31 Weeks Pregnant: baby is now half their birth weight
After a long day on your feet your bump might seem to weigh a ton. In terms of final birth weight though, they’re still just halfway. Your baby’s weight will have doubled by the time they’re actually born. Gulp!
At a glance
Baby will gain up to 1.5kg by the time they’re born
Taste the rainbow. A variety of colourful fruit and veg is great for you and baby
Colostrum. It’s the first yellow sticky milk and you might already be producing it
Gone up a cup size? It’s normal, your body is getting ready for breastfeeding
Baby's development at 31 weeks pregnant
The size of your baby at 31 weeks is around the size of a large coconut and getting heavier by the day. In fact, by the time they’re born, they’ll be twice this size, their weight will probably have doubled, and they’ll have grown a few more inches too. Hard to believe there’s enough room inside you for all this expansion!
Over the next few weeks baby will also be working out which direction they want to enter the world. With less room in there they will probably move more slowly and less often. If you’re worried about reduced movement make sure you talk to the hospital to make sure everything is ok in there.
Most babies go upside down – 95% of pregnancies are delivered this way with their faces looking down, their back against your stomach and their chin tucked in on their chest. This position is called head-first or cephalic and, more technically, occipito anterior – it’s the easiest and safest position for a baby to be delivered.
Other ways a baby can lie in the womb:
posterior position (occipito-posterior) - facing the opposite way with their back to your back, and their face upwards
breech position - where their bottom leads first, with their head at the top
transverse position - side to side, across your womb
At week 31 baby can be in any of these positions but should end up head-first around week 36. If your baby is still breech or transverse by this time, your midwife will talk to you about birthing options and how to plan for labour.
Changes in you and your body at 31 weeks pregnant
Looking a bit fuller in the bust? Gone up a cup size? The big day is getting closer, so your breasts are preparing to feed your hungry little human. If you find yellow flecks on your top that’ll be colostrum. It’s the first milk you produce when you start breastfeeding, often described as liquid gold because it’s highly concentrated goodness. The colostrum you give baby in their first few days contains the antibodies to boost tiny immune systems immediately after birth. If you’re lucky enough to produce this milk early on speak to your midwife about whether it’s worth trying to ‘harvest’ it for when baby arrives because you only produce a small amount at a time. Not all hospitals advocate this, so you may want to ask your midwife. You can find out more about expressing milk.
Together with growing baby and growing breasts – mums to be can expect to put on 1kg to 1.5kg between now and birth.
Nutrition at 31 weeks pregnant
If you use sweetener as a sugar substitute then you may be wondering if it’s safe for baby. It’s been a hot topic for a few years and saccharine, in particular, gets a bad name. Although research on artificial sweeteners is not fully conclusive, aspartame- and sucralose-based sweeteners are considered safe during pregnancy if used in moderation. Whether or not they can help you lose weight is another matter, and they might actually encourage your sweet tooth. It’s always a preferable to use a little bit of sugar or other natural sweeteners whenever possible. You could try sweetening foods naturally with fresh and dried fruit to get important nutrients in. You could add sliced strawberries or banana to plain yoghurt or make your own smoothies. That way you will be eating foods you know are healthy.
Calories. It’s about quality not quantity
Baby will put on an extra 1kg to 1.5kg between now and the big day, so your pregnancy diet may need a few adjustments.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you get to eat loads of cake. You only need an extra 200 calories a day when you’re pregnant and that’s just in the third trimester. The trick is to make sure you are eating more nourishing and wholesome foods like nuts and fruit and less ‘empty calorie’ foods like crisps and chocolate. But no one is saying you can’t have a cheeky treat now and again.
Eating a rainbow of foods is a way of making sure you get a good variety. Lots of colourful veg – green spinach, yellow peppers, red tomatoes, purple aubergines… orange oranges. Also include complex carbs, lean proteins, whole grains and ‘good’ fats as part of your healthy pregnancy diet. It’s the best way to ensure that baby has all the necessary nutrients, without using any of the reserves you need for birth.>here.
Iron is also important for baby’s cognitive development and vitamin C can help aid its absorption. So try and eat foods with those together at meal or snack times. Like citrus fruits with nuts. The great thing is, what you eat now can have a real and positive impact on your child's future health.