You’re 31 weeks pregnant, which means in about 9 weeks, you’re finally going to meet your baby. At this point in the third trimester, you may start feeling the urge to nest. Nesting (or the nesting instinct) is a burst of energy parents often get in the last few weeks of pregnancy, sometimes inspiring them to clean and organize their home in preparation for baby's arrival. If you’re in nesting mode, don’t forget to take plenty of rest breaks.
On your radar this week: leaking breasts. You might want to stock up on nursing pads in case you start leaking colostrum (also known as liquid gold) between now and your due date. Some people choose to collect this early stage of breast milk using small syringes.
Your baby at 31 weeks is the size of a coconut. At this point, your little one is getting so big, they’re probably crowding your lungs, which might cause you to experience shortness of breath more frequently. Although shortness of breath is common during pregnancy, you should seek medical attention if you feel faint or have asthma, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or sudden or severe shortness of breath.
31 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
If you find yourself peeing more than usual, you’re not alone. Nearly 95% of pregnant women will experience frequent urination at some point in their pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones, pressure on your bladder, and extra fluid may contribute to the urge to pee more frequently.
While frequent urination during pregnancy is common, it could also signify a urinary tract infection (UTI). Be sure to talk with your doctor or midwife if you experience pain during urination, blood-tinged urine, cloudy or foul-smelling pee, pain in your back or lower abdominal area, or a fever.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
You may notice the muscles in your uterus tightening occasionally, especially in the third trimester. This tightening that comes and goes is known as Braxton Hicks contractions. Check out our week 21 blog for more information on these practice contractions.
How can you tell the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and actual labor? Unlike labor contractions, these practice contractions should last about 30 seconds and be irregular, infrequent, and painless (though they may feel uncomfortable).
Brown Vaginal Discharge
Thanks to estrogen production, your body has been making more vaginal discharge. But when this discharge is brown, it can be quite alarming if you’re not expecting it.
Your cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy, and you may see brown discharge or spotting after sex or a pelvic exam. It’s usually nothing to worry about, but make sure to reach out to your care team if you’re concerned.
If you notice a discharge that looks like thickened mucus and is clear, pinkish, brownish, or tinged with blood, it might be what is known as the mucus plug.
The mucus plug is a collection of mucus that gathers in the cervical canal in early pregnancy. As your cervix prepares for labor, you will lose your mucus plug, a normal and common late-pregnancy symptom.
At this point in your pregnancy, make sure to let your doctor know if you think you’ve lost your mucus plug.
Baby on Board
At week 31, your baby is around 16 inches long and weighs about 3.2 pounds. They may be busy pedaling their feet, sucking their thumb, and practicing other important skills as they get closer to birth.
Under Construction: Brain Connections
Your baby’s brain is in a rapid period of growth, and connections between individual cells are being made. These connections help coordinate all of your baby’s functions, like processing information and tracking light.
Under Construction: The Five Senses
Thanks to their developing brain, your baby can now perceive signals from all five senses. Your little one can smell and taste different foods you eat and can also smell some beauty products you use (which can end up in the amniotic fluid if they’re absorbed by your skin).
Under Construction: Sleep Patterns
Your baby is beginning to develop longer sleep cycles and likely sleeping for longer stretches, so you might be feeling them move less as you approach your due date. Want to try waking them up? Eating or drinking something sugary may help get your baby moving.
What to Wear This Week
On the hunt for the perfect maternity shirt to fit your growing (and sometimes itchy) belly? Our Everyday Nursing & Maternity T-shirt has a great drape and extra coverage, making it a closet staple for pregnancy and postpartum. This fan-favorite maternity basic T-shirt is so soft and roomy, you’ll want to live in it. You can pair it with our Everyday Lounge Joggers for a cozy and comfortable look.
For those sore, tender breasts, check out our Sublime® Adjustable Crossover Nursing Bra. We know you’ll reach for this dreamy pullover maternity bra over and over again through the last few weeks of your pregnancy. This maternity lounge bra is perfect for everything from sleeping to running errands.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice that has been medically reviewed. Please reach out to your midwife or doctor with any questions.