Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 31

Just two months to go before baby comes! Are you ready?

Mothers may notice an increase in appetite as they approach their 8th month of pregnancy. The baby will add a layer of subcutaneous fat during week 31 of pregnancy.

Only 9 weeks of pregnancy to go. How time has flown! This is often the stage in the last trimester of pregnancy when the weeks seem to fly by at almost warp speed. It is not uncommon for parents to feel almost desparate that some of those last minute tasks are still not completed. Is the nursery painted? Have you started classes? What about your baby shower? Have you selected a pediatrician?

So sit tight, relax, take a deep breath and hang on for the rest of your pregnancy!

What is Happening with Your Baby?

By the 31st week of pregnancy, your baby will be adding a layer of subcutaneous fat. This fat layer will help to insulate the baby and regulate her body temperature after she is born.

Even though more alveoli are forming and your baby’s lungs are developing still further, if your baby was born this week, he would be considered preterm. There is still a good chance that he would need to remain in the hospital for several weeks to develop and strengthen his lungs.

If your baby is male, his testes will descend into the scrotum by the 31st week of pregnancy.

What is Happening with You?

Some mothers may have an increase in appetite as they move from their 7th to 8th month of pregnancy. Be sure you eat a healthy diet and be careful about indulging in junk food cravings.

As your baby takes up more and more space within your abdominal cavity, some mothers will experience a hiatal hernia in which the stomach is displaced upward and causes the hiatus of the diaphragm to widen. Hiatal hernias occur in about 15-20% of pregnant women and often between 7 and 8 months of pregnancy. In most cases, the symptoms of a hiatal hernia (which often feel like chest pain or pain in the upper abdomen) will resolve after your baby is born. Be sure to see your healthcare provider if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Are you beginning to have more physical discomforts? Week 31 can bring more discomforts as your pregnancy progresses and your baby takes up more space. Stretching and toning exercises can be helpful to keep you more comfortable during pregnancy as well as prepare your body for labor.

To Do List:

1. Have you selected your pediatrician? If you need help, watch for the latest article on how to select a pediatrician.

2. Continue taking your childbirth classes. No time for class?

3. Prepare your body with conditioning exercises for labor.

4. Prepare a handy resource list to put near the phone for the postpartum period including phone numbers for primary caregivers, pediatrician, lactation consultants, doulas, as well as family members and friends who have offered support.

5. Review signs of pre-term labor and contact your care provider should you have any concerns.

Are you ready for Week 32?