Pregnancy Week 31: Fetal Development, Signs of Preterm Labor & Packing for the Hospital by 30Seconds Pregnancy

Pregnancy Weekly
4 years ago

Pregnancy Week 31: Fetal Development, Signs of Preterm Labor & Packing for the Hospital

About Baby

At around 3 1/3 pounds and 16 inches long, your baby has gone from a cabbage to a coconut! This week, all of Baby’s senses are in full swing. Trillions (yes, trillions, and we’re not talking about the U.S. deficit!) of brain connections between nerves are being formed so he can process information from all five senses. Watch what you say because Baby can hear your voice. He can also taste amniotic fluid, track light and is using his arms and legs more and may even start sucking his thumb. You’ve already got a thumb sucker!

Photo: Baby at 31 weeks of development

About Mom

While Baby’s development is still going strong, so is yours – and it’s starting to involve more contractions. You’ll start to feel your uterus tightening now and then. These contractions are called Braxton Hicks and is your body’s way of preparing for childbirth. They can last around 30 seconds, don’t have a pattern, are not very frequent and should be painless. But keep an eye on them. If they get to be frequent, it could be preterm labor. Other symptoms of preterm labor include:

  • abdominal pain or cramping
  • increased vaginal discharge
  • pelvic pressure
  • lower back pain

Call your doctor of midwife ASAP.

Your uterus is now located about 4 inches above your belly button. It’s definitely movin’ on up! This could leave you feeling a little out of breath at times. Once your baby drops, this feeling should subside – at least until he is born, then he’ll take your breath away again.

Packing for the Hospital

There's so much to think about and do when preparing for a baby. One important thing that should not be overlooked is packing your hospital bag. Something as small as hair ties can be a life saver. We spoke with some moms to find out their hospital bags must-haves. Here’s some of the things they said to pack in that bag:

But that’s not all! Use this pregnancy hospital bag checklist and have one less thing to worry about as you wait for the arrival of your baby!

Bump Talk

“You do a lot of growing up when you’re pregnant. It’s suddenly like, 'Yikes. Here it is, folks. Playtime is over.'” Connie Fioretto, writer

The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Elisa Schmitz
I was nervous when I felt Braxton Hicks contractions for the first time. After a while, I didn't mind them. The real ones were a different story altogether!
Kaushik Palicha
Very Informative.. Thanks for sharing

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