illustration of developing human baby at 31 weeks

31 weeks pregnant

For more information about week 31 in a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.

Have you felt any Braxton-Hicks contractions yet? These ‘practice’ contractions are totally normal, and they’re just your body’s way of getting ready for your baby’s birth! 

How’s Baby?

Baby might now be 16.5-17.5 inches tall, the size of a head of lettuce, and weigh 3-3.5 pounds, though they should still have time to grow about 3-5 pounds more in the coming weeks. Your baby is gaining flexibility in their joints and neck, allowing them to do much more moving around in your womb, like turning their head with ease. 

Baby is also working on some final preparations prior to birth. Their senses are now intact, they continue to add on baby fat, and their immune system is nearly ready to fight and prevent illness all on its own—although this protection certainly takes time on the outside to fully develop and mature.

Your little one’s brain and nerves also continue to develop. The bones that make up their skull are not yet fused together. This is so that your baby can pass as easily as possible through the birth canal. These soft spots, or fontanelles, won’t close until Baby is about two years old, allowing for a lot more rapid brain growth.

What’s new with you?

Baby is getting so big now that they’re really crowding your lungs, which can make it more difficult to breathe. But if this difficulty is persistent or accompanied by chest pain, you should mention it to your doctor. 

Some folks may notice a bit of yellowish fluid leaking from their breasts. Whether it’s dripping in the shower or making your bra stick to you – it’s normal. This is one sign that your breasts have already started to produce colostrum. Colostrum is designed to be Baby’s first super-food, packed with all kinds of crucial nutrients and antibodies that can help give their immune system a massive boost. If you want to protect your shirts for the next few weeks, consider investing in some breast pads or lined nursing bras. If you haven’t noticed any leaking, that is completely normal too. 

You may also keep feeling those Braxton-Hicks contractions, which might last about 30 seconds. These random contractions are normal, particularly in the third trimester, and they’re your body’s way of preparing for labor and birth. But if you have more than four painful contractions in an hour, this could be a sign of premature labor, so call your healthcare provider right away. Other signs of early labor are leaking fluid or vaginal bleeding, lower back pain, and increased pressure in your pelvis. 

And since Baby will be joining your family sooner than you think, it is a great time to think about packing your hospital bag! This should include clothes, toiletries, and anything else you may need for a short stay at the hospital or birthing center.  Check out our hospital bag checklist in the app if you need some inspiration! This is also a good time to see if the facility where you plan to give birth requires or allows pre-registration. Pre-registration can help you cut out time spent filling out paperwork while you’re in labor. Keep readying yourself for the big day — it’s now just a few weeks away!

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
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