Hello, darlings! How is the baby bump treating you? I hope it’s not too rough on you and that you are well. In any case, very soon you will be holding your precious baby, and all that is hard on you now will soon be forgotten.
Fetus development at the 31 weeks ultrasound
At this stage, your baby is weighing around 3.5 pounds (1,6 kg) and is 16.6 inches (42 cm) in length. A little more than last week. And still, your baby will more than double his/her weight between now and birth. He/She continues to grow, as it should be.
Lungs and digestive tract are almost fully matured, and since almost all organs are fully developed and functional by now, the baby’s growth will mostly focus on maturing these organs, growing muscle mass and fat stores.
There will not be too many novelties in these next few weeks, precisely because your baby is almost ‘cooked.’ However, there are a few ‘fine-tuning’ aspects that are important. For example, your baby can now open his/her eyes better, and the irises are responsive to light, contracting and dilating as required. Even though your baby can now make the difference between night and day, unfortunately, the sleep schedule will not be accordingly, so don’t get your hopes up
Don’t be surprised if your baby will be jumping up and down when you are near something that makes really loud noises. He or she will startle when this is the case. Also, your baby may move to the rhythm of certain music. Research studies with heart rates show that babies even manifest preferences for certain genres. You can see if your baby has the same music preferences as you or as your partner. May the best win!
Symptoms at week 31
Let’s move the spotlight to you now! You may feel more tired than ever before. Even if you have been energetic so far, it will inevitably get to you. It’s only natural as you are getting bigger and heavier. However, remember that exercise is still essential for your health. Try to do activities that don’t require maximum effort, like swimming, stretching or walking. The most important thing remains listening to your body. Rest when you need it, especially if you are having trouble sleeping at night, but under no circumstances turn into a couch potato.
Your weight gain should be somewhere between 21 and 28 pounds (9.5 and 12,5 kg), depending on your metabolism. I must emphasize again on the eating. Don’t eat for two! It is a stupid saying used as an excuse to overeat. Keeping a healthy diet is enough. Or must I remind you that 200 extra calories per day during pregnancy are enough? Anything more than that is called an excess, and it’s unhealthy.
You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions around this time. They are also called ‘practice contractions’ and should not be painful. But if you feel pain or too much discomfort, I advise you to talk to your midwife.
Digestive system problems are ‘the usual’ by now. Heartburn is caused by the fact that there is a large amount of pressure on your tummy. Your midwife may prescribe you some antacids. Other issues such as constipation and wind can easily be remedied with the proper diet.
Until next time, take care of yourself…and the bump!