At 31 weeks of gestation, the pace of a woman’s life changes. Going on maternity leave, changing priorities, restructuring the day regimen — all this inevitably affects the general condition of the future mother. A gradual change in the hormonal background and the formation of a generic dominant lead to the emergence of new unusual sensations characteristic of a normal pregnancy.
At 31 obstetric weeks, there is another jump in the growth of the fetus. Now the length of the baby’s body is 39–40 cm, the weight is about 1500 g. By this time the baby is in a stable position in the uterus (head or buttocks down). The position of the fetus practically does not change until the birth.
The body of the baby continues to prepare for the upcoming birth. In the lungs of the fetus, surfactant is rapidly accumulating — a special substance by which a person can breathe. Enzymes are synthesized in the digestive tract, which are necessary for processing incoming food. The thermoregulation system is being improved due to the accumulation of fatty tissue under the skin.
In the middle of the third trimester, the development of the endocrine glands continues. The thyroid gland is activated, hormones are produced, which are necessary to maintain the constancy of the internal environment of the body. Thymus function, improving the immune system of the fetus. The pancreas works in full force and is able to provide the baby with insulin. The load on the maternal endocrine glands is markedly reduced.
Interesting changes occur in the iris. At week 31, there is an intense accumulation of pigment that determines the color of the eyes after birth. However, most children are born blue-eyed. During the year after birth, the iris changes color. In the same period, the perception and analysis of visual information in the structures of the brain is improved.
Condition of a woman
By the 31st week of pregnancy, the total weight gain is 7-8.5 kg. The future mother is still gaining 300-500 g per week, but mainly due to an increase in the weight of the fetus. During this period, there is a rapid growth of the abdomen. The bottom of the uterus rises 31 cm above the bosom, located in the middle between the xiphoid process and the navel.
The movements of the fetus in the middle of the third trimester are felt very well. The baby is already cramped in the womb, so his movements are not as sweeping as they used to be. The child actively moves hands and legs, bends the head, but practically does not turn over. In the lower abdomen, you can feel the head or the buttocks of the fetus.
Vaginal discharge at week 31 of pregnancy increases, but at the same time remains transparent or milky. Strengthening of natural secretions is associated with an active blood supply to the genitals, including the vaginal mucosa. Discharge should not be accompanied by itching, burning or pain. The woman’s well-being is not disturbed.
In the middle of the third trimester, many women feel periodic toning of the uterus. At the same time the stomach becomes hard and tense, the uterus seems to gather into a lump. A short-term increase in the tone of the uterus is not dangerous for the fetus. A woman’s body prepares for childbirth, and the uterus, like any muscular organ, contracts from time to time. Such cuts are called training bouts. They do not lead to the disclosure of the cervix and the appearance of the baby into the world ahead of time.
A completely different situation develops if the increased tone of the uterus persists for a long time. An unfavorable symptom is the appearance of pain in the lower abdomen, in the lower back or in the perineum. Such signs indicate a high risk of starting preterm labor. If any of these symptoms occur, you should consult a doctor. If unpleasant sensations intensify, go into regular painful contractions or are accompanied by the outpouring of water, you need to call an ambulance and get ready for hospitalization in the maternity hospital.
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