Welcome to Week 31! This is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time, as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. You may be experiencing a mix of pregnancy symptoms and thinking about what you need to do to get ready for your little one. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different aspects of being 31 weeks pregnant, including symptoms, what to expect at your check-up, changes in your belly, and your baby’s development.
Your Baby is the Size of a Jumbo Bag of Chips
Head to Toe
Highlights of the Week
- The baby is continuing to grow and develop rapidly, measuring around 16.5 inches in length and weighing around 4 pounds.
- You may experience back pain, round ligament pain, and difficulty finding a comfortable position to sleep.
- As the delivery date approaches, it’s normal to feel anxious, excited, and even a little scared about the upcoming birth.
- Start thinking about your plans for after the baby is born, such as childcare and returning to work.
- Start babyproofing your home by covering electrical outlets, securing furniture, and installing safety gates.
- You are now 7 months pregnant and only have a couple of months left before the delivery.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 31
At 31 weeks pregnant, a woman may experience a variety of symptoms including:
Braxton Hicks contractions:
These are known as “false labor” contractions and are common in the third trimester. They are usually not as intense as true labor contractions but can be uncomfortable or painful.
As the baby grows and the body works harder to support the pregnancy, a woman may feel more tired than usual.
Heartburn and indigestion:
As the baby pushes on the stomach, it can cause acid reflux and indigestion.
As the pregnancy progresses, fluid retention may occur, leading to swollen ankles, feet, and hands.
As the baby grows, it can become harder for a woman to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
As the baby puts pressure on the bladder, a woman may find herself needing to use the restroom more frequently.
As the baby grows and the center of gravity shifts, a woman may experience back pain.
Numbness and tingling:
As the baby presses on the nerves, a woman may feel numbness and tingling in her hands and feet.
As the body prepares for breastfeeding, some women may experience colostrum leaking from their breasts.
As the pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, leading to pain, tingling, or numbness in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. This is known as sciatica.
It’s important to keep in mind that every pregnancy is different and not all women will experience these symptoms. If you have any concerns or experience any severe symptoms, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider.
31 Week Pregnancy Checklist
Attend prenatal appointments:
Make sure to keep all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor the baby’s growth and development.
Take prenatal vitamins:
Continue to take prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your healthcare provider to ensure that both you and the baby are getting all of the necessary nutrients.
Engage in moderate exercise that is safe for pregnancy, such as walking or prenatal yoga, to help keep you and the baby healthy.
Get plenty of rest and sleep to help combat fatigue and keep energy levels up.
Prepare for childbirth:
Consider taking a childbirth education class to help prepare for the labor and delivery process.
Pack a hospital bag:
Prepare a bag with essentials for the hospital stay, including comfortable clothing, toiletries, and any other items you may need.
Create a birth plan:
Consider creating a birth plan to communicate your preferences and wishes for labor and delivery with your healthcare provider.
Track baby’s movements:
Pay attention to the baby’s movements and report any concerns to your healthcare provider.
Check Braxton Hicks contractions:
Keep track of Braxton Hicks contractions and note any changes in frequency or intensity.
Plan for delivery:
Start thinking about your plan for delivery, including your birth plan and who you would like to be with you during the delivery process.
Do stretches to prepare for labor:
Consider incorporating stretches and exercises that can help prepare the body for labor, such as pelvic tilts or squats.
Prepare kids for new baby:
If you have other children, start preparing them for the arrival of the new baby by talking to them about what to expect and involving them in the preparations.
Research options for pain relief during labor:
Look into different options for pain relief during labor such as epidural, narcotics, or natural pain management techniques.
Begin to babyproof your home by covering electrical outlets, securing furniture, and installing safety gates.
It’s important to remember that this list is not exhaustive, and every pregnancy is different. It’s always best to work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy.
Your 31 Week Pregnant Belly
At 31 weeks pregnant, the belly may be quite large and may be causing some physical discomfort. The size of the belly can vary from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy, but in general, the baby and uterus will have grown significantly in the past few weeks.
As the belly grows, a woman may experience back pain, round ligament pain, and difficulty finding a comfortable position to sleep. The growing uterus can also put pressure on the bladder, causing increased urination, and the baby may be pushing on the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica.
To take care of the belly at this stage of pregnancy, it is important to pay attention to the baby’s movements, wear comfortable clothing and support garments, and engage in moderate exercise that is safe for pregnancy. A woman should also make sure to get enough rest and sleep, and to avoid activities that may put the baby at risk such as heavy lifting or contact sports.
It’s also important to keep the skin of the belly moisturized and to avoid any lotions or oils that may cause itching or irritation. Wearing loose and comfortable clothes will also help to avoid any discomfort.
Baby Development at 31 Weeks
At 31 weeks pregnant, the baby is continuing to grow and develop rapidly. The baby’s length is around 16.5 inches and weighs around 4 pounds. The baby’s head and body are now proportionate, and the baby’s bones are continuing to harden. The baby’s lungs and central nervous system are also continuing to mature.
The baby’s skin is becoming less translucent and more opaque, and the baby’s hair and nails are starting to form. The baby’s eyes can move and blink, and the baby can even dream. The baby’s senses are also developing, and the baby can hear and recognize familiar voices.
The baby’s movements are becoming more coordinated and purposeful, and the baby is starting to settle into a head-down position in preparation for birth. The baby’s head is also starting to engage in the pelvis, which is the first step in the descent through the birth canal.
Special considerations at this stage include the baby’s position in the uterus, which should be monitored by the healthcare provider, as well as the baby’s growth and development. The healthcare provider will also be monitoring for signs of preterm labor and any potential problems that may arise.
How Many Months is 31 Weeks Pregnant?
31 weeks pregnant is around 7 months and 2 weeks pregnant. You are now in the final stretch of your pregnancy and will soon be meeting your little one.
Being 31 weeks pregnant can be both exciting and challenging. It’s important to take care of yourself and your baby during this time by staying active, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough rest. You may also want to start preparing for the arrival of your baby by creating a checklist of things you need to do before they arrive. As you move into the final weeks of your pregnancy, try to relax and enjoy this special time as you prepare to meet your little one!
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.