Week 31 of Your Pregnancy
You may be running to the bathroom more frequently and feeling tired faster these days. And your baby's brain is getting more sophisticated and he's more active than ever in there — pedalling his feet, sucking his thumb and practicing other important skills for the real world.
PREGNANCY WEEK 31
Your Body at Week 31 of Your Pregnancy
Shortness of Breath
Your uterus can now be felt about 4 inches above your belly button. This means that your uterus is pushing all the internal organs that used to be there somewhere else, crowding your diaphragm and lungs and making it more difficult for them to expand fully. Your body is spare on air and will be until your baby drops near the end of pregnancy in preparation for birth. While this shortness of breath may feel very uncomfortable to you, your baby is fine as he’s getting his oxygen from the placenta.
Your uterus puts more pressure on your bladder in the third trimester, giving it less room to store urine. Cut down on the bathroom trips by double voiding: Pee, then when you’re done, pee again. That’ll make sure you’ve emptied your bladder completely.
More than half of all pregnant women experience swollen, itchy veins in the rectum due to the bigger uterus pressing down as well as to increased blood flow to the area. Hemorrhoids can be painful and even cause rectal bleeding.
Constipation can aggravate them, so your best bet at prevention is to increase your fluid and fiber intake and to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, like fruits, veggies and whole grains.
Some women develop Varicose Veins. They are swollen blood vessels, they pop up because your blood volume increases during pregnancy, your growing uterus is putting pressure on the pelvic veins and hormones are making your veins relax.
Some pregnant women find varicose veins painful, while others have no discomfort at all.
It is best to keep your circulation going by avoiding standing or sitting for a long time. Aim to get in some daily exercise.
Your baby's head and your growing uterus may rest on the sciatic nerve in the lower part of your spine. If that happens, you may feel sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in your buttocks and radiates down the back of your legs — known as sciatica. The pain of sciatica can be quite intense at times, and though it may pass if your baby shifts positions, it can also linger until you've delivered. Talk to your doctor about it.
Change in Baby Movements
You’ll feel your baby moving every day now, sometimes with a punch or a kick! and some times with a wiggle or stretch. You can also expect more activity after you’ve eaten and when you’re lying down. You may feel fewer hard kicks at this stage. Always check with your doctor if you feel there are some other changes.
Swelling in Feet and Ankles
During pregnancy your body tissues accumulate excess fluid that is needed to support you and your baby, this may cause swelling in your ankles and feet. Because fluid tends to pool in the feet due to gravity. Reduce water retention in your feet by avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time — and try to keep your legs elevated when you can. Also keep yourself hydrated.
Heartburn and Indigestion
If you’ve got a burning sensation from the depths of your stomach to your mouth after you eat, then you’ve got pregnancy-induced indigestion and heartburn. Avoid heartburn triggers like spicy or fatty foods and caffeinated drinks and ask your doctor about pregnancy-safe heartburn remedies.
Hormones relax your bowel muscles, so they are not that efficient in moving the waste products out from your body. Add high-fiber foods to your diet, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with plenty of fluids, too.
Lower Abdominal Aches
As your uterus continues to expand, the ligaments that support it stretch, which may cause some pain. Occasional lower abdominal achiness is normal, but if the discomfort is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills or bleeding, call your doctor immediately.
Your vision may seem blurrier and your eyes drier. Vision changes are common during pregnancy. Pregnancy changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can all affect your eyes and eyesight. These changes are usually minor and will go away after you have your baby. Sometimes vision changes can be caused by a more serious condition, though, so talk to your doctor if you have blurry vision, double vision, temporary loss of vision, or anything else unusual.
If you find your headaches last for days, are severe and are sometimes accompanied by nausea or vision changes, they might be migraines. Inform your doctor and keep a journal of what you ate, where you were and what you were doing before you experienced each migraine so you can pinpoint the triggers — and start to avoid them.
Round Ligament Pain
The ligaments on the right and left side of your lower belly are stretching out and getting thinner. As your belly gets heavier, the weight pulls on the ligaments, causing sharp or dull pain — especially when you walk or turn to the side. Try to take some rest whenever you can.
Your growing baby is putting more demands on your body, and insomnia may be leaving you dead tired during the day. So ask for help and get help.
Your Baby at Week 31 of Your Pregnancy
How big is my baby?
Your baby now weighs about 1.5kg. Their brain is developing, sending lots of messages to the body. Their eyes are open and they can focus. They can hear sounds outside the womb, and a loud noise might make them startle.
Your baby is moving a lot
Your baby's probably moving a lot, so you may have trouble sleeping with all the kicks and somersaults keeping you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.
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