31 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey there pregnant mamas and dadas-to-be, and welcome to your 31st week of pregnancy! BIG SHOCKING NEWS: last week (at 30 weeks and 4 days, to be precise), I unexpectedly went into labor, and after two days in the hospital, I gave birth to my new baby boy, Bracey. You can learn all about my experience — including my birth story and first days in the NICU with Bracey — in my Baby’s First Year series.
Even though I am no longer pregnant, I plan to finish up this series all the way through Week 42 and stay by your side no matter when you give birth. To present you with the information you need, I will combine current research with my experience over the course of my prior five pregnancies.
Give my own premature birth, I’m even more motivated to insist that you all finish up any major purchases within the next couple of weeks. Make sure your infant car seat and nursery essentials are ready to go. Your baby is coming soon!
Let’s dive into what you and your baby will be experiencing during your 31st week of pregnancy!
31 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
31 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Thank your giant belly for this symptom, which really isn’t specific at all. Everything you do seems to require ten times the energy you used to expend previously. UGH! Things groan, creak, and feel sore and painful. These aches and pains will disappear the second your baby comes so try to hang in there. Stay in the moment and find the joy in the little things, like your baby’s kicks!
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 31 Weeks
Your baby at 31 weeks weighs 3.2 pounds and is 16 inches long. Your baby is about the size of a coconut. Take a big sniff, open your eyes wide, and take a lick. That’s right, your baby has access to all five senses! What a big milestone! Aiding this big accomplishment is the amount of brain cells and connections that are forming at truly incomprehensible speeds.
At this point in your pregnancy, your uterus could be a full four inches above your belly button — it’s pretty remarkable how much change can occur in a few weeks! What else has changed? Well, your baby by now has developed a regular pattern of sleeping and waking, including longer amounts of time in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Who knows what your baby is dreaming about!
Your baby is gaining muscle, just like a professional bodybuilder! Newly-added neck muscles allow your baby to rotate their head. Fat is also accumulating alongside this muscle, giving a full look to your baby’s cheeks and legs (aww, the cute leg rolls)!
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
Perhaps as a result of evolution, pregnant women are more fearful and distrustful of individuals in outgroups.
Eating Your Placenta (Wait, What?)
I certainly did a double take when I first learned about the practice of placentophagy (eating your placenta). The placenta — the organ you body grew during pregnancy to house the baby — has been lauded to have health benefits by some. Yet no scientific evidence as of yet has supported these health benefits and the risks of placentophagy remain unknown. If you’re interested in this practice and already looking up placenta recipes, check out the graphic below and talk with your doctor about your options.
Your Pregnancy at 31 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
The following prenatal tests remain available during Week 31:
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
You’re almost there, mama, so stay the course: eat only what you are supposed to eat, and eschew what you must avoid! You’ve got this covered! Check out Week 4 and Week 5 for more information, take a look below, and come back each week for a healthy pregnancy recipe.
Quick, Healthy Dessert Tip
Chocolate chickpea brownies: Blend 1-15 ounces of chickpeas (rinsed and drained), ½ cup nut butter, ½ cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted), and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a food processor. Add ¼ cup almond flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Process again. Once smooth, stir in ½ cup chocolate chips, pour into a greased 8×8 pan, and bake for 21-23 minutes at 350 degrees. (ErinLivesWhole)
Why Almond Flour? I recently switched from white flour to almond flour… and I’m never moving back. This sweeter version of flour is gluten free, low carb, and full of nutrients. Almonds (and thus almond flour) help reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad type of cholesterol) and are rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your body from free radicals, which are known to lead to cancer and aging. In addition, almonds are high in magnesium, which helps control your blood sugar levels and lowers your blood pressure.
How Many Months Is 31 Weeks?
At 31 weeks, you are approximately 7 months pregnant. However, pregnancy is measured in weeks, not months, since months have a different number of days and weeks.
Week 31 Pregnancy Checklist
- Purchase the remaining baby gear items you need
- Confirm your week 32 prenatal appointment
- Stretch a lot and get whatever exercise you can
- Go to a prenatal yoga class or get a prenatal massage
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
- Opt for flats, not heels
- Keep counting those kicks
- Monitor your weight and alert doctor of rapid weight gain or severe swelling
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists