31 weeks pregnant
There is very little time left before the upcoming birth, so it's time to make sure that the newborn feels comfortable in the new home. 31 weeks pregnant is a great time to start purchasing baby things that the baby will need in the first place. Moreover, the woman has more free time, because, starting from the 30th week of pregnancy, she goes on maternity leave.
- Fetal development at 31 weeks gestation
- Sensations at 31 weeks
- What can worry a woman at 31 weeks pregnant?
- An ultrasound scan at 31 weeks pregnant
- What happens to the uterus?
- Intimate life
- What should be the discharge at 31 weeks of gestation?
- Can labor start at 31 weeks gestation?
- Dangers a woman may face at 31 weeks pregnant
- Important advice for a woman at 31 weeks pregnant
Fetal development at 31 weeks gestation
At the 31st week of pregnancy, the work of the placenta and uterus increases, which are driven through the vessels at least 500 ml of blood in 1 day. However, the child's blood and the mother's blood do not mix with each other.
The fetus continues to actively grow and develop, while subcutaneous fatty tissue accumulates in parallel. The kidneys have finished forming, which now work quite intensively, withdrawing about 500 ml of urine into the amniotic fluid every day.
This week, the child's nails continue to grow, and his visual function improves. The baby's weight is now 1.5-1.6 kg, height is 40-42 cm. At the same time, the woman herself has gained an average of 8-10 kg since the beginning of pregnancy. At this time, the child becomes cramped in the uterus, so he tries to adapt to the slightly changed conditions around him. He curls up into a ball, crossing his arms and legs.
The baby develops its own daily routine, which can be radically different from the mother's day. For some time, the fetus sleeps, and at some hours it is actively awake. The baby continues to move a lot. Sometimes parents manage to notice the outline of his body during movements.
The child's face acquires individuality: the ears grow, the neck lengthens, the nose becomes thinner, etc. The skin is still slightly wrinkled and has a reddish tint. However, as the subcutaneous fat accumulates, the skin folds will be smoothed out.
The child's liver is actively preparing for work, its lobules are formed, its structure is being improved. Almost all digestive organs undergo changes. The growth of the pancreas continues, which will start working immediately after the baby is born. She is already producing insulin.
The respiratory system also continues to improve, but there is still not enough surfactant in the lungs for the baby to breathe on its own. The brain increases in size, new nerve connections are established, the speed of transmission of nerve impulses increases. Thanks to this, the child gives a reaction to light, to loud sounds, to touching his mother's belly. At this time, you can observe the so-called "corneal reflex": when he touches the eye, the baby closes his eyes.
Already in the womb, the child can distinguish the voices of loved ones. The state of health of the crumbs largely depends on the mother's mood, so stressful situations must be avoided.
Sensations at 31 weeks
The increased body weight affects the work of all organs and systems of a woman. The muscles gradually stretch in preparation for childbirth, which can lead to low back pain. It is possible that it is at the 31st week of pregnancy that the expectant mother first discovers varicose veins.
Unpleasant symptoms such as heartburn and belching are caused by an increase in the size of the uterus and its rise. To reduce the severity of heartburn, you need to eat right, building your diet in such a way that the number of meals is equal to six. In this case, the portions should be small.
All pregnant women who are 31 weeks old begin to feel that fatigue now sets in much faster than before. The first difficulties with breathing appear, since the uterus presses on the diaphragm and does not allow the lungs to fully expand. In this regard, shortness of breath may appear, which is especially noticeable after physical exertion.
The woman becomes clumsy, so she needs to be especially careful. You need to walk more slowly, get out of bed more carefully. However, despite the increased size of the belly, now the expectant mother is incredibly attractive, because she is the embodiment of femininity.
The metabolism is accelerated, so sweating may increase. And it doesn't matter if a woman is in a warm or cool room.
Nutrition should be organized in such a way that it could cover all the needs of the mother and child's body for nutrients. It is imperative to include meat, fish, cereals, dairy and sour-milk drinks in the menu. In this case, one should refuse fried, fatty and spicy foods so as not to overload the body, especially the kidneys.
In the lower abdomen, a woman may experience a feeling of heaviness, which is associated with pressure from the uterus. Some women find small sticky spots on their bra - this is the first colostrum. Its appearance has no effect on the ability to breastfeed in the future.
Do not be surprised that every time he visits the doctor's office, he will put the woman on the scales. Weight gain should be monitored especially carefully. The fact is that the weight of a pregnant woman is made up of indicators such as the weight of the placenta, amniotic fluid and uterus, breast and the fetus itself. The woman's fat reserve will certainly increase, but not significantly (this should be the case normally). In addition, the accumulated fat is quickly used up during childbirth and breastfeeding.
You should not go on about your appetite and absorb food uncontrollably, justifying yourself by your own position. A careless attitude to the diet will negatively affect the health of the mother and baby: swelling and dizziness will appear, heartburn and constipation will increase. The development of candidiasis is not excluded. Therefore, you need to control your own appetite.
Normally, a woman from the beginning of pregnancy by 31 weeks should not gain more than 13 kg. If the indicators are far from these figures, then it's time to consult a doctor and take some measures. Self-administration of a diet is unacceptable.
What can worry a woman at 31 weeks pregnant?
At the 31st week of pregnancy, a woman may begin to worry about surges in blood pressure. At the same time, it can both increase and decrease. It should be understood that blood pressure largely depends on the work of other organs, including the heart and kidneys. Therefore, if a woman independently discovered that her blood pressure level is outside the normal range, it is necessary to inform the doctor about this. Perhaps the problems can be eliminated by revising the menu. Such dietary components as salt, strong tea, coffee contribute to the increase in blood pressure. Diuretics and sedatives lower blood pressure.
In parallel with the increase in the abdomen, the load on the joints, spine and pelvic bones increases. Therefore, a woman needs to rest as much as possible, sit on chairs that have at least a small back, not take long walks, but at the same time she needs to spend time in the fresh air.
A woman may experience pain in the pelvic region due to softening of the pelvic bones. This process is triggered by a special hormone - relaxin. Thanks to his work, it will be easier for the child to pass through the birth canal.
An ultrasound scan at 31 weeks pregnant
At the 31st week of pregnancy, a woman can be sent for the third scheduled ultrasound, which is the last. It will allow you to determine the location of the fetus in the uterus and exclude breech or lateral presentation. The method of delivery largely depends on this, because in some cases, a cesarean section is required for breech presentation. With lateral presentation, it is prescribed in 100% of cases.
If the equipment allows, then the woman on the screen can see what her baby is doing. Sometimes he can be found playing with the umbilical cord, which he fiddles with.
The doctor necessarily evaluates the work of the internal organs of the fetus, excludes defects in their development. In parallel, the volume and quality of amniotic fluid, the degree of maturity of the placenta, the readiness of the uterus for childbirth are monitored. It is important to see if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck of the baby.
If last time it was not possible to determine the sex of the child, then during the third ultrasound, the doctor will definitely try to do this.
What happens to the uterus?
The uterus rises higher and higher, now it is located 12 cm above the navel. From time to time, a woman may experience contractions, which are sometimes slightly painful. These are the so-called training contractions or Braxton-Higgs contractions. They can first manifest as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy. With their help, the uterus prepares for the upcoming birth.
The duration of training bouts rarely exceeds 2 minutes. If a woman is experiencing discomfort at this time, then you can walk around the room, try to change body position or perform breathing exercises. If the contractions are really training, they will stop. When contractions, on the other hand, intensify and become painful, an ambulance must be called.
As for intimacy, by this late date, many couples refuse sex. It is difficult to give an unequivocal recommendation, since in this matter a lot depends on the course of a particular pregnancy and on the woman's well-being. If there are any doubts, then it is necessary to consult a doctor about this.
When the expectant mother feels good, and the doctor sees no obstacles to sexual intercourse, then sex at 31 weeks of gestation is allowed. However, partners need to be careful: they should not make sudden movements, put pressure on the stomach, take uncomfortable postures, it is equally important to control the depth of penetration.
What should be the discharge at 31 weeks of gestation?
At the 31st week of pregnancy, a woman may find that there is more discharge, this is quite normal. It is important that they are milky or transparent, odorless, mucus, foam, pus and curdled inclusions. In addition, a woman needs to be able to distinguish between vaginal discharge and amniotic fluid, which can leak in small portions. Special pharmacy tests for the determination of amniotic fluid can help solve this issue. The fact is that the leakage of amniotic fluid is a dangerous condition and requires a woman to be hospitalized. It is impossible to hesitate to see a doctor.
This week, the doctor will definitely take a vaginal swab from a woman for pathogenic flora. Moreover, many expectant mothers have thrush. It cannot be ignored, especially since there is still enough time for the treatment of candidiasis. The reasons for the development of thrush in pregnant women can be very diverse, ranging from inaccuracies in nutrition and ending with wearing panty liners for too long. Therefore, doctors strongly recommend that you stop using them and just change your underwear more often. If thrush nevertheless develops, then it is necessary to inform the doctor about it without hesitation. Candidiasis is easily treated with special suppositories that are used topically. However, only a doctor can prescribe them.
Bloody discharge from the rectum is a cause for concern. The cause of their occurrence may be an anal fissure or inflamed hemorrhoids. Both of these conditions also require local therapy. When bloody discharge appears from the vagina, it is necessary to call the ambulance and go to the hospital. Vaginal bleeding may indicate the onset of premature labor, placental abruption. In any case, a woman needs professional medical assistance.
Can labor start at 31 weeks gestation?
Childbirth can begin in late pregnancy at any time, so a woman should always have a bag and documents that she will need for registration in a maternity hospital. It is especially important to have an exchange card, passport and health insurance with you. The husband or other close relatives must know where the package of documents is.
Childbirth at 31 weeks of gestation is considered premature, so the expectant mother needs to make every effort to extend the baby's time in the stomach. This will allow his lungs to accumulate surfactant and independently carry out respiratory activity.
Nevertheless, if labor begins, you need to resist panic and call the medical team. With timely medical assistance, children born at 31 weeks of gestation survive in almost 100% of cases. Of course, after birth, the baby will be placed in a special incubator, and the woman will have to spend more time in the hospital compared to other women in labor. You should not despair - the long-awaited day of discharge will definitely come.
Dangers a woman may face at 31 weeks pregnant
- It is important to ensure that you do not put on extra pounds. This threatens pregnancy complications such as surges in blood pressure, headaches, and increased edema.
If at the 31st week of pregnancy there is a threat of premature birth, if you experience pain in the abdomen, you should definitely consult a doctor.
- At this time, the risk of placental abruption remains, therefore, when blood appears from the genital tract, an ambulance should be called.
- Gestosis is a dangerous complication of pregnancy, which is always accompanied by the appearance of pronounced edema and protein in the urine. If you ignore the signs of gestosis, then it can turn into preeclampsia and eclampsia. This is an extremely serious condition that poses a threat not only to health, but also to the life of the mother and child.
Important advice for a woman at 31 weeks pregnant
- In order to prevent a set of extra pounds, it is necessary to stop eating fatty, fried and spicy foods. The optimal weight gain per week is considered to be 300 g.
It is necessary to control the amount of fluid that was drunk and that was excreted during urination. If the difference is more than 300 g, then you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. It is possible that hospitalization will be required.
The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist
Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N.N. N.I. Pirogova.
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