31 Weeks Pregnant
You may be getting more excited as you get closer to your due date. Keep in mind, a due date is not written in stone. Only a small percentage of babies are born on their actual due date. You could go into labor a few weeks before or a week or so after your due date. It’s best to use the next several weeks to prepare for your baby in case his arrival is a bit sooner than expected.
What’s happening with your body?
Some of the symptoms you had during your first trimester may return, such as fatigue and increased urination. You might also notice certain things including back and leg pain are a bit worse. A supportive bra may help decrease back pain. Also, your growing belly can lead to poor posture and also contribute to back and neck pain.
To keep your back in proper alignment when standing, straighten your upper back, so your shoulders and hips are aligned. You may have to tilt your pelvis under a bit to maintain proper alignment.
You might have gained anywhere from 21 to 26 pounds by now. But if it’s a little more, don’t stress. Your healthcare provider will let you know if there is a problem with your weight gain.
At some point in the next few weeks, the nesting instinct may kick in. Nesting is the term given when you get the urge to get everything ready for your baby’s arrival.
Although not all women feel uncomfortable, if you do it’s pretty common. But if you feel a lot of pain or unusual symptoms, talk to your doctor. You don’t want to assume everything is related to pregnancy and not treat something.
What happening with your baby?
At 31 weeks, your baby is about three and a half pounds, although growth rates can vary. Your baby’s brain is processing information from his five senses. For example, your baby’s hearing is sharp and he may startle at a loud noise. Your little one also reacts to light and dark and closes his eyes when he sleeps.
Although your baby will continue to develop his muscle tone long after he is born, he is working on things now, and his tone is improving. He is gaining more control over his parts. For example, he can turn his head side to side and bring his arms up to stretch.
At this point, your baby is taking intermittent breaths. Although she is not inhaling oxygen, (she gets that through the placenta) these “practice breaths” are helping with lung development. Researchers think that the mini-workout your baby’s lungs get increases production of surfactant.
Surfactant is critical for your baby to breathe after she is born. It is a substance that acts as a lubricant and coats the lining of your baby’s tiny air sacs. It keep the lungs open and helps your baby breath.
Things to keep in mind
You might still have lots to do before your baby is born. One thing you want to have in place is her room. Even if your baby will be bunking with you for the first few months, it’s a good idea to set of your baby’s nursery now before things get even busier.
They say when buying a home location is everything. That may also be true for planning which room to use as your nursery. You might want something close, so it’s convenient for all those middle of the night feedings. But you also might not want your baby’s room too close to a sibling’s room who may get woken up by crying.
Once you pick a spot, you want to combine cuteness with functionality. Consider basic items you’ll need, such as a crib, rocker and a dresser. If space is tight, you can place a changing mat on top of the dresser instead of a separate changing table. Make sure furniture is arranged in a convenient manner for middle of the night feedings. You don’t want to be stumbling around in dim light bumping into things.
Now it’s time to get to the fun part, decorating your baby’s room. You have so many themes to choose from, or you can do no theme at all. It might be fun to add a mural, self-stick borders or personal touches, such as family photos and keepsakes. Mix and match furniture, paint the room a bring color or keep it simple. There are no set rules, so do what feels right for you.