31 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy Week By Week
31 WEEKS PREGNANT
Can you believe you’re at the tail-end of your 7th month of pregnancy? You only have two more months to go! When you first found out you were pregnant and learned your baby’s due date, you probably felt like that date was so far away. In those early weeks, it probably seemed like you’d never survive nine whole months of pregnancy – but look at you! You’re into the single digits of the weekly countdown, and you only have two more months before you get to finally meet your little one. The time until that special day is going to go by so fast – even if some days it doesn’t seem like it!
At 31 weeks pregnant, your baby is as big as a coconut, measuring in at about 16.2 inches long and weighing about 3.3 pounds. After this week, your baby’s growth in length will slow down a bit, but he’ll continue to get chubbier and pack on those pounds before birth!
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS WEEK 31
The symptoms you’ll experience throughout the duration of your pregnancy won’t change much from what you’ve been experiencing the last few weeks – so at least you won’t have any unpleasant surprises sneak up on you. From here on out, it’s just a matter of learning the best ways to cope with the uncomfortable and annoying symptoms you’ve been dealing with already.
Here are some of the most common pregnancy symptoms you may experience in week 31 of your pregnancy:
- Dry and brittle nails. Okay, so maybe this is a new symptom – but it’s not a terrible one, so don’t start throwing tomatoes. While your nails have been growing like weeds during your pregnancy, that quick growth can cause your nails to become dry and brittle, making them easier to break. Try using a moisturizing cuticle oil, or just use this as an excuse to go get a weekly manicure!
- Shortness of breath. This symptom will get worse before it gets better – meaning, as the baby continues to grow and puts pressure on your lungs, you’re going to have difficulty catching your breath. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, you’ll get some relief and be able to breathe easier once the baby drops head-down into your pelvis in preparation for birth. Try to hang on until then!
- Braxton Hicks contractions. Yep, you’ll still have to deal with those awful practice contractions. Drinking lots of water and frequently changing your position can help ease the Braxton Hicks contractions and provide you some temporary relief – until the next round hits you!
- Backaches. Your back hurts from all that extra weight you’re carrying around on the front of you. Stretching can help relieve some of the pain. Many pregnant women take up pregnancy yoga to help with all the aches and pains of pregnancy.
- The need to pee…a lot. Your bladder is pretty squished in there thanks to your growing baby taking up all the space, so there’s not a lot of room for it to hold gallons of your pee. From now until the baby is born, you’re going to be making very frequent trips to the bathroom!
- Boob leakage. Yep, you’re going to find that your boobs are leaking even before your baby is born. This is just your body’s way of getting ready to feed your baby after he’s born. Now’s probably a good time to invest in some breast pads.
31 WEEK BABY BUMP
Aw! That baby bump's gotten so big! Okay, so you probably cringe and give the stink-eye to everyone who mentions how big your belly (and maybe other parts of you as well *eek*) have gotten, but stop and think for a minute before you get too upset – that big belly means your baby is getting big enough to come out and meet you very soon! That’s a great thing!
By the time you’re 31 weeks pregnant, your weight gain should be somewhere between 21 and 27 pounds if you’ve got just one baby taking up residence in that belly of yours. If you’re pregnant with twins, your weight gain should be somewhere around 27 to 42 pounds.
At this point, your growing belly is making it harder for you to do certain things that you’ve always been able to do with ease before – such as bending over and tying your shoes, picking things up off the floor, and having sex. When you find yourself getting frustrated about these things, just keep repeating to yourself – only two months to go. While life as you knew it will never be quite the same, things will go back to a new normal once the baby’s born and you’ve gotten into the swing of things.
31 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
As the end of your pregnancy gets closer, the finishing touches are being put on your baby’s development. The irises of your baby’s eyes are functioning now, so they can react to light! Not only can baby see now, but his other senses are fully functioning now, too!
Chances are slim that you’ll have an ultrasound at 31 weeks, but many women decide to go to have elective 3D or 4D ultrasounds done at independent imaging centers, so they can get a good look at their baby up close and personal. If you choose to go the elective route, keep in mind that your insurance will probably not pay for this ultrasound, which can be quite costly – but many parents-to-be decide the cost doesn’t matter if it means they get to have an early semi-introduction to their baby that they’ve been dying to meet for 7 months now.
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING AT 31 WEEKS PREGNANT?
It’s getting harder for you to move around and get things accomplished, so it might be time to call in some reinforcements to help you out! Here are a couple things you can get help with that you should be doing at 31 weeks pregnant:
- Ask your doctor about signs of preterm labor. This is one thing most pregnant women worry about from the time the second line shows up on the pregnancy test – preterm labor. To calm your fears and to keep you from questioning if every new pinch or twinge you feel means you’re going into labor early, ask your doctor to explain the signs of preterm labor to you so you know what exactly to watch for – just in case.
- Get a head start on baby proofing. So, it may be quite some time before you’ll need to really worry about baby proofing your house, but once the baby arrives and life gets busy, you may have trouble finding the time to do it or even remembering that it needs to be done. Recruit someone to help you get some of it out of the way now while you still have some free time.
- Sam C's Editorial Team