At 31 weeks pregnant, you’re getting closer to your due date!
You’re probably feeling very pregnant by this stage.
In addition, you might’ve noticed your memory isn’t what it was.
Welcome to baby brain!
31 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know
During pregnancy your brain shrinks by about 6%.
Consequently this means you’re more likely to forget where you put your keys or what you went to the shops to buy.
There is actually a good reason for pregnancy brain. Read It IS All In Your Head – 5 Reasons Mummy Brain Is Real to find out more.
In the meantime, take things slowly and make lists to help you to get around brain fogginess.
Don’t forget to make a list for what you need to take in your hospital bag.
You should aim to have this packed by 36 weeks.
This will include practical items for you after birth as well as anything special you might want for you and baby.
Some mothers-to-be like to include items for their labour as well. This might be photos, affirmation cards or music.
Make sure your partner, doula or birth support person knows where to access these and how to set them up.
Not sure what to pack? BellyBelly’s article Hospital Bag Checklist For Labour – What To Pack has plenty of tips.
31 Weeks Pregnant Weight Gain
Your weight gain should still be steady as your baby continues to grow.
Too much weight gain can lead to problems.
Above all, healthy eating means your baby is getting the best building blocks for development.
Of course, you can have a treat but try to ensure your diet is based on nutritious whole foods.
Continue to get some exercise as it will make you feel better.
In fact, movement keeps circulation going and can help reduce swelling in your feet and legs.
Remember to keep the exercise low key and don’t overdo it. Especially if you’re not used to exercising or it’s hot weather where you live.
The amount of exercise you’re used to up to this point should guide how much you do in the future.
However this is not the time to step up your exercise program.
If you haven’t been exercising and want to now, start with gentle exercise first.
Every expectant mother can benefit from a leisurely walk. Take a look at our article on exercise in pregnancy.
31 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
At week 31 of pregnancy, the best way to describe your body right now is expanding.
You may feel a bit clumsy, as your centre of gravity is not what it used to be.
Your expanding uterus is taking up more space, which means less for your lungs.
This can cause shortness of breath.
Try to keep your posture straight and give your lungs as much as space as possible.
You’re probably experiencing lots of Braxton Hicks contractions now.
If these practice contractions become regular or they begin to be painful, it’s possible you are in labour.
Contact your doctor or midwife immediately if this happens.
To relieve Braxton Hicks, try one of the tips in this article.
Frequent headaches are a common complaint during the last weeks of pregnancy.
Stress or pregnancy hormones can cause headaches.
Closing your eyes for a few minutes may help, as well as drinking plenty of water.
Check with your doctor regarding over the counter medicines that are safe for you if they get too severe.
Noticing any discharge from your nipples?
This yellow liquid is called colostrum, your baby’s first food.
Your body has been making colostrum since around 16 weeks pregnancy.
Not all women have colostrum leaking but it’s not uncommon to happen in the later part of pregnancy.
You may wish to collect colostrum during pregnancy for use after birth.
Read Expressing Colostrum During Pregnancy for more information about when it’s safe to do so.
31 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
Your baby’s brain is working overtime connecting up nerve cells at a rapid pace.
Baby can now process information, track light and receive signals from all five senses.
Although there’s not much to smell inside the uterus, seeing your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid.
After birth, your scent will be one of the very first your baby inhales.
In fact, your smell will become your baby’s favourite.
You will notice your baby settles or calms more easily when he’s close enough to smell you.
You might’ve noticed now baby is quiet for longer periods of time.
That’s because he is spending more time in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
This is an important stage of sleep for stimulating the brain for learning.
At 31 weeks your baby is getting bigger and taking up plenty of room.
Thumb sucking, pedalling feet, grasping the cord and his own body and practicing reflexes for life outside occupy his waking hours.
As a result, baby’s movements are likely to feel less like rolling and more like bumps and thumps.
Your baby at 31 weeks weighs about 1.8 kg and he is about 38-44 cm long. He will gain about .22 kg each week from now on and is the size of a coconut.