Pregnancy Week 31 / Third Trimester

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Week 31

What happens to you?

As the baby gets bigger and fills up all the space in your abdomen, your rib cage may become sore.  It is not unusual to have to get up at night and walk around for a few minutes to settle the baby back down into your lower abdomen again and out of your ribs.

Some women will have more heartburn as the uterus displaces the internal organs, leaving less room for her stomach and its contents.  This can be relieved by remaining upright after a meal.  Some women say that eating smaller, more frequent meals helps their heartburn.  Always ask your healthcare professional before you take any medications, even over-the-counter products.

One of the most frequent complaints in pregnancy is back pain.  This can start at almost any point of pregnancy and can continue well into the first postpartum year.  Some back pain can be relieved by maintaining good posture, exercise and stretching.  And you can always ask a friend to give you a back rub.

The pregnant body produces a hormone called relaxin.  This is what loosens the pelvis making it mobile to help the baby be born.  This is what causes the characteristic waddling in the last months of pregnancy.

What happens to the baby?

You may worry that if you are breathless from walking or sometimes even just sitting that your baby is in danger.  This is not true.  Your baby is getting plenty of oxygen from your placenta.

The fingernails may reach the end of the hands.  The retina of the baby's eyes can now dilate and contract in response to light.  Due to the deposits of white fat underneath the skin the baby's skin is no longer red but pink.  The baby weighs about 3 pounds 5 ounces (1.5 kilograms) this week.

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