31 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Size, Backache and Braxton Hicks

31 weeks pregnant

What to expect at 31 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know about your baby and your body in your 7th month of pregnancy.

At 31 weeks pregnant you’re well into your third trimester, and you can almost see the end of the tunnel. You may be beginning to feel some discomfort, but with only a few more weeks to go this is completely normal.

In the 7th month of your pregnancy, you may notice some yellow-y dampness appear on your top and bra, but don’t be alarmed. Your body has just started to produce colostrum, which means that you are getting ready to breastfeed. You may also notice that your breasts feel swollen and sore, but you can ease this discomfort with a nursing bra and pads. As well as reducing the friction, they will also protect your clothes from milky stains.

Keep reading to learn about everything that may happen to your body at 31 weeks. Think you missed something? Re-visit what to expect at 30 weeks pregnant or head over to our pregnancy week by week guide for more information at every stage of your pregnancy.

Your Baby at 31 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you are well into your third trimester, you are probably being told that you have that wonderful ‘pregnancy glow’. In fact, light does transmit into your womb, and your baby’s developing eyes will be able to sense it. Along with sight, all five of your baby’s senses have now developed, so make sure that you encourage your loved ones to keep talking to your baby bump to form those relationships early.

It is also important to remember that by 31 weeks, your baby should have rotated so that he or she’s little head is pointed towards your pelvis. Your midwife will be able to tell you if this has happened.

It’s a good idea to keep track of your baby’s position at this point, because if your baby doesn’t want to budge from it’s ‘breach’ position then you may need to think about planning for a caesarean delivery. Don’t worry, your doctor or midwife will talk through your best option in these circumstances.

Baby Size At 31 weeks

baby-size-coconut-31-weeks-pregnantAt 31 weeks, your baby is now halfway to reaching it’s final weight, and will probably gain another one and a half kilograms before birth. It measures at around 16.2 inches long, and he or she is roughly the size of a coconut.

Your Body At 31 Weeks Pregnant

As you will have already realised, your body has reacted to your pregnancy in a number of ways that you may, or may not, have expected. Your baby has grown considerably by your 31st week, and your body is doing a lot of hard work.

Backache, fatigue and nausea remain to be normal symptoms, and you can continue to use the remedies that work best for you to ease your discomfort.

As well as your breasts beginning to swell and leak milk as you approach your due date, it is also normal for your nipples to darken and become larger in size. This is a good time to reach out to a lactation professional and other mothers in your pre-natal classes to discuss feeding options, and prepare for you little one’s arrival.

31 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

By this point in your third trimester, you are probably very familiar with the symptoms of pregnancy already. However, there are some new ones that may arrive in your 31st week.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

As your body prepares for the big day, it is normal to experience some false-alarm contractions that may cause you to think that you are going into labour. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions, and they will normally occur after strenuous activity such as sex, exercise or even rubbing your baby bump. Some mothers will be able to cope with these from home, however, if they are causing you pain and begin to occur at regular intervals, it is a good idea to contact your midwife or doctor just in case.

Shortness of breath

You may often find yourself out of breath, but this is not necessarily an issue with your physical fitness. As your baby grows, it naturally pushes against your other organs, such as your lungs. You are also carrying the weight of your little one around with you everywhere you go, so of course you will feel the difference! While you should maintain gentle exercise to stay physically fit during your third trimester, you must be careful not to overdo it.


Carrying around your baby bump will take its toll, so be sure to give yourself the treatment you deserve. Most spas will offer a massage treatment specialised for pregnant women in their third trimester, and even your partner can help to ease the pain by applying gentle pressure.

Bathroom breaks

Like your lungs, your bladder will be another organ that has to make space for your new baby, so expect to be running to the bathroom more frequently! Try to avoid long journeys that don’t offer a rest stop to avoid any uncomfortable periods of time.

Dry hair and brittle nails

While you may have enjoyed basking in your pregnant ‘glow’, sharing your supply of vitamins and minerals with someone attempting to grow entire fingers and toes will understandably weaken the quality of your own. A manicure can prevent your nails from breaking, and Argan oil can replenish dry and brittle hair, so no one will be able to see the difference.

31 Weeks Pregnant Tips

Pregnancy pilates

A great way to relieve the backache in a way that won’t harm you or your baby is through pilates. The gentle stretching not only relaxes the muscles, but helps to strengthen the ones that are involved in the labour process, such as your pelvic floor and tummy. However, from your second trimester, you should avoid any exercises that put strain on your back.

Sleeping at 31 weeks pregnant

In your third trimester it is recommended that you sleep on your side, as research shows that sleeping on your back can be related to a higher risk of stillbirths. Doctors also recommend daytime naps and frequent relaxation to keep you and your baby happy.

How much more should you eat at 31 weeks pregnant

Unfortunately, the concept of ‘eating for two’ is just a myth, as you only need to consume 200 calories above your own required amount per day to satisfy yours and your baby’s needs in your third trimester.

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