pregnancy fetus 31 weeks

Your baby, your body, your partner and the prenatal visit, plus tips for the 31st week of pregnancy.

Your baby

Growth is beginning to slow down a bit. As space tightens, your baby is now developing at a slower rate. All necessary body functions are working perfectly, and time spent in the uterus at this point is all about lung development and weight gain.

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Your body

As fetal growth begins to slow down, abdominal growth takes off. It is about the 31st week of gestation that many people start asking pregnant women when they are due. This will continue until the 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.

At the prenatal visit

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.

From week 31 on, the fetus will have less and less room. This could mean you may be feeling your baby move less often. If you are concerned about fetal movements, call your doctor to help ease any concerns. 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.

Your partner

Much of the pressure of daily household chores, driving, and simply listening will be on the top of the 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, and are likely starting to feel achy, exhausted, and possibly cranky. It is important to listen and not judge when it comes to a partner’s complaints about being pregnant. Try to support her emotionally as well as physically and let her know what a good job she is doing.

Tips for this week

As the bones develop and grow stronger, calcium needs to increase. You need to make sure you 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 you are a vegetarian, alternate sources of calcium can be found in fortified foods like cereals and grains.

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.

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