone. Ask your friends and family to help you manage things.
- Braxton Hicks contractions are common during the 31st These are also called practice contractions and are harmless as long as they are not painful.
- A white mucus-like discharge is also common during the third trimester. The discharge is normal until the flow isn’t heavy enough or isn’t followed by severe bleeding.
- As your baby pushes itself inside the womb for more space, heartburns are a common occurrence. Doctors prescribe antacids and ask you to mind your diet. Cut down on acidic and oily food to prevent heartburn. Constipation is also a common problem during the 31st Increase fiber intake and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.
- Do you find it difficult to fit into your old shoes? Do your feet and hands feel swollen? The condition of edema is quite common during pregnancy. It starts at around 27 weeks and stays until you give birth. Drink plenty of water and cut down on salty food to manage the swelling.
[ Read: 7th Month Pregnancy Diet ]
Changes In Your Baby’s Body At Pregnancy 31 Weeks:
At 31 weeks, your baby is in the middle of a growth spurt and will be quickly approaching his birth weight and height. Your baby moves a lot within your tummy, kicking and doing somersaults. All these antics probably keep you awake at night, but they signal that your baby is active and healthy. Know here in detail about 31 weeks pregnant fetal development:
- Your baby’s brain, ears, and eyes have developed fully, and he can react to sound and light. It’s why your baby reacts when you sing to him. Doctors often advise expecting moms to avoid loud noises during their third trimester as it may upset the baby.
- He’s not just gaining weight, but losing the fur like hair (called lanugo) that covered his body in the early days of pregnancy. He now develops hair on his head.
- Besides moving around, he’s also turning his head from one side to another, hiccupping and even sucking his thumb.
- His arms and legs are developing and are now in proportion to the rest of his body. Toenails and fingernails are also developed. In fact, babies sometimes scratch themselves inside the womb.
- Besides the arms and legs, other organs also grow; especially the bladder. Your baby pees around 2 cups of urine into the amniotic fluid every day. The amniotic fluid is very important at this stage- too much liquid indicates that your baby isn’t swallowing properly. And if there’s very little liquid, it could mean that your baby isn’t urinating properly. Doctors measure the size of the belly to check if there’s a problem.
- Your baby’s bone marrows are growing too- the help him to produce red blood cells.
- As earlier said, the baby continues to grow rapidly at this stage. His digestive system is almost developed. And so are his lungs.
- Your baby is old enough to form a sleep pattern. When he’s active, he’s kicking around, and when he’s sleeping he is quiet.
[ Read: 32nd Week Pregnancy ]
31 Weeks Pregnant Baby Weight And Height:
At 31 weeks, your baby probably weighs around 1.5 kilograms and is more active than ever. The average height at this stage is around 16 inches from crown to heel. These are just average measurements, and you needn’t worry about them unless your doctor tells you so.
Tips For Pregnancy At 31 Weeks:
The third trimester may be challenging, but it is also the time to look forward to the end of a journey that began nine months ago. Expecting moms usually prepare for the impending delivery by enrolling for childbirth education classes. It involves teaching to-be-moms about labor options, breathing exercises, Kegel exercises, breastfeeding, CPR, and baby care. Here’s how you can prepare yourself for delivery:
- Enroll yourself for pregnancy classes if they’re available in your place. A quick internet search should help in this. And if you do not have one close to your home, don’t be disheartened- we’ve got an incredibly wonderful support system of moms, grandmoms, and aunts to help us.
- Remember, every labor is different and so is the pain. If you are a first- time mom, there’ll be plenty of advice from friends and family; take it with a pinch of salt! Don’t make any changes to your daily routine or medication without first consulting your obstetrician and gynecologist.
- If you are pregnant, you’ve probably discussed maternity leave issues with your boss. Paperwork, if any, should be completed to avoid loss of pay or other issues. Fathers-to-be also need to apply for paternity leave by this time.
- The 31stweek is also the time to discuss labor options with the doctor. While some women prefer vaginal childbirth, some prefer C-section. Recovery time for a C-section is longer than a normal delivery, but it is no longer as risky as it was a few decades earlier. Even if you choose a vaginal childbirth, things can change in an instant during delivery. Choosing C-section over natural childbirth does not make you less of a mom and does not affect bonding with your baby.
- You can also discuss pain medication with the doctor. Some mothers do not use pain medication during labor while some opt for an epidural.
- If you have plans to save your child’s umbilical cord or placenta or you wish to collect his cord blood, now is the time to talk to your gynecologist about it. (1)
- As your due date draws close, pregnancy checkups often increase from once every two weeks to once a week. The routine continues until delivery. Prenatal tests during the third trimester include regular urine tests to check for UTI, preeclampsia, blood glucose level tests, etc. Doctors recommend ultrasounds for women considered high-risk pregnancy. It is done to check if the baby’s growth is normal and to check placenta location.
- It is also the best time to shop for your baby’s clothes and other accessories. Shopping is the best way to keep your mind away from the discomfort that the burgeoning baby bump’s causing.
- If this is your second child, plan fun activities with the first born. Involve them in the process by getting them to feel when the baby’s kicking or discuss baby names with him. Reassure your child that the newborn’s arrival will make her life exciting. Get her to make cards for the baby or seek her opinion when buying things.
- The third trimester is also time for some pampering sessions. Arrange for some manicure and pedicure- sessions you haven’t had the time for during your pregnancy and you may not have time for it after your baby is born.
- Have you thought about a name for your child? Now is the time if you haven’t until now.
- Walking is a great exercise to keep your mind and body fresh. Some activities like cycling, skiing, horseback riding, and soaking in hot tubs aren’t advised because of overheating.
- Doctors may also advise you to monitor fetal activity by counting the number of times that the baby kicks.
- Childbirth instructors also advise pregnant moms to practice concentrating on an object or a photo to focus during labor. Doing so helps to shift focus from the pain during labor.
[ Read: Kegel Exercise For Pregnant Women ]
Tips For Dads-to-be:
Fathers-to-be can help pregnant moms by creating a relaxing atmosphere. Treat your partner to a delicious and nutritious home-cooked meal, watch movies with her, and listen to her while she speaks about her woes. These are some simple ways you can make her feel good. Here’s a list of things that you can do during the third trimester:
- Get contact numbers of all the important people.
- Keep your phone on fully charged.
- Complete all urgent obligations at work so that you don’t have to worry later during delivery.
- Make a list of all the warning signs that you need to look for before labor starts.
[ Read: 7th Month Pregnancy Care ]
Warning Signs Of Preterm Labor:
A normal labor lasts for about 37- 40 weeks. But contractions before the 37th week indicate preterm labor. Babies born before 37 weeks are premature. They need special care at a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) or a Local Neonatal Unit (LNU) and need to be examined for low blood sugar, hypothermia, and other infections. Some warning signs of a premature delivery include:
- Severe abdominal pains
- Severe dizziness
[ Read: Complications Of Premature Birth ]
Bleeding occurs when the placenta grows very low and covers the cervix. Lying on the back, severe anemia and low blood sugar are some of the reasons for dizziness. Call the doctor immediately if you have persistent dizziness or if you experience severe headache and palpitations.
Now you know what happens at 31 weeks of pregnancy. Are you in your 31st week of pregnancy? How does it feel when the baby kicks or tumbles around? Got a nagging doubt but don’t know whom to ask? Share your fear and anxiety with other moms here. We’ll do our best to help you.
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