By week

31st week of pregnancy


The long journey of carrying a baby is coming closer and closer to the baby’s arrival into the world. The process of fetal development is not yet finalized. The 31st week of pregnancy is passing quietly. The mother is already on maternity leave and can fully enjoy her condition. There are no special changes in either the woman or the fetus at this term. Except for the growing weight of the baby.

Table of Contents

What's happening to the fetus?

The baby weighs more than one and a half kilograms, and its length reaches 37 to 40 centimeters. He already looks like a fully formed little man, but he still needs a lot of macro- and micronutrients for organ development.

Interesting! The baby’s head and brain are developing intensively, weighing about 25% of the weight of an adult brain.

There are other changes in the baby’s development:

  • The eyes are open, the baby can squint, distinguish between light and dark.
  • During sleep, the baby is calm, and when awake, twists and turns. He closes his eyes when he sleeps and opens them when he is awake.
  • The skin is not yet fully formed, with many blood vessels showing through.
  • The kidneys are functioning, excreting urine into the amniotic fluid.
  • The liver together with the gallbladder not only produces bile, but is already able to cleanse the blood of toxic substances.
  • Lungs are almost formed, they secrete surfactant so that the still empty alveoli can not stick together, and the baby breathed his first breath of air after birth.
  • The pancreas will start producing the enzymes needed to process food after the birth, but for now it only produces insulin.
  • Often in the 31st week of pregnancy, the fetus is already in a head-down position. The number of movements at this term reaches about 4 per hour.


Interesting! The baby hiccups a lot. In this way, his digestive system is exercising in preparation for its function after delivery. Most women can feel when their baby hiccups.

How's mom feeling?

It is already time for a woman to get a list of things she will need at the maternity hospital from her doctor and start preparing her bag. The baby is growing and gaining weight, but the mother should control her body weight. It is important for her not to gain more than 300 g per week. A large baby, as a rule, is born to women who did not follow the diet during pregnancy. If the mother before this period of pregnancy has not yet known what heartburn is, then in the 31st week, it is possible that she will feel this phenomenon.

In addition to heartburn, shortness of breath, swelling (especially of the lower extremities), cramps and heaviness in the legs are very likely to appear. Blood pressure should be monitored. Moderate pain in the back and lower pelvis indicates that the woman’s center of gravity has changed and her body is preparing for labor.

Important! If the mother constantly feels fatigued, the pain increases, and the swelling does not subside by morning, you should immediately consult a doctor.

At the 31st week, the woman should have repeat tests and receive an exchange card. Spacious clothes are no longer enough. To feel comfortable, it is useful to wear a bandage. But this is allowed only if the baby is positioned correctly – head down. With another fetal position from the bandage will have to refrain.

The mother knows that her baby is already expressing his opinion about what is happening from the outside. If he does not like something, he shows a reaction with strong pushes. Mom constantly maintains voice contact with her baby, but avoids loud noises so as not to frighten him. In turn, the baby also senses his mother’s condition, and if she is upset or depressed, he will react.

Ultrasound diagnosis is not mandatory, but it is desirable at this term, so that the doctor can determine the parameters of the baby: weight, height and so on. In addition, the doctor finds out what is the degree of maturity of the placenta, whether the content of amniotic fluid is normal.

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