CHANGES TO MUM
Now that you are on the home stretch at 31 weeks of pregnancy, you may have noticed that your baby is moving less than in previous weeks. This is caused by your growing baby having much less room to move in your uterus. But don’t worry, you will still be able to feel your little one squirming around.
If you do become concerned with the lack of movement then you should contact your Obstetrician or the hospital to speak to a midwife for advice. They may ask you to come in to have a scan to check that your bub is doing fine.
You can also try sitting still for a short while to see if you can feel your baby move, even drinking a cold drink can get your baby active. Often in our busy lifestyles we don’t notice when our babies are moving, so you may have just been distracted and missed it. However, it is always best to be safe than sorry, so call for advice to put your mind at ease.
At this stage of pregnancy you may find that your abdomen may be sore, this is due to your expanding uterus moving more and more to accommodate your growing baby. Your uterus is approximately 10.5cms above your belly button, and has actually pushed your diaphragm up causing a shortness of breath.
You may feel exhausted and out of breath much faster these days and in coming weeks, even from a simple stroll! It is like you can’t get the air you need and begin to huff and puff from the simplest tasks. Unfortunately this is just another common and expected change in your body when expecting.
Another unwanted side affect to your growing baby and uterus is back and pelvic pain. Do your best to keep your posture as best as possible and maintain a straight back when sitting. A high back, hard chair can help as well as applying heat when you experience pain.
Now is also the perfect time to have a pregnancy massage or even just a back rub from your partner can help to relieve some of the discomfort. Gentle stretching and exercise can assist with back pain and remember to always avoid lifting heavy objects where possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
From changes to your belly to your breasts, pregnancy seems to affect every inch of our bodies. During the third trimester your breasts may begin to leak colostrum (the sweet, watery fluid that babies feed on after birth, in the first few days before your milk comes through).
While some women notice their breasts leaking, others may go without any leaks of colostrum up until the delivery of their baby.
If you are concerned and want to avoid any embarrassing wet marks on your clothing, disposable breast pads in your bra will help.
CHANGES TO BUB
As your baby grows, his/her arms, legs and body fill out more and more, looking proportional to the size of your baby’s head. Becoming less wrinkled your baby’s skin will be looking far less red due to the white fat deposits that have been building up under the skin, giving that wonderful newborn pinky colour. These layers of fat also help to keep him/her warm and safe after delievery, managing their own body temperature.
Your baby will measure approximately 41cms from head to toe and weigh in at about 1.5 kgs – disappointing really when you consider how much weight you have probably gained since the begining of your pregnancy. Remember that a lot of this weight gain is actually your baby’s support system and your growing breasts! Did you know that breast feeding your baby can help to speed up your weight loss after the birth? Just another great reason to breast feed your little one!
By this stage your baby will most likely be upside down and already settling into place preparing for delivery (engage). If this is the case with your baby they will most likely stay there for the remainder of the pregnancy until full term. Babies can however continue turning right up until the 36 week mark.
Your baby is growing in more than one way, while their body grows so too does their internal organs. Your baby will pass urine into the amniotic fluid from the bladder at the rate of about 500ml every day. Great practice for when your baby is born and all that fun nappy changing you have ahead in the coming months!
Your baby’s lungs and digestive tract continue to develop and are nearly mature. The baby’s lungs are the last major organ to fully develop and despite your shortness of breath, rest assured your little one will get all the oxygen he/she needs from the placenta.