Pregnancy at 31 Weeks
Your baby is now at least as long as a stick of celery! He is very aware of the noises and movements inside your uterus as well as influences from the outside. He will be aware of you exercising, talking, singing and playing music, and of changes in light. He will even be able to feel you massaging your abdomen, so talk to him as you do it so that he can also hear your voice.
Development in 31st Week Pregnancy
The main developments at this stage are in your baby's lungs. The cells lining the air sacs of the lungs secrete a substance that is known as surfactant. This is a lubricant that prevents the tissues of the lungs sticking together. This is a major milestone in your baby's development, because without surfactant, he will be unable to breathe outside the uterus.
Appearance in 31st Week Pregnancy
Now the layers of subcutaneous fat are getting thicker and the blood vessels no longer show through, your baby's skin looks much healthier and is not as dark or reddish as it was earlier in his development. The skin on his face, in particular, is smoother and his face looks round and chubby. His body fat now accounts for 3.5 per cent of his bodyweight but, by birth, this will rise to 15 per cent.
Movement in 31st Week Pregnancy
Your baby is becoming more aware of stimuli so will be very active, responding to sounds and movements. He can even feel when you have a Braxton Hicks contraction - which is no cause for alarm as they do not hurt him although you may find them uncomfortable. Since his 'living conditions'are now rather cramped, due to his size, for most of the time he will have his chin on his chest, his arms across his chest and his knees curled up. Even though he has less space than earlier, you should still be feeling at least 10 movements a day.
|I am 31 weeks pregnant and worried about having a premature baby. If I go into early labour can anything be done to stop it?|
This will depend on whether or not your cervix has started to dilate. A drug can be administered via a drip to relax the uterus and stop the contractions but, if your cervix is opening, then labour will probably continue. Women who show signs of premature labour are often advised to have two steroid injections that will help with the development of the baby's lungs.