Pregnancy Calendar Week 31 – Your Breasts Might Start Leaking First Milk
You have completed over three quarters of your pregnancy phase. By this time, your body and mind are now ready to welcome the new baby. This week will give you a hint of the same. Learn more for this week in the below story.
Welcome to the 31st week. By this time you should be feeling heavier as you have added a lot of weight to your body. A feeling of dumbness or absentmindedness will hover around, means you will be a little forgetful. You won’t believe but by this time all the senses of the baby have been developed and he or she is now getting smarter.
Your body this week
Pregnant belly and bodyweight
At the onset of this week, your belly is hindering your daily activities such as having sex or tying your shoes. This is because you have added about 12 kgs of weight to your body. Of course, it is for all the good reasons but yet you have to face these troubles for a few weeks more.
Your breasts are also getting ready, they have become bigger and heavier in size. In fact, they have already started producing the first milk known as colostrum. And by the week 31st you might see that creamy yellowish liquid coming out of your nipples. About half of the pregnant women experience this leakage in the third trimester.
The colostrum will soon mature and become suitable for baby consumption. This breast milk can provide all the vital nutrients to your baby for his or her first few days of life.
While many of the ladies have been already going through Braxton Hicks contractions, some others will only experience this delivery practice around this time. But these are brief contractions lasting from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Apart from this, the troubling symptoms of the past weeks including frequent urination, shortness of breath and leaky breasts will even out once the baby is delivered. Some other symptoms that are continuing from earlier trimester include:
- Leg cramps
- Stretch marks
- Trouble sleeping
- Pelvic pain
- Dry and brittle nails
Complications at 31st week of pregnancy
At this stage if your doctor sees that the baby or bump appears to be smaller in size than expected, then he may suspect the case of oligohydramnios. In this condition, the amniotic fluid is less than the optimal amount. About 4 percent of pregnancies are affected by the problem of low amniotic fluid.
In this situation, your amniotic fluid levels and baby’s heart rate will be closely monitored until the delivery. If it is really a concern for you, then the doctor may ask you to visit every week.
Your baby this week
The real action is taking under the belly. The baby is busy in getting prepared for a new life outside. The vital organs have been completely formed and now sensors are developing at a faster rate.
The growing baby is now longer and heavier and important layers of fat are being deposited under the skin. The fatty tissues not only smoothens the wrinkles and gives it a newborn look, but also help insulate his or her body.
The connections of the brain are forming which is a good thing as the baby has to make trillions of nerve connections. And a major portion of these nerves are already processing information through the five senses including sight, touch and hear.
The baby is taking long naps and until now you must have figured out the timings of its wake up and sleep schedules. If you want to wake the baby, just eat or drink something sweet and experience the kicks from inside in half an hour.
Size, weight and appearance
The big day is nearing and the baby is almost ready to enter the new world. By the end of this week, he or she would be around 16 inches long. The weight is about 1.5 kg or the size of a medium sized watermelon.
Clearly by this point you must have realized that how much healthy and nutritious diet is important for your baby. You must eat small and frequent meals for easy digestion and hence, extracting maximum nutrients. Make sure you add these stuffs in this week diet schedule:
- As your baby has started making his or her own blood cells, vitamin C and iron should now be an absolute part of your diet. Have lean meats, spinach, green vegetables and citrus fruits to get vitamin C and iron.
- The bones and cartilage of your baby are developing at a rapid pace, so don’t forget to add calcium rich diet including milk, yogurt, cheese and soybean for getting maximum calcium.
- Protein requirement also increases in the third trimester. And many foods you eat for protein will also give you a lot of iron as well.
You are becoming a dad soon. This is indeed an exciting moment and this enthusiasm can make you crave for ice cream and potato chips. This is known as sympathetic pregnancy symptoms. Yes, believe it or not you may suffer from anxiety, nausea, mood swings, weight gain as well as changes in sexual appetite.
Researchers are yet to decipher why this occurs. But if any of these signs have become part of your day, instead of popping a medicine for that, ignore it and have honest communication with your partner.
This is one of the critical moments of pregnancy. If by chance, membranes ruptures (water break) prematurely and you undergo labor, the doctor will likely to give you corticosteroids and magnesium sulfate. Where the former helps in lung development of the baby, the latter prevents the baby from brain disorders such as cerebral palsy.
Perhaps you will be off from visiting the doctor this week. However, if you are at high risk pregnancy or suffering from complications, you would have to visit the doctor for monitoring. The gynecologist may use ultrasound to check for complications such as oligohydramnios.
Tips of the week
Getting near the goal is always a nervous situation. But you have to play brave in these critical weeks upcoming. Here are few tips you must follow this week.
- This is the perfect time to join the prenatal classes to learn all the things related to childbirth and caring for the newborn
- Don’t skip exercises such as Kegel to strengthen your pelvic floor
- Drink at least 2-3 liters of water daily to stay hydrated irrespective how it may make your frequent bathroom trips worse
FAQs at 31st of week of pregnancy
What things do I need to look into when choosing a birthing plan?
Make sure your birthing plan include breastfeeding. You must research for a good lactation consultant in your locality, your doctor can be a good help in this respect. The plan may also include your choice of pain relief whether you want to wait and see how you feel or embrace measures such as drugs, epidurals or some breathing techniques.
What should I consider when buying a crib (child bed)?
If you are purchasing a crib for your upcoming baby, then do not buy those which come with bumpers. And most importantly, do not keep toys, blankets or pillows as these things may increase the chances of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
1. American Pregnancy Association. Low Amniotic Fluid Levels: Oligohydramnios. read more
2. The Nemours Foundation. Kidshealth.org. Pregnancy Calendar, Week 31 read more
3. National Women's Health Resource Center. Healthywomen.org. Pregnancy & Parenting Second Trimester of Pregnancy: 31 Weeks read more