Your Pregnancy at Week 31by Your Baby Club
Your baby is the size of a coconut
your baby this week:
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.
Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
your tips & to do's:
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 colors 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!
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 cellphones 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!
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.
- Swelling, or edema, in your ankles and/or feet
- Stretch marks and/or unwanted hair growt
- Braxton Hicks
- Tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands and wrists
- Bleeding and/or swollen gums
- Interrupted sleep
- Backaches and/or leg cramps
- Crazy dreams
- Fetal activity
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