illustration of developing human baby at 31 weeks

31 weeks pregnant

For information about weeks 28 to 31 of 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 3.5-4 pounds, though they could still grow about 3-5 more in the coming weeks. Your baby is also more flexible in their joints and their neck, allowing them to do that much more moving around in your womb and turn their head with ease. 

Baby is also working on some final preparations prior to delivery, as their senses are now intact, they continue to add on that baby fat, and their immune system is nearly ready to fight and prevent illness all on its own — Baby will just needs some time outside of the womb for it to fully develop.

Your little one’s brain and nerves also continue to develop under what is still a very soft head, which is still quite soft because 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 fontanels, won’t close until Baby is about two years old.

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. 

You might also notice a bit of yellowish discharge that’s thicker than milk leaking from your breasts. This means they’ve already started to produce colostrum. Colostrum is designed to be Baby’s first super-food, packed with antibodies to provide them 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 to soak the colostrum up. If you haven’t noticed any leaking that is completely normal too. 

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

And since Baby will be joining your family sooner that you think, as you approach your due date, you should prepare a bag packed with clothes, toiletries, and anything else you may need for a short stay at the hospital or birthing center. This is also a good time to see if the facility where you plan to deliver requires or allows pre-registration. Pre-registration can help you cut out the time spent filling out paperwork when 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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