Week Thirty-one of Your Pregnancy

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Week 31 Info

WEEK 31

This week your baby measures over 16 inches long and weighs about 3.3 pounds "equal to about 4 navel oranges".  From now on your baby will gain weight faster than he'll increase in length.  He continues to fill out as fat accumulates underneath his skin.  He can turn his head from side to side and his frequent kicks and somersaults may be keeping you up at night.  All this moving is a sign of good health.

Your abdomen may be aching as it swells and your rib cage and pelvis may be sore as the baby gets bigger and fills up all the space you have available.  You may feel like you can't possibly stretch any more but then you do.  You will find yourself with lots of aches and pains from the pressure and decreased room in your abdomen.

You may be having occasional Braxton Hicks contractions and not realize  what it is that you are feeling.  Many women describe a Braxton Hicks contraction as feeling like their uterus is getting tight or the baby is "balling up".   Braxton Hicks are basically contractions that don't hurt and are not causing a change in your cervix.  They are often irregular, lasting 30-40 seconds and should be infrequent and painless.

On the other hand, contractions that are more frequent or lasting longer may be a sign of preterm labor.  Call your practitioner is you have more than four painful contractions in an hour, watery discharge or blood tinged discharge.

If you are having a boy, now may be a good time for you and your partner to discuss whether or not to have your baby circumcised.  There are just as many risks to circumcision and to not be circumcised so it often comes down to personal preference or matching daddy.

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