31 Weeks Pregnant Baby Size

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. If you’re 31 weeks pregnant with twins, check out our twin pregnancy week-by-week guide to find out more about what your little ones are up to.

The Size of the Fetus at 31 Weeks Pregnant

At 31 weeks, the average fetus is about the size of a coconut. Check out the illustration below for a glimpse at how your baby may be positioned at 31 weeks.

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

At 31 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • 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." Download our fetal movement handy tracker and learn more about this process.

  • Feeling exhausted. 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.

31 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • As your belly grows, you may be struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position. Experts recommend lying on your side with one or both knees bent. You could also place one pillow between your knees and another under your belly, or go for one of those full-length pregnancy pillows for added comfort. Discover the best pregnancy pillows according to Pampers Parents.

  • You may be wondering if sex during pregnancy is safe now that your belly is getting bigger. If your pregnancy is normal and both you and your partner feel comfortable, it is safe to have sex even in the third trimester. Finding a comfortable position may take a little time, but experiment and find out what works for you. Ask your healthcare provider if you’re at all worried about sex or have any questions.

  • Now could be a good time to start to think about whether you plan to breastfeed or formula feed. Talk to your healthcare provider or lactation consultant about your choice, and ask any questions you may have. If you plan to breastfeed, you might also like to attend lactation classes. If you’re unsure, your provider will be able to talk you through any equipment you may need to get, like a breast bump and bottles, and where to buy them. If you plan to formula feed, you can also ask for advice on what formula might be best for your baby. You still have time to figure this out, and you may only decide what works for you once your baby is born, but it can’t hurt to give this topic some thought.

  • If it’s something you might like to try, read up on how to prepare for a natural delivery– in other words, giving birth with little to no medical intervention. If it’s something you find appealing and your healthcare provider also thinks it could be a safe option for you based on your personal situation, start thinking about what alternative pain relief options you might like to try and how best your birth partner, midwife, or doula can support you during labor.

  • Still stuck on what to call your little one? Consider throwing a baby naming party so that your friends and family can help you create or a shortlist or pick the perfect name.

31 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • Are there any extra nutrients you might need at this stage of pregnancy?

  • What is the risk of your baby being born prematurely?

  • Is your blood pressure within an acceptable range? What can you do if your blood pressure is too low or too high?

  • Who can you call if you’re concerned about anything outside of your healthcare provider’s work hours?

  • When should you stop working? Is there anything you should or shouldn’t do at work at this stage?

  • How can you fasten your seatbelt now that your belly is so big?

  • Is a VBAC (a vaginal birth after a cesarean delivery) an option for you based on your personal situation and medical history?

  • At 31 weeks pregnant, what symptoms should you not ignore? Although your healthcare provider is best-placed to answer this question, this article covers some of the warning signs you should not ignore during pregnancy.

31 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Decide who you would like to be with you for support during labor. It could be a doula — a non-medical professional who can give you emotional and practical support during labor and childbirth — or it could be your partner, best friend, or family member.

  • Although you may have already discussed maternity leave with your employer, now could be a good time to revisit your plans and start to share your workload with your colleagues so that crucial tasks aren’t left to the last minute.

  • Have a little fun with exploring What’s Your Pregnancy Personality? and Can You Tell Pregnancy Fact From Fiction? Take our quizzes to find out!

  • Check if there’s any paperwork you still need to organize for your maternity leave, and have your partner do the same should he be taking paternity leave.

  • If you have a little time this week, check out the lists of best baby products as voted by Pampers Parents. Whether you’re wondering which is the best crib or car seat, or which is the best baby bottle or breast pump – Pampers Parents have you covered.

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