Pregnancy
31 weeks pregnantHeres what you need to know

Your midwife will be monitoring your baby’s position in the uterus

The baby won’t have settled into her final birth position just yet, but an assessment of how she’s lying will be made at every routine check-up. There’s still room in the uterus for your baby to exercise her limbs and she’s getting much stronger and more active. You’ll know all about it! As your bump gets bigger, it may become more difficult to be very active and to get comfortable when you’re sitting or lying down.

 

1.The baby’s movements are mainly from side to side, and you won’t know where to expect the kicks to come from.

 

 

2.The skin starts to look pinker and less translucent.

 

 

3.Creases can be seen in the skin of the wrists and the palms of the hands.

 

 

4.At 32 weeks the average crown to heel length is 42.4cm (16.7in) and the average weight is 1.7kg (3.8lb).

 

 

5.Increasing layers of fat and muscle are rounding out the baby’s body, and she looks a little less skinny.

 

 

6.The baby is likely to be near her maximum length now, as her bones have almost reached their full pre-birth growth.

 

You may be starting to feel like you’ve been pregnant forever. These last eight weeks can become tiresome, but remember that every week brings you one step closer to the arrival of your little one. By this week your baby should weigh approximately 1.8-2 kg.

What are you about to experience?

The top of your uterus can now be felt about 5 inches above your belly button. Because the top of your uterus is so high, you may have trouble breathing. This is due to the pressure that the growing uterus is placing on your lungs. This same pressure may also cause increased amount of heartburn. It’s normal to gain weight at this point. Keep your meal choices healthy, by opting for fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins instead of fried or sweets.

Your baby’s development

Your baby is growing longer and getting heavier day-by-day. The toenails and fingernails have formed. While your baby’s bones have formed, they’re still soft. Your baby’s lungs are also still in the final development stages. Good news: if you have an ultrasound scheduled this week, you may be able to see a bit of hair on your baby’s head.

Changes in you

You are probably used to many of the symptoms you’re likely to experience this week.

  • Itchy tummy: That swelling belly is getting itchier by the day, as the skin stretches and dries out. If applying creams and moisturizers doesn’t help, try calamine lotion. Or add oatmeal to your bath and have a soak in warm (not hot) water.
  • Dizziness: Feeling faint or light-headed can be a result of any number of things, including low blood sugar. Don’t forget to carry a protein and carbohydrate rich snack in your bag to munch on when you feel dizzy. Granola bars, nuts, dried fruits such as raisins are a great choice.

Lifestyle Changes:

These last few weeks of pregnancy require you to make a concentrated effort to feel cheerful and relaxed.

Hope you're resting enough before your baby arrives. In preparation for that first date with you, your baby is sleeping well, with regular sleep and wake cycles (which would also account for the decrease in movement you're likely feeling these days). So, you maintain your routine as well.

Constipation may be your new friend. Your growing uterus is cramping your bowels, making them sluggish and irregular. All you need is some regular exercise and lots of water to drink!

Nutrition for you

We have stressed enough on the importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy. It is critical for the growth of the baby. That doesn’t mean you completely cut out your favourite foods. All it calls for is some smart diet management.

  1. Omega 3 intake: Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA) is an invaluable nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. This essential nutrient keeps your heart and brain healthy in general. It is available in fatty fish and walnuts. If consuming fish, be sure of the source of the fish so that you don’t fall prey to allergies or any other stomach ailment.
  2. Fresh Fruits and veggies: We all know that fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. This healthy dose of fibre also helps prevent constipation. Carry them around whenever you step out as a quick snack.

Common worries

Your worries in this week possibly won’t be new ones but familiar ones that you may have been going through for the past few weeks.

  • Braxton Hicks: Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, however, they are most common in the third trimester. The muscles of your uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds or as long as 2 minutes. Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they will prepare you for true labour contractions, and they are a great opportunity to practice the breathing exercises you learnt in your antenatal class.
  • Heaviness in breasts: You may feel heaviness in your breasts combined with a feeling of tightness. This is just your breasts preparing so that you can breastfeed your baby. Invest in proper undergarments that support your breasts but without making you feel too tight. Also, if you notice a yellowish or creamy substance leaking from your breasts, don’t worry. This substance is called colostrum. Colostrum is the first stage of breast milk that occurs during pregnancy and lasts for several days after the birth of your baby. It is thicker than the milk that is produced later in breastfeeding. But if the leak is accompanied with pain or discomfort, check with your doctor.

What do the experts suggest?

“If you experience vaginal bleeding, fluid leakage, fever, headache that refuses to go, severe abdominal pain or burning sensation while urinating, you must visit your doctor immediately.”

Dr. Sangeeta Malhotra

Medical Superintendent

CGHS Maternity and Gynea Hospital, Delhi

 

What do some of the moms say?

Let’s hear what moms have to say about what they went through in this stage of pregnancy.

 “I had an extremely itchy tummy. My doctor advised me a LFT blood test – which came normal. So she prescribed me a calamine lotion to apply on the itchy skin. I suggest you meet your doctor when you feel an itch you can’t control,” shares Madhu Malhotra, a new mom.

“At this stage the elders in my family had started to advise me to eat more ghee and fat in my diet since it would help in a normal delivery, but as per my doctor this was a myth. Fats are essential for my health and my baby’s development, but they do not define what kind of delivery one will have—whether normal or caesarean, explained my doctor,” says Shikha Misra, mother to a 4-month old baby.

Seasonal Pregnancy Care

Summer: Get indoors at the first sign of weakness, fatigue, dizziness, light headedness, or excessive thirst. Lie down and drink some cool water or a glass of nimbu paani flavoured with both salt and sugar. This helps in balance out the electrolytes in the body. If you don't feel better soon, call your doctor.

Monsoon: Dehydration is a common problem in pregnancy in monsoons. To stay hydrated you must drink water regularly. Make it a habit of drinking purified or boiled water (in case you do not have access to RO water) daily and around 2 to 2.5 litres. It may also relieve you from headache, nausea, fatigue, or dizziness, etc.

Winter: Layer yourself well in winter as cold can also kickstart backaches and other joint aches. Choose clothing such as fleece which is lightweight, warm, and does not have any fibres that can lead to sneezing fits. Also, sun your winter clothes regularly.

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