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31 WEEKS PREGNANT
Can you believe all five of baby’s senses are fully developed at 31 weeks pregnant?
Baby’s also getting smarter! In the meantime, you might actually feel a little… dumb.
You’re not! It’s just that many moms-to-be find themselves acting absentmindedly during the third trimester.
Some say that “pregnancy brain” isn’t a real thing, but can you honestly think of another time in your life when you’ve had as much on your mind as now? We’re guessing no.
That right there is enough of a reason to be so forgetful at week 31 of pregnancy.
How Big Is Baby at 31 Weeks?
At 31 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a bunch of asparagus.
Baby’s about 16.2 inches long and weighs about 3.3 pounds.
Baby’s getting so big, he or she’s probably crowding your lungs, which is why you might find yourself winded on a normal walk up the stairs.
31 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
31 weeks pregnant is six months and three weeks pregnant.
You’re wrapping up month seven at the end of this week.
31 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
From week 31 of pregnancy on, you’re bound to feel a lot of the same symptoms you’ve already been experiencing.
Some may get worse, and some may become bearable.
Here are the most typical 31 weeks pregnant symptoms:
Shortness of breath. You might start to have more trouble getting around as you get heavier and more short of breath.
Remember not to push yourself too much.
It’s good for you and baby to get some exercise, but definitely take breaks to rest as much as you need to.
Dry, brittle nails.
Sure, you’re having extra finger- and toenail growth, but that can make those nails feel dry and easily broken.
Some moms-to-be have success with a moisturizing cuticle oil.
This may also be the perfect excuse for a spa mani-pedi.
Braxton Hicks contractions.
To ease the discomfort of Braxton Hicks, drink plenty of water and change positions often.
This will prevent those “practice contractions” from turning into preterm labor.
If you have certain pregnancy complications, or if you’re 31 weeks pregnant with twins, you’re at higher risk for preterm labor.
That yellow liquid is baby’s first food, called colostrum, and your body’s getting it ready for the big arrival.
Your bladder’s just as crowded as your lungs are.
Not much you can do about it except mentally plan more bathroom breaks into your daily routine.
Be sure to keep stretching to ease your aching back.
That prenatal yoga class can help!
It’s no wonder you can’t sleep when your back hurts, your belly’s contracting, you can’t find a comfortable position, oh—and you have to keep getting up to pee!
31 WEEKS PREGNANT BELLY
By 31 weeks pregnant you’ve probably gained about 21 to 27 pounds.
If you’re 31 weeks pregnant with twins, it’s more like 27 to 42 pounds.
Your 31 weeks pregnant belly is getting in the way of everyday things like tying your shoes and sex.
It’s even in the way of your usual swagger—have you started waddling yet?!
31 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
Your week 31 fetus is going through major brain and nerve development.
His or her eyes are developing too—the irises can now react to light!
(A little light does shine into your 31 weeks pregnant belly at times!)
In fact, all five of baby’s senses are in working order.
Baby’s position at 31 weeks?
Head down! At least he or she probably is.
Your OB will check to see for sure at your next appointment.
Women who have pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes or who are 31 weeks pregnant with twins may have a 31 weeks pregnant ultrasound to check in on baby (or babies).
But if that’s not you, you’re off the hook this week.
We know, we know.
You’re just dying to know what baby looks like inside your 31 weeks pregnant belly.
Some curious parents-to-be choose to have a 3D/4D ultrasound done later in pregnancy—usually sometime between weeks 24 to 32.
(So 31 weeks pregnant is the perfect time!)
In a 3D/4D ultrasound, you can see the entire surface of baby’s face in one picture.
Yep, the picture is three dimensional.
The fourth dimension is time—you get to see baby move on the screen in 3D.
That means you may see your 31-week fetus blinking, thumb sucking, and maybe even smiling or frowning, and you’ll probably take home a video of it too!
There are medical circumstances that could call for a 3D/4D ultrasound at 31 weeks pregnant.
But if your doctor doesn’t order one, you have the option of having one done at an independent imaging center.
In that case, the 3D/4D ultrasound is an elective procedure, so your insurance won’t cover it and you’ll have to pay out of pocket for it.
They’re pretty cool to see though, so if you want one, and your doctor okays it, go for it! Aw, so cute!
Your Baby at Week 31
Baby Is Sleeping More
Weighing in at three-plus pounds and measuring about 16 inches long, your baby is quickly approaching his birth length — though he’s got to pack on another three to five pounds before D-day.
He’s also putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you’re probably noticing more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest (when he’s pretty still).
31 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 31 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 7 of your pregnancy.
Only 2 months left to go!
Still have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Baby’s Developing Five Senses
Your baby’s brain is working overtime these days, developing faster than ever.
Connections between individual nerve cells (he’s got to make trillions of them!) are being made at a super fast rate.
He’s now processing information, tracking light and perceiving signals from all five senses.
Sure, your baby can’t smell anything right now, but that’s only because he’s still submerged in amniotic fluid and needs to be breathing air to get a whiff of anything.
Lucky for you — and your baby — yours will be one of the very first scents he breathes in, a scent that will quickly become his very favorite.
Pedaling His Feet and Sucking His Thumb
So what’s your little dove doing all day while you’re busy feathering your nest for his arrival?
Making faces, hiccupping, swallowing, breathing, pedaling with little hands and feet along your uterine wall and even sucking his thumb.
In fact, some babies suck their thumbs so vigorously while in the womb that they’re born with a callus on their thumb (what little suckers!).
Your Body at Week 31
Shortness of Breath
So your stomach feels like it’s in your chest and your lungs feel like… hmmm…
they don’t even feel like they’re there anymore — do they? Movin’ on up at 31 weeks pregnant, your uterus can now be felt four inches above your belly button.
This means that your uterus is pushing all the internal organs that used to be there somewhere else, crowding your lungs and making it more difficult for them to expand fully.
The result: Your body is spare on air and will be until your baby drops near the end of pregnancy in preparation for birth.
While this shortness of breath may feel very uncomfortable to you, your baby is as happy as a clam because he’s getting his oxygen from the placenta.
That out-of-breath feeling may get better toward the end of your pregnancy, when your baby drops down into your pelvis in preparation for delivery.
Until then, be sure to stand as straight as you can (given the weight you’re carrying around) and sleep propped up or on your side so that your lungs have more space to… well, breathe.
How a Baby Responds to Sex
Sex and orgasm can have an interesting effect on babies in the womb, as you may have noticed.
Some are very quiet after their parents have sex (rocked to sleep by the rhythmic movement, perhaps) while others become frisky themselves (hey, where’s the party?).
Both responses are completely normal and in no way indicate that your baby is aware of the goings-on..
just that he’s having fun going along for the ride.
So keep on enjoying your sex life — and your orgasms — as much as you like and for as long as you can (which, with your practitioner’s approval and a few advanced Twister-type moves, can be right up until delivery day).
Pretty soon, jumping into bed together with a baby in the house won’t be quite so easy or convenient.
31 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development
Now that you are 31 weeks pregnant, it’s good to know what’s going on with your baby’s development inside the womb.
Most of your baby’s bones are hardening, but the bones on her skull remain soft and flexible, making it easier for her to pass through the birth canal when the time comes.
At birth, your baby will have soft spots on her skull, called fontanelles:
One will close a few months after your baby is born, while the other will close at about 18 months of age or later.
More developments inside the womb at 31 weeks pregnant:
Your little one’s brain is maturing rapidly.
As a result, your baby may start to regulate her own body temperature, meaning she’s no longer entirely reliant on the amniotic fluid for warmth.
You’re not the only one who may have frequent urination!
Your baby is swallowing amniotic fluid and peeing several cups back out each day.
Mom’s Body at 31 Weeks Pregnant
At 31 weeks, you could be 7 or 8 months pregnant (depending on how the weeks are divided into months) and you are well into the third trimester.
You may be noticing some pregnancy-related changes to your breasts.
For example, you may start to see reddish streaks on the skin − hello, stretch marks! There’s nothing you can do to prevent stretch marks forming on your breasts, or elsewhere for that matter, but the striations may fade with time after you give birth.
As the skin stretches over your growing breasts, you may also find the skin feels itchy.
Applying moisturizer may help ease the itchiness. We’ll cover this symptom in more detail below.
As your breasts grow, you may also find that you need to go up a bra size or two so that you get proper support.
If you haven’t already, head to your local maternity wear store or department store and ask for a professional maternity bra fitting.
Maternity bras often have wider straps, more coverage in the cup, and extra rows of bra hooks so you can adjust the size up as needed.
Plus, you can continue using them after your baby is born! There are also night-time maternity bras that provide extra support while you sleep, and maternity sports bras, too.
Later in the third trimester, your breasts may leak a thick, yellowish fluid called colostrum.
Not all moms-to-be experience this leakage, but, if you do, you can tuck a gauze pad or a nursing pad into your bra to absorb the colostrum.
Once your baby is born, if you choose to breastfeed, colostrum provides your baby with nourishing proteins and antibodies.
Colostrum is produced for a few days before breast milk starts flowing.
31 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Hand pain. You may experience what’s called carpal tunnel syndrome.
This is when the tissues swell in your hands and press on the nerves, causing a tingling sensation or a numbness in your hands.
Typically, once you give birth and the swelling goes down, these symptoms will go away.
For now, using a wrist splint and resting your hands throughout the day might help.
Mention this symptom to your healthcare provider for further guidance on how to ease the discomfort.
Discomfort from baby’s movements.
Sometimes it can also be downright uncomfortable to be kicked and jabbed by your active little one.
On the other hand, feeling your baby move is reassuring, and around now your provider may recommend that you monitor your baby’s movements by doing daily “kick counts.”
It’s normal to be tired around this time — after all, your body is working hard to create a new life.
In addition, your fatigue might be compounded by the fact that you’re finding it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Try to take naps when you can throughout the day.
Eating well and exercising may also give you a little energy boost.
Always speak to your healthcare provider if you’re at all concerned about how tired you are.
Itchy skin. As your belly grows, it’s not uncommon to have an itchy abdomen at around 31 weeks pregnant.
You might also experience itchiness elsewhere, like around your breasts and buttocks.
Try to ease the discomfort of itchy skin during pregnancy by using a soothing moisturizer, and be sure to drink lots of water.