Wow, you’re already 31 weeks pregnant! Different women experience this phase of pregnancy in unique ways.
Some feel as though the time has flown by and they don’t want this magical time between mother and child to end. And others, well, they would give anything for pregnancy to be over and to meet their babies face to face!
Regardless of your own experience, you’ve only got 9 weeks left until you hit the 40 week mark, or 8 weeks until your baby is technically considered full term. Keep reading our guide to learn everything you need to know about this week, pregnancy week 31, and all the weeks to follow!
31 weeks pregnant: Iron baby
No, unfortunately this title isn’t a reference to your baby’s superpowers (although he’s developing a lot of new abilities!). It’s actually talking about how much he weighs: around 3 pounds, or the weight of your average household iron. He’s also measuring between 16 and 18 inches long!
Your baby will be very active around pregnancy week 31. Here’s what he’s up to:
- He can move in response to sounds or may even be dancing when he hears music
- He now likes to pedal his feet around and even suck on his toes
- He can turn his head from one side to the other
- He’s urinating about a pint per day
- He’s getting used to sleep cycles and sleeping for longer periods of time
- All of his senses are fully developed, but he won’t be able to smell until he starts breathing after birth
31 weeks pregnant: Mummy’s slowing down
By week 31, pregnancy may have completely taken over your life. It’s fairly common for women to have already begun their maternity leave by now—but lots of women also decide to continue working right up until the day they give birth! As long as your health is in check and your doctor hasn’t recommended bed rest, there’s no physical reason for you to stop working. However, some of the nasty late pregnancy symptoms you’re feeling might slow you down a bit. Most of these symptoms are already familiar to you, but here’s what you could be experiencing at 31 weeks pregnant:
- Difficulty catching your breath due to the baby pressing on your diaphragm
- Feeling the need to pee much more frequently, as your baby is also pressing on your bladder
- Problems sleeping through the entire night because of hormones and general discomfort
- Headaches caused by tension or lack of sleep
- Varicose veins
- Backache and abdominal pain
- "Pregnancy brain"
- Occasional “practise” contractions, which is part of how your body is preparing itself to give birth (but be sure to contact your doctor if they become more frequent or painful)
- Breast tenderness or leaking colostrum
Colostrum is a kind of “pre-milk” that your body will start producing before your full milk comes in. By 31 weeks pregnant, it’s possible that your body is already making colostrum and it could even be leaking from your nipples. Don’t worry, this is normal. Invest in some nursing pads, which you can buy in baby stores.
You also may want to go ahead and start wearing a nursing bra because it will be designed to be much more comfortable and accommodating. Many women recommend buying nursing bras in a cup size larger than you are wearing right now, as your breasts will grow even more once your milk arrives.
31 Weeks Pregnant: Your Antenatal Visit
At 31 weeks pregnant you will be having one of your regularly scheduled antenatal doctor’s visits. During this visit, your doctor will take measurements of your uterus, as well as your blood pressure. You’ll also have your urine analyzed for protein levels, just to make sure that everything is right on track. Additionally, the doctor will follow up on any test results that you may have been waiting on.
This visit is a great chance for you and your doctor to talk about your final weeks of pregnancy, as well as what to expect during delivery. If you have any pressing questions or concerns, particularly about delivery options or specific policies of your hospital, now is the time to ask.
Your antenatal visit at 31 weeks pregnant might make you even more excited and anxious to meet your little one. Hang in there and try to be patient. Remember that you have many years to look forward to with your child, but this special bond between mother and child will only last a few more weeks!