By this time you’re 31 weeks pregnant, you’re probably adjusted to the reality of having a protruding belly, and you’ve come to enjoy the feeling of your baby’s activities inside the amniotic comfort of your womb.
All eyes are on you and your eyes are on your baby, as it grows, matures and gets ready for transition to life outside the womb. So, how does your baby look in pregnancy week 31 and what changes can you expect in your life?
Your baby weighs nearly 3.5 pounds in pregnancy week 31 and measures about 18 inches long from head to toe. Well into your pregnancy week thirty-one, you may find your baby’s movements slow down.
The baby's hard kicks become less forceful and infrequent, and feeling more like jabs and pokes. This is because there is not enough room in the uterus for your little one to move around too freely.
Your baby is fast developing a layer of fat under the skin even as the organs continue to mature at an impressive rate. It can, as well, move its head on both sides now.
Breathlessness or shortness of breath is one of the major symptoms you may experience as your belly gets heavier. This may last till the baby drops down the pelvis at 37 weeks for first pregnancies and after delivery for subsequent pregnancies.
In order to relieve the large uterus pressing down on the diaphragm, you must rest well. Wear low heeled shoes especially if you suffer from backache. Your softened ligaments may experience strain if you lift any heavy weights when you’re 31 weeks pregnant. If you find moving around uncomfortable, your doctor may suggest using the maternity corset to support your back.
Are you nervous about the fast approaching big day? It may be helpful for you to practice breathing exercises taught at the antenatal classes, you may request your spouse or partner to join you in this exercise.
In pregnancy week 31, you can strengthen your pelvic region through a series of floor exercises. These exercises are very effective as your bowels, bladder and uterus are better supported by a strong pelvic region. This will also ease urinary inconsistence, haemorrhoids and other postpartum symptoms.
You will find these exercises easy to do at this time you’re 31 weeks pregnant, and they also help avoid tear or episiotomy during labor and delivery. All you have to do is to tense and hold anal and vaginal muscles similar to what you do when you hold your urine flow. Do this for ten seconds before releasing. You can obtain best results if you do sets of 21 thrice a day.
When you’re 31 weeks pregnant, you don’t need many tests or physical exams unless you suffer from certain chronic conditions such as blood pressure or diabetes. In such cases your doctor may suggest a few procedures.
You may also have to undergo a few tests this week if you are carrying multiple babies or if your baby is found to grow slower than usual in the regular ultrasound history of previous weeks. Mostly, some expecting moms can be recommended to do the kick counts test on a regular basis, especially for those who are unable to feel their baby moving inside.
Lying on your back, you will be asked to record the time taken by your baby to move ten times. If your baby moves ten times within one to two hours, it’s considered to be healthy. If, on the other hand, your baby moves below ten times in two hours, your doctor may suggest performing other non stress tests and procedures.