At this pregnancy week 31 the baby is quite aware of the noises and movements inside the mother’s uterus and from the outside. The baby’s weight is about 3.5 pounds and is 18 inches in length. Now the baby becomes aware of everything that the mother does that is exercising, talking, massaging abdomen and so on. The major developments take place in the baby’s lungs. The cells that line the air sacs of the lungs secrete a substance called as surfactant. Without this substance the baby will not be able to breathe once out of the uterus. The baby’s skin looks healthier than before now. The skin on the baby’s face looks smooth and the face looks round. 3.5 percent of the baby’s body weight is the body fat and by birth it will rise up to around 15 percent.
In the final weeks of pregnancy the baby builds lot of time in making fat underneath so that it is warm and safe after delivery. The belly continues to expand and the womb becomes much tighter. The mother also feels quite discomfort as the baby occupies more space in the uterus. As there is less space for the baby to move it will move one or two parts of the body slowly within the uterus. The baby also swallows the fluid and might also get hiccups the jerks of which might be felt by the mother.
Shortness in breath is mostly experienced during pregnancy week 31. The uterus now measures 4.5 inches above the navel. Mothers should take things easy and relax when feeling fatigued and dizzy. Some women might also experience leak of colostrums which is pre milk that is formed in the mother’s breasts at this pregnancy week 31. Colostrum helps boost the baby’s immune system. It protects the baby against infections in the initial few weeks of the baby’s life after she is born. Most women experience that the muscle in their uterus tightens every now and then. These contractions are called as Braxton Hicks. These contractions are irregular and last not more than 30 seconds. The most common symptoms experienced during pregnancy week 31 are squeezed stomach, swollen feet, contractions and tightened muscles. Most women experience aches and pains and a feeling of anxiety during this time. During pregnancy most women also experience the nerves getting compressed inside their wrists which are because of swelling, weight gain and hormonal effects. This might cause tingling, numbness and pain.
Care to be taken during pregnancy week 31 are:
A. Women still suffering from heartburn should eat small, frequent meals.
B. Try reducing back pain by getting off feet and elevate them above the heart.
C. Calcium needs of the mother increases during this period as the baby’s bones become harder. Mothers should make sure that their diet includes enough amounts of iron, calcium, folic acid and proteins.
The main sources of calorie rich food fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seafood, grains and cereals should be included in the everyday diet during pregnancy. At least half a liter of milk, green vegetables and citrus fruits should be consumed daily.