Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 31
How big is my baby?
Fetal Size: crown-rump 28cm (11.2 inches), crown-toe 40cm (18 inches). Fetal weight: 1.6 kg (3.5 pounds).
The eyes are now fully formed and the eyelids have separated, allowing your baby's eyes to open. Once the eyes are open, your baby will start to see and focus (within a limited range).
Your baby now has a fully developed breathing rhythm and his/her lungs begin to prepare for breathing air in the outside world. Sucking and swallowing skills also continue to develop in preparation for feeding. Your baby passes about half a litre of urine into the amniotic fluid each day.
What pregnancy symptoms will I be experiencing?
Your uterus is now taking up a large section of your abdomen. Your weight gain up to and including Week 31 should be about 9.5-12 kilos (21 to 27 pounds).
You are now well along in your pregnancy and you will probably be feeling it. It's important to make sure you get enough rest and slow things down a bit - you'll need lots of energy for your labour and birth! If you are advised to slow down or take bed rest then do it! You don't want to endanger your health or the health of your baby when you've come this far.
You will probably be visiting your health care professional more frequently (about every 2 weeks) from this week on. During your last 4 weeks, you may start weekly visits. These doctors visits are important, as they are a means of carefully monitoring your health and progress, and the health and progress of your baby.
Your health care professional will also be able to identify any warning signs for problems or complications that might occur. He/she will be on the look out for weight changes, blood pressure changes and signs that your baby is not growing as well as it should. Regular antenatal visits will ensure early detection of any warning signs, helping to minimise serious consequences.
Your antenatal visits are also a good opportunity for you to get answers to any questions you may have as your labour and birth draw closer.
Resting and sleeping on your side is becoming more important in order to minimise fluid retention. You may notice swelling in your feet. You will also need to ensure that wearing tight clothing and tight jewellery, or crossing your legs when sitting down does not hinder your blood flow.
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