Fetal development in pregnancy week 31:fetus in seventh month Your not-so-little-one is just a bit closer to their birth weight and height at around 4 pounds and 17 inches. With each added layer of baby fat, your baby's skin starts to look more and more like it will when they finally get to see the light of day. The heavy news: you can expect your miracle-gro muffin to gain about a half a pound of weight per week from now until about two weeks before birth. Great. That's just what you needed. Even more weight to carry around!
Your baby's still-developing immune system has gained substantial strength over the past few weeks getting them in full gear to face our disease-ridden world o’ wonders. Obviously, a large majority of your child’s immune strength will be derived from exposure to breast milk as well as the outside elements. Their cute little noggin’ (which could already be covered with luscious locks or just purty peach fuzz), is still soft because the skull bones have not yet fused together. As much as that sounds a little too vulnerable, their “skull softness” allows for a much smoother passage through the birth canal during labor—something both you and your little swimmer will appreciate when it’s finally time to “go!” Also, some babies will have that “soft spot” on their head for up to one year after birth.
And how's mom doing? Have you felt anything you suspect might be contractions already? Braxton-Hick contractions are part and parcel of the second half of pregnancy and lucky for you, become more frequent during the third trimester. Cleverly dubbed “false labor” contractions, these spasms are an obnoxious fake-out and So next time you’ve got yourself a pair of damp head-lights in the grocery store, just go ahead and purchase the nursing pads to protect your clothes, bras, and any remaining shreds of dignity you can salvage shouldn’t be confused with premature labor. The fun part of having BH contractions is that it’s not unusual for them to be painful... and by fun, we mean “why oh why, does the third trimester mean everything is uncomfortable?” Still, just a heads up: if you notice the contractions more than four times in one hour, or even more glamorous—changes in your vaginal discharge, call your healthcare practitioner right away.
As for other third-trimester niceties; your nipples may be engaging in a bit of “pre-milk” expulsion at the most untimely moments. So next time you’ve got yourself a pair of damp head-lights in the grocery store, just go ahead and purchase the nursing pads to protect your clothes, bras, and any remaining shreds of dignity you can salvage.
As your magical growing baby obstinately refuses to shrink or give back any real-estate in your belly, you can sit back, "relax," and take in the heartburn and increased lower back pain. If you choose, you can always eat less with each meal, and instead opt for smaller more frequent meals, this should help the heartburn. As for your poor back, get off your feet and elevate them above your heart, double-check the names list, and how many key baby-items you’ve already got in your registry. If you’re lucky, you might just make it in less than eight weeks! Hang in there wonder-mom, we believe in you!