What to expect when you’re 31 weeks pregnant
What’s happening with your baby and body
Your baby weighs around three pounds at this point
As your pregnancy comes to an end, the baby will drop and you will feel like you can breathe again
With only a couple of months to go, now is a great time to tackle some pre-baby to-do items on your list
When you’re 31 weeks along in your pregnancy, you are at seven months. With only two months left to go, you’re on the home stretch. When you’re this far along, there’s a lot going on for your little one.
From what is happening with your rapidly-growing baby to how your baby is changing, here’s what’s going on when you’re 31 weeks pregnant.
Your body at 31 weeks
At 31 weeks, you probably feel like there’s an elephant on your chest and maybe one in your stomach, too. Shortness of breath is normal at this stage.
Around this time, your uterus is pushing your internal organs into different positions to make room. This can make it feel like your lung and diaphragm are getting crowded.
As your pregnancy comes to an end, the baby will drop and you will feel like you can breathe again. In the meantime, just rest when you get winded and know that your baby is getting oxygen from your placenta. You can also sleep on your left side, propped up, so you have more space to breathe.
At this stage, your uterus is also putting more pressure on your bladder. You’ll probably have to use the restroom more often. As your baby is growing, your stomach is also getting larger. This means more pressure on your back. This can cause some sleep disruptions in addition to back pain.
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water during the next couple of months. Dehydration can cause painful cramping that may feel like contractions. Water can also help with pregnancy headaches, hunger, fatigue, and swelling.
What’s happening with baby?
“Your baby is working on their brainpower around now. They are working on processing information, using their senses, and tracking light. You can probably feel your baby kicking and moving a lot more these days. If you could see inside, you might even catch them sucking their thumb and pedaling their hands.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, your baby weighs around three to four pounds at this point. Your baby will be reaching their birth length soon. He or she will likely gain another three to five pounds before they come into the world.
You may start to notice more predictable patterns of movement and rest as your baby starts to sleep more in the womb.
In just six weeks, your baby will be considered full-term. At 37 weeks if you go into labor, your baby will have a great chance of being able to skip the NICU and go home as normal.
If you’re feeling any pre-term contractions before then, give your doctor a call just to be safe. Know that it is completely normal for Braxton Hicks contractions to happen more often in the coming weeks.
Preparing for baby
“With only a couple of months to go, now is a great time to tackle some pre-baby to-do list items.”
If you haven’t done so already, you can register for delivery at the hospital. This will help speed up check-in during labor.
You and your partner should also start getting your hospital bags packed. The hospital will provide almost everything for your baby while they are there but you can bring an outfit to take them home in. The main thing you need is a rear-facing car seat to transport them home.
When you can, take these next few weeks to get some sleep. You’ll need all of your strength for labor and delivery and those first few tiresome weeks with your new bundle of joy.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
- The true amount of time women need to recover after giving birth | Living 101
- Pregnancy is a magical and beautiful process. However, there’s no denying the physical toll it has on the body.
- Fitness for pregnant women is tougher than ever | Living 101
- Since athletes train hard for marathons, can a mother train hard for childbirth?