Your Baby is the size of a


Your little one is so clever - they can now process information and pick up signals from all five of their senses! Make sure you’re keeping up your water intake and moisturising routine, as a lot of women will begin to develop stretch marks much faster in the last few weeks of pregnancy. This week, your need to urinate will likely be at its peak too, as you’ve got a baby’s head bouncing on your bladder - you’ve been warned!

Week 31

Length : 41.1 cm

Weight : 1.49 kg

Week 31
Length : 41.1 cm
Weight : 1.49 kg

Your Baby is the size of a


Your little one is so clever - they can now process information and pick up signals from all five of their senses! Make sure you’re keeping up your water intake and moisturising routine, as a lot of women will begin to develop stretch marks much faster in the last few weeks of pregnancy. This week, your need to urinate will likely be at its peak too, as you’ve got a baby’s head bouncing on your bladder - you’ve been warned!

With around another kilo or two to gain in weight, your baby has just 8 weeks to double or triple in size! Be sure to keep up your moisturising routine, as a lot of women begin developing stretch marks at a much faster rate in the last weeks of pregnancy.

Now able to use and understand all five of its senses, the baby is developing mentally, as well as physically. One slightly different thing you may notice, is that your baby's periods of being awake are much more noticeable. This is since they have begun sleeping for longer periods of time. 

As your baby is getting bigger, you'll notice an increase in back aches and pains. This is because your back is curving to accommodate the growth occurring on the other side of your body. To try and tackle this, why not try to incorporate some prenatal yoga or pilates into your routine? By doing this, you will not only be able to relieve some of these new-found pains, but it also gives you a great way to relax and focus before the big day.

Your need to frequently urinate is likely at its peak this week, mainly down to the fact you have a baby's head bouncing on your bladder! To add insult to injury, you may find you need to wee even more at night too. This is due to the fluid that causes your hands and feet to swell during the day finding its way to the bladder to exit your body. One silver lining - you can start the day with your usual slender ankles!

Leaky boobs may also be a factor when choosing what to wear at this point in your pregnancy. Your body's getting ready for breastfeeding and is starting to produce colostrum to meet your baby’s needs in the first few days following delivery.

Another thing to be wary of at this stage, is the wonderful thing of 'pregnancy brain'! Yes, unfortunately as you get further into your pregnancy, your brain cell volume reduces meaning you can become prone to forgetfulness and being generally less 'with it' than you might usually have been. To tackle this, why not try noting things down more, either on a device or on paper and try and delegate as much as you can to reduce the number of things your brain is trying to remember.         

The ups and downs of pregnancy are exhausting, but once you hold that little baby and stare into those perfect, trusting eyes, it will all be entirely worth it. Below is a list of symptoms you might experience during week 31.

Crazy dreams: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can result in vivid and sometimes unusual dreams. This is a common phenomenon and is usually harmless. Here’s a guide to pregnancy dreams.

Tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands and wrists: Carpal tunnel syndrome, characterised by tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands and wrists, is common during this stage of pregnancy due to fluid retention and swelling. Wearing a wrist splint and practicing gentle exercises may provide relief.

Swelling in your feet: It's common to experience swelling, known as edema, particularly in your ankles and feet during. This occurs due to increased fluid retention and pressure on blood vessels as your body adjusts to the demands of pregnancy. Elevating your legs and staying hydrated can help alleviate discomfort. Here’s how to reduce ankle swelling.

Braxton Hicks: This week, you might be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as "practice contractions." These irregular and painless contractions are your body's way of preparing for labor. They may feel like a tightening sensation in your abdomen and typically occur infrequently. If they become frequent or painful, contact your healthcare provider. Here’s more on what to expect from contractions.

Foetal activity: By Week 31, your baby is more active than ever, and you may feel a variety of movements, from kicks and punches to squirms and rolls.

Backaches and/or leg cramps: The additional weight and shift in your centre of gravity during pregnancy can strain your back muscles, leading to backaches. Gentle stretching and prenatal yoga can provide relief. Here’s how to ease pregnancy aches and pains.

Heartburn: As the uterus expands, it can push against the stomach, leading to heartburn or acid reflux. This is common in the later stages of pregnancy and can be made worse by certain foods or lying down after eating. Eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding trigger foods can help manage heartburn symptoms. Here’s more on heartburn during pregnancy.

Remember, every pregnancy is different, and not everyone will experience the same symptoms. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to your midwife or GP.

Have you scheduled a maternity photoshoot session yet? If you have any friends who've had maternity photoshoots, then you've probably seen their photos. And we’re sure you have your opinions. There's the usual unbuttoned shirt photo with the swell of your belly peeking out, and the interlocked hands around the growing bump, or hands shaped into a heart overtop the growing bump, all of which tend to be hallmarked images that celebrate the pregnant form.

There’s also the kindred man bump (where he's pressing his belly out to its fullest grandeur) pressed against baby mama's bump image to consider too, along with full nudity and boudoir, versus outdoors and fully clothed. Either way, maternity photos are a great keepsake to help you remember this significant change in your life.

To find the right maternity photographer, ask around! A high-quality photographer knows which angles are best for pregnant women and how to capture them effortlessly. Your friends, family members, and coworkers may have excellent recommendations. You can also search online. Look at the photographer’s personal website and portfolio of work. Do you like the overall feel of their images? The colours captured, and the scenery chosen? Some photographers offer packages for maternity and newborn shoots, and some offer digital versions and will ask you to pay per jpg.

Good maternity photographers are usually booked early on; the longer you wait, the smaller your chances of getting your session booked when you want. And keep in mind, if you schedule your maternity photoshoot for some time during your 38th week and go into labor at 37 weeks, you'll have waited too long. Get it scheduled!

DIY Photoshoot

If you already have enough going on right now, you might also consider having a friend take a few photos, if you'll feel comfortable and have a good camera to use. Let's face it, many phones nowadays can take a dang good picture. Turn yourself into a model and have a fun girl's night in! The best ways to capture the perfect image include using natural light (a flash may make you look washed out) and keeping it simple (there's no need to make a career change of things).

You don't need props and wardrobe changes, nor a staged background. You could also make it a family affair! If you have older children, let them get in on the lights, camera, action. Get your spouse to jump in; or if your partner is a really good sport, take some pictures together! You want a snapshot of life, as it presently is - who you are and what life is about - in this moment.

And don't forget to write in your pregnancy journal this week!

At a Glance

  • Growth spurt: Your baby is rapidly gaining weight, aiming to double or triple in size over the next 8 weeks.
  • Sensory development: Your baby is now using and understanding all five senses, experiencing longer waking periods.
  • Pregnancy brain: As pregnancy progresses, you may experience forgetfulness.
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Louise Broadbridge

Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a registered senior midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby antenatal classes and the face behind instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have taught over 100,000 expectant parents since starting my antenatal classes which have 5* reviews.

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The information on the Your Baby Club website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always discuss any health concerns with a qualified healthcare provider and carefully review all guidance that comes with any medications or supplements before taking.