31 Weeks Pregnant

By (embryologist) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 12/11/2014

In this moment you’ve reached the eighth month of pregnancy. Your belly is very rounded and takes up a lot of space, and you’ll find it difficult to move. Sometimes it can even be difficult to get to sleep. Use pillows and sleep on the left side, in order not to press the organs and to be able to rest better.

Provided below is an index with the 3 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Symptoms to expect

You may notice some changes in your breasts. They are getting ready for breastfeeding. If they expel some yellowish liquid, it’s the colostrum: it’s the first substance that feeds the baby. If you have abundant secretions, use nursing pads to avoid getting dirty.

Once the 30 weeks are over, it’s common to feel the uterus shrinking: they are the Braxton Hicks contractions.

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

These contractions take place ever since the first moment of pregnancy, but it’s not until this moment when you’ll be able to feel them.

They are different from birth contractions, since they are not painful and don’t increase in frequency or intensity.

If you feel a stabbing pain and contractions that are more and more frequent, visit your doctor urgently, since it could be due to a preterm labour. Up to week 37 it’s considered a preterm or premature labour.

Changes in the baby

Your son or daughter is stocking up fat under his skin, in order to be able to keep his temperature stable on his own when he is born.

The skin of the baby, that used to be wrinkled, will begin to stretch acquiring a more similar appearance to the one it will have after labour.

The brain development is also taking place, as well as the maturation of the central nervous system. The kidneys of the baby begin to work and they are able to filter approximately half a liter of urine daily.

The respiratory system carries on developing with the production of the surfactant substance, so that the lungs are able to expand and contract themselves. The bones of the baby are formed, but the calcium and phosphor interact to complete their development.

Even though you may find it difficult to breath, the child is getting enough oxygen, don’t worry.

Furthermore, in this moment, the lanugo (thin hair) that covers his body begins to fall. When he is 31 weeks old, his size will be 41 cm and he will weight 1,650 grams on average. If the weight of your baby is located between 1,150 and 2,200 grams you must not worry, since they are also considered normal values.

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 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Neus Ferrando Gilabert
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information about Neus Ferrando Gilabert
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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