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The 31st week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mom

The 31st obstetric week of pregnancy, according to the calendar, falls on the seventh month. Mom is already experiencing all the charms and difficulties of motherhood.

The baby increases in size and becomes more and more like a little human being. Now, even through the stomach, he is involved in conversations, responds to voices and can even differentiate the mother’s voice from father’s. The development of the brain is accelerated, because the baby is trying to explore the world through the emotions of the mother.

The size and development of the fetus in the 31st week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 31 sizeThe baby’s height is increasing up to 35-40 cm. Due to the formation of fat, the weight of the baby in the 31st week of gestation increases to 1400-1550 grams. The size of the baby is now equivalent to a grapefruit or a pineapple.

The baby’s appearance undergoes significant changes – the formation of subcutaneous fat is activated and the child acquires a look more familiar to us. The accumulation of fat turns the red, wrinkled skin with visible blood vessels, lighter and smoother. The shape of the body fills out due to the formation of muscle and fatty tissue.

The facial features become more defined and well-delineated. The nose becomes thinner, more noticeable. The neck is longer, a bit thinner. The hands are already outstretched. Fingernails reach the fingertips.

[attention type=yellow]In the womb, the baby turns upside down, getting ready to exit the mother’s body. The grown fetus barely fits in its location. For his own comfort, the baby positions himself as compactly as possible: hands and feet crossed and pressed close to the body. The head is dropped forward.[/attention]

Dramatic changes are happening with the bodily organs of the baby. The baby’s pupils react to light and darkness. Nerve fibers are covered by a protective sheath, which strengthens them and increases the speed of impulse transmission. The development of nerve endings causes the manifestation of pain sensations. It is enough to put pressure on the abdomen and the baby will resist and try to push away the source of discomfort.

The development of the fetus at 31 weeks' gestationThe muscle mass increases and causes active fetal movement in the 31st week of gestation. The fetus tries his muscles in action and moves around so they do not “fall asleep.” The occurrence of hiccups is also possible, causing barely perceptible flutters in the tummy.

Lung tissue grows, the alveolar sacs are lined with epithelial cells. These are responsible for the production of surfactant, which makes the lungs open up after birth.

The attention of the fetus becomes more focused. He is now able to hear the sounds of the outside world and differentiate them. Also, the baby starts to distinguish the mother’s voice, which calms and quiets him down. Sudden noises frighten him, forcing him to move more actively.

The following things have a positive effect on fetal brain development:

  • listening to rhythmic music;
  • walks in the open air;
  • reading aloud;
  • aqua aerobics, yoga, swimming;
  • mom’s positive emotions;
  • avoiding conflict situations.

What’s going on with the mom in the 31st week of pregnancy

Photos of mothers belly at 31 weeks' gestation

Mom’s weight has increased by 8-10 kg. If a woman is pregnant with twins, the weight in the 31st week of pregnancy will have increased by 10-12 kg. Weight gain may be larger than the specified result of fluid retention. Photo of tummies at 31 weeks of pregnancy, you can see above.

So that the presence of edema does not affect the bodies of the mother or baby, it is necessary to consult with your doctor about diet changes. It is generally recommended to eliminate overly salty, spicy, sweet and fatty food. In either case, do not refuse any screenings, because edema is the late stage of toxemia. Complications from this process can cause loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases, the mother’s death.

The risk of edema increases in the presence of:

  • gestation of twins;
  • kidney disease or heart disease;
  • obesity;
  • problems with the cardiovascular system;
  • hypertension;
  • mom’s age of more than 30 years.

The uterus rises and is now, on average, 11 cm above the navel. It stands approximately 31 cm above the pubic bone. This shifting of organs does not go unnoticed by the mother. Pressure on the stomach stimulates the appearance of heartburn, and bowel compression causes general discomfort.

Moms` pains at 31 weeks' gestation

The increase in weight of the fetus in the 31st week of gestation increases the burden on the spine. Back pain becomes the norm, as the spine curves in. There may be pain in the pelvis. The body is prepared for the birth of the child and secretes the hormone relaxin, which relaxes the muscles of the thighs. The bones move apart, widening the channel through which the baby will “enter into this world.”

Upside down reversal of the fetal position means that now kicks will be felt in the area of the ribs and not in the lower abdomen, as previously. Because of this, discomfort rising to the level of pain is possible. To reduce the strength of baby’s kicks, oddly enough, it’s sufficient to just talk to the baby. The mother’s voice calms the baby down and he kicks less actively.

The thirty-first week of pregnancy, is characterized by the appearance of secretions from the breast. This whitish, salty liquid is called colostrum. It includes many nutrients and antibodies. After the birth of the baby it is necessary to feed him the colostrum, to activate the protective function of his body. After a few of breast-feedings, the colostrum is replaced by breast milk.

The increased workload and general relaxation of vascular walls can cause the appearance of varicose veins. The only possible help is a compression garment which mechanically prevent the vessels from excess expansion.

These changes in the body can disturb Mom, and make her feel awkward and ill. The words and actions of loved ones can dispel doubts about her attractiveness, especially since virtually all of them believe a pregnant woman is beautiful. The clumsy “waddle” will go away after delivery, so no need to worry.

[attention type=yellow]Anxiety and fear associated with the health of the child, may occupy the main place in the mother’s mind. The regular monitoring of the fetus and prenatal appointments will ease her mind.[/attention]

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 31st week of pregnancy

 Photo fetal ultrasound at 31 weeks of gestation

In the normal course of pregnancy it is advised to visit an obstetrician-gynecologist at least once every two weeks. During the consultation, the doctor will provide a referral to routine analyses of blood and urine. This procedure is required, and should not be avoided. The medical chart will contain the results: blood pressure, height and location of the bottom of the uterus, and abdominal circumference. In addition, the doctor should set a delivery date.

Changes in hormonal levels can cause specific discharges. If Mom notices unusual marks on her underclothes, she should not hesitate to tell her doctor. He will schedule the necessary tests for infectious diseases and detection of abnormalities in the mother’s hormonal balance.

In the 31st week Mom is already beginning to have regular fetal CTG, which helps to prevent hypoxia or other problems in the baby’s health. More details about CTG …

You must plan to undergo an ultrasound. This screening allows the detection of hypertonicity of the uterus, and to ascertain the baby’s correct position in the womb. Normally, the fetus must be positioned parallel to the mother’s backbone. In addition, an ultrasound in the 31st week of gestation allows time to identify and take urgent measures in case of cessation of the development of the fetus, as well as deviations in standard physical development. Cord entanglement can be seen on the image, as well.

We invite you watch the video of a fetal ultrasound in the 31st week of pregnancy and to view the baby’s photo above.

Possible deviations during pregnancy

The presence of bloody discharge should worry the parents. It can be caused by gynecological examination, or sexual intercourse. A small amount of blood on the clothes should not provoke panic. However, it is a different matter if it is abundant and prolonged. This can be a symptom of placental abruption. In this case, premature birth is possible.

The appearance of vaginal candidiasis is relatively normal. The mother’s immune system is focused on the child, therefore her organism is less resistant to all sorts of diseases.

[attention type=red]Please note that any treatment should be prescribed only after a consultation with the doctor, who monitors the progress of your pregnancy.[/attention]

Diet and exercise in the 31st week of pregnancy

A constant desire to eat is a sure sign of the 31st week of pregnancy. At this time, the mother may have peculiar cravings, such as cucumbers with milk or salty cake. It is not recommended to give in to your immediate desires and overindulge.

It is desirable to eliminate allergenic products:

  • chocolate;
  • nuts;
  • citrus;
  • strawberries and wild strawberries;
  • honey;
  • fish and seafood.

It is also not desirable to use canned products or produce of uncertain origin. For the sake of the future baby is best to replace them with vegetables and fruits familiar to you.

Eat small meals to prevent heartburn.

An overly full stomach presses on the child.

Recommended products:

  • cereals and whole grain bread;
  • dairy products;
  • vegetables, fruits and berries;
  • lean meats;
  • soups and vegetable broth;
  • non-carbonated water.

Weight control can be performed not only by limiting food intake, but also by exercising. At this moment, it recommended to do some easy gymnastic exercises and aqua-aerobics. The physical load during water exercises distributes evenly across all muscle groups. Pushing the body to the surface, the water supports the spine, relieving extra pressure. Engage in any exercise that does not increase back pain, and do not overwork.

Mom’s wardrobe and skin care

Clothing at 31 weeks' gestationClothing should be loose and not inhibit movement. An excessively tight fit, especially in the abdominal area, constricts the blood flow – this is equally dangerous for both mother and child.

When choosing clothes it is wise to pay attention to the fabric. It is advisable to select items made of cotton, linen and other natural fibers. The fabric should be breathable, soft and pleasant to the touch.

[attention type=yellow]Clothing that is too warm can cause dizziness and shortness of breath. Nevertheless, clothes should not be too light, because a flu or a cold are undesirable in the 31st week of pregnancy.[/attention]

An inconsistent release of hormones in a woman provokes the appearance of acne and pore-clogging sebum. Skin care should be limited to timely showers and the ventilation of the room. It is advisable not to use cosmetics with a high content of chemical impurities. This is not the time to experiment with any usual methods of body care. The use of chemical solutions, even of natural origin, can harm the baby, or cause allergies.

To easier withstand stretching skin on the abdomen, chest and buttocks, you must use a special stretch mark-preventing cream that does not contain harmful ingredients. Also, you can try a contrast shower and a light massage.

Sexual activity in the 31st week

 Sexual relations in the 31 week of pregnancyAs long as the pregnancy is without deviations – sexual relationships are allowed. Sexual contact does not make the child uncomfortable, therefore you should not avoid or fear it. The baby is contained in the amniotic sac, and vibrations and shocks will not disturb his peace. The emotional closeness of mother and father only contributes to the baby’s peace.

In addition, the sexual act involves muscles that are responsible for pushing the child out. Thus, a woman prepares for the upcoming birth.

Sexual positions in the 31st week of pregnancy must be safe, and with a minimum load on the muscles of the back or stomach. The optimal position is the woman on her side, the partner behind her.

Recommendations for future moms

  • See your doctor regularly.
  • monitor the quality and volume of your food intake.
  • Wear a supportive girdle. Supporting the back and abdomen will reduce the load on the spine.
  • Wear a compression garment.
  • Follow a daily routine.
  • Walk and exercise in the fresh air.
  • Enroll in prenatal courses, if possible, with the baby’s father.
  • Reduce your mental workload, avoid conflicts and bursts of adrenaline.
  • Do not be afraid of “silent” periods when the baby does not kick. The baby is capable of just relaxing. If such calmness is prolonged, however, you should inform your doctor.
  • Engage in pleasant activities.
  • Watch your hygiene.
  • Gently and without unnecessary panic monitor any changes in your body.

Video about the 31st week of pregnancy

We invite you to watch this video, which will aid in better understanding of the processes taking place inside a woman at the 31st week of gestation. Physicians provide their opinions regarding water aerobics, and other recommendations and prohibitions.

[attention type=yellow]Every woman is unique in her own way, therefore only an exchange of knowledge will assist in dealing with problems. By leaving your comments, you are helping other moms who may be panicked by what is happening to them. Tell us how your pregnancy is proceeding, how you combat nausea and how you react to baby’s kicks and hiccups. And most importantly – who has gained how much?[/attention]

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