Week 31 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

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Update Date 08/05/2020 . 4 mins read
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Baby Development

How is my baby growing?

By week 31 of pregnancy baby development, your baby should be around 16 inches long, with a weight of around three pounds or more. Your baby has come a long way.

At week 31 of pregnancy baby development, your baby is packing in more fat as they grow day by day. By now, they more clearly resemble a newborn. Expect your baby to grow more quickly. The pace of development will go into a higher gear by week 31 of pregnancy baby development.

By week 31 of pregnancy baby development, your baby’s eyes are now able to focus. Your baby’s eyes have now developed irises that can fully contract and dilate. Along with the development of the eyes, week 31 of pregnancy baby development will also see the development of your baby’s hearing. Certain reflexes and actions, like thumb-sucking have started. Your baby is starting to get some practice in eating and developing those facial muscles as well. 

Another noticeable change by week 31 of pregnancy baby development is your baby’s shedding of lanugo. Lanugo is the hair that had been covering most of your newborn’s body.  

Along with these changes, week 31 of pregnancy baby development also means that your baby’s lungs and immune system are nearly operational. This doesn’t mean your baby is ready to breathe, however. The lungs will be fully functional by around the 36th week. But the 31st week marks that your baby is slowly getting ready to live in the outside world. 

Body and Life Changes

How is my body changing?

Just as your baby is changing and growing, you will be dealing with changes in your body as well. You might find that you need to urinate more often. This is because your uterus is pushing against your bladder. Once you successfully deliver the baby, the more frequent need to urinate should also subside.

Another possible discomfort might come from the chest area. There is an increased pressure against your diaphragm since the baby is taking up more space inside. This can cause slight discomfort while breathing.

Leg cramps and back pain are more common by the 31st week of pregnancy. You may lie on your side at night to relieve yourself of discomfort, with a pillow in between your legs and under your stomach for extra support.

Another possible cause for discomfort for women in their 31st week is hemorrhoids and constipation. Your doctor may recommend possible over-the-counter medications to relieve you of the discomfort.

By week 31 of pregnancy, you might also notice that your breasts have started leaking a white creamy liquid. This is called colostrum. It is also possible not to produce any colostrum during this period. It is fine for colostrum to be present or not at all.

What should I be concerned about?

Your doctor will check your blood pressure when you have appointments. This is important because high blood pressure can be harmful to pregnant women and babies. High blood pressure can also lead to pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a condition where you have high blood pressure as well as protein in your urine. Although only 5% of women experience this condition, it is better to err on the side of caution.

Leg cramps and backaches may be an issue. If the pain becomes too severe, and you notice spots that are warm or red, these may be blood clots. There is an increased chance of blood clots developing during pregnancy. If you feel that you may be developing blood clots, call your doctor immediately. 

By the 31st week, it might also be possible to start experiencing false labor contractions also known as “Braxton Hicks.” These contractions might feel like your uterus is tightening and last for one to two minutes. If you feel that your contractions are getting stronger and longer, it might be a sign of early labor. If you feel that you are going into early labor, immediately consult your doctor.

Here are possible symptoms you might experience during your 31st week of pregnancy:

  • Breathlessness
  • Frequent urination
  • Leaky breasts or colostrum production
  • Leg cramps and backaches
  • Hemorrhoids and constipation

Your Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

If you are monitoring your blood pressure, it would be good to communicate it to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you feel any contractions during this time. 

Childbirth options

The Philippine Department of Health’s Safe Motherhood program seeks to provide safe and accessible pregnancy and delivery to Filipina mothers.  As such, finding a hospital to deliver your baby should be more streamlined. The Department of Health also encourages facility-based deliveries as this can increase the success of delivery.

As mentioned above, your doctor should be taking your blood pressure at every visit. 

Action plan

Here are some things to consider by the 31st week of pregnancy:

  • Pick a hospital to give birth in
  • Try out some breastfeeding classes
  • Read up on epidurals
  • Hydrate
  • Relax and manage your anxiety

Health and Safety

Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis, or medical treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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