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At 31 weeks pregnant, development of your baby’s major organs and body parts is largely complete, and she'll gain weight rapidly during the final leg of your pregnancy. This week, your baby weighs about 3.3 pounds and is between 16 and 17 inches long. Her taste buds have started to develop, and her eyes are open. You may start experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, which are practice contractions that help prepare for labor. At 31 weeks pregnant, you’ve entered approximately the seventh month of pregnancy, and you’re well into the third trimester, so your excitement might be growing now that there’s not long to go. Find out what else is happening this week of pregnancy.

31 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

These are some of the ways your baby is developing around this time:

  • Weight gain. Your baby has now finished most aspects of development and will begin to gain weight quickly. She'll put on about 2 pounds this coming month, and in just about nine weeks, she'll be ready for a face-to-face meeting with you.

  • Losing the lanugo. Your baby may be shedding those ultra-fine hairs that have covered her body, called lanugo.

  • Tasty delight. Your baby’s taste buds are forming, which means she will be able to detect sweet and sour flavors in the amniotic fluid. In this way, some of the flavors you eat will be transmitted to your baby.

  • Cosy quarters. Your baby is now in a curled-up position, and it’s getting nice and snug inside the womb.

pregnancy week 31 fetus

Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms you might experience around this week:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions. You've likely been on the lookout for preterm labor symptoms since the middle of your second trimester. Now that you're in your third trimester, your body may begin to practice for labor. These practice contractions are called Braxton Hicks contractions. They are different from preterm labor contractions and are no cause for alarm. How do you know the difference? If the contractions are irregular and go away when you change positions or walk around, you are probably experiencing Braxton Hicks. Call your healthcare provider if you’re unsure about whether you’re having these false contractions or real labor contractions.

  • Bouts of diarrhea. Some women experience diarrhea during the third trimester, or at another point in their pregnancy, and it's no fun no matter when it occurs. If you do happen to get diarrhea, make sure you drink lots of water, and consult your healthcare provider if it persists.

  • Dads’ symptoms . Moms aren't the only ones who worry about pregnancy and go through changes. Dads do, too. Experts say that as many as 60 percent of men experience some sort of physical symptoms during their partner’s pregnancy. Read up on some of the symptoms your partner might face.

If you are pregnant with twins, read more about what else you might be experiencing at this point of your pregnancy.

FAQ at 31 Weeks

Should I be counting my baby's movements, and how do I do this?

Many healthcare providers recommend that moms monitor their baby's movements once they're well into the third trimester. Here's one way to do this: At roughly the same time each day (if possible, the time when your baby is most active), lie down, and keep track of how long it takes to feel 10 kicks, rolls, or flutters — any type of movement. Many women find it takes only a few minutes, depending on the time of day. If an hour passes without any movement, eat a light snack, lie back down, and try again. If you still don't feel anything, call your provider to double-check everything is progressing well.

At 31 weeks pregnant, are there any symptoms not to ignore?

Although there are some uncomfortable symptoms during the third trimester, many are perfectly normal parts of pregnancy. Complications are rare, but you may find it comforting to know what signs to look out for, just in case.

At around 31 weeks of pregnancy, these are some of the symptoms you shouldn’t ignore. Contact your provider if you notice any of the following:

  • Water breaking

  • Other signs of labor, such as persistent contractions that don’t go away if you move

  • Severe headaches that last for several hours

  • Blurry or double vision

  • Fainting or dizziness

  • Severe pain above the stomach

  • Swelling or puffiness in your face, eyes, or hands

  • Signs of infection (such as fever, chills, or a burning sensation while urinating).

31 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Start looking into childcare options. Whether you're considering a nanny, day care, or care from a relative, start considering your choices now. Even if you're not going to need full-time care, you may want to gather a few babysitter recommendations for special occasions.

If you happen to have a prenatal appointment this week, and you’re considering air travel, you should ask whether you can fly at this point in your pregnancy. You can also read about travel during pregnancy for more helpful pointers.

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31 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Start looking into childcare options. Whether you're considering a nanny, day care, or care from a relative, start considering your choices now. Even if you're not going to need full-time care, you may want to gather a few babysitter recommendations for special occasions.

If you happen to have a prenatal appointment this week, and you’re considering air travel, you should ask whether you can fly at this point in your pregnancy. You can also read about travel during pregnancy for more helpful pointers.

Be on the lookout for Braxton Hicks contractions

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