31 Weeks Pregnant Belly

Submitted by Nic on January 17, 2012

In week 31 of your pregnancy, your baby will continue to grow and develop. At this stage, your baby will be about 11.2 inches in length from crown to rump. Weight gain will continue to take place and your baby will weigh about 3.5 pounds now. Your 31 weeks pregnant belly will also continue to become larger. The uterus will be approximately 4.4 inches above the navel and will keep swelling. Your weight gain will be comprised of the baby, blood, uterus, placenta, amniotic fluid, fat and water.

At 31 weeks pregnant your belly size keeps increasing...

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...and also the muscles and ligaments of the lower back start to loosen in preparation for childbirth. All of this can lead to aches and pain in the lower back region and also discomfort in the pelvic area. The enlarging uterus may also result in aggravated heartburn because of pressure on the stomach. Heartburn may be alleviated by consuming smaller meals at regular intervals throughout the day. At 31 weeks pregnant belly pain is also commonly experienced by many women. These are contractions known as Braxton Hicks contractions which occur in the second half of the pregnancy. They continue for about 30 seconds and may occur irregularly. At this stage, they do not occur very frequently and also do not cause too much pain. Those who experience severe 31 weeks pregnant belly aches should call their doctor immediately as it could be indicative of preterm labor. Along with such pain, there is also likely to be increased vaginal discharge, pressure in the pelvic region and lower back pain.

Some women at 31 weeks pregnant may find that their belly has dropped. This means that the baby has moved downwards in preparation for delivery. This usually happens between weeks 36 to 40, but can occur earlier as well. Dropping in week 31 is still considered normal and in fact, the advantage to this is that you will start feeling reduced pressure on the stomach and lungs. Hence you will experience more ease in breathing and eating. However the drop could exert strain on the bladder, bowels and pelvis. These symptoms may be relieved by placing the lower body in an elevated position. You can also make use of a pregnancy pillow which will make it more comfortable while sleeping. Avoid having too many liquids just before bedtime to prevent frequent visits to the bathroom.

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