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Growth is beginning to slow down a bit. As space tightens, baby develops at a slower rate. All necessary body functions are working perfectly, time spent in the uterus at this point is all about lung development and weight gain.
As fetal growth begins to slow down, abdominal growth takes off. It is about the 31st week of gestation that people start asking pregnant women when they are due. This will continue until baby is born. The uterus now extends more than four inches above the belly button. Internal organs are moving about to make room for the growing fetus. This can cause aches, pains and difficulty with digestion and constipation. Frequent urination is also a problem as more and more pressure is placed on the bladder.
Women pregnant with multiples need to choose a pediatrician around week 31. Multiples are born early in most cases, so these women have less time to choose than those pregnant with only one fetus.
Much of the pressure of daily household chores, driving and listening will be on the top of dad’s to-do list. Pregnant women may expect the great feelings of the second trimester to extend until the end of the pregnancy, but they are now realizing that is not the case. Dad needs to listen and never judge when it comes to a partner’s complaints about being pregnant.
As the bones develop and grow stronger, calcium needs to increase. Pregnant women need to assure they are taking a prenatal vitamin every day and consuming adequate amounts of calcium. Milk and cheese are great sources of calcium that fit perfectly into a healthy pregnancy diet. If the expecting woman is a vegetarian, alternate sources of calcium can be found in fortified foods like cereals and grains.
From week 31 on, the fetus will have less and less room. This could mean feeling baby move less often. If the pregnant woman is concerned about fetal movements, calling the doctor may help ease her concern. Typically, doctors will advise patients to drink orange juice or other beverage that is high in natural sugar. Sugar has the same effect on the fetus as it does on small children.
Women pregnant with multiples will likely be attending prenatal appointments every week at this point. It is common for multiples to be born between the 36th and 38th week.