Week 31 of pregnancy is an important milestone
Congratulations! The 31st week of pregnancy is an important milestone as you continue your journey towards meeting your baby. Here’s what you can expect during this phase:
- Your baby weighs about 3.3 to 3.8 pounds (1.5 to 1.7 kg) and measures about 16 inches (40 cm) from head to toe.
- The baby’s bones are hardening, but the skull remains flexible to allow easy passage through the birth canal.
- The brain is developing rapidly, and the nervous system is maturing.
- Your baby’s immune system continues to grow stronger as antibodies are passed from you to your baby.
- The lungs are almost fully developed, with the baby practicing breathing movements by inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid.
Changes in your body:
- As your baby gets bigger and takes up more space in your uterus, you may experience more discomfort.
- Shortness of breath and heartburn may become more noticeable as the growing uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm and abdomen.
- Braxton Hicks contractions (practice contractions) may become more frequent as your body prepares for labor.
- You may experience swelling in the feet, ankles and hands due to fluid retention.
- It is normal to feel more tired as your body carries extra weight and hormonal changes continue.
Preparation and Tips:
- Get regular prenatal checkups to monitor your health and that of your baby.
- Discuss birth planning preferences and any concerns or questions with your healthcare provider.
- Consider attending childbirth classes or breastfeeding classes to prepare for the upcoming birth and postpartum period.
- Practice relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to manage discomfort and prepare for labor.
- Start thinking about and preparing your baby’s essentials, such as clothing, bedding, and nursery items.
- Stay active with light exercise or activities approved by your healthcare provider, such as walking or prenatal yoga.
- Continue to eat a balanced and nutritious diet, focusing on foods that provide essential nutrients for you and your baby.
- Stay hydrated and get enough rest and sleep to maintain your health and energy levels.