Your Pregnancy: Week 31
You've just entered the single-digit countdown (only nine more weeks to go!). Make a list of what you'd like to do in these final weeks: See the new Oscar-worthy movie, hear your favorite local band, have lunch with your BFF, go on a romantic date with your partner. Whatever it is, do it soon because baby is right around the corner!
Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...
What You're Thinking:
"I wonder if that pregnant woman wants to be my friend?"
Your mind may not be anywhere near ready for your baby to arrive but your body is already making preparations. One of the ways it's getting ready is by "practicing" for labor in the form of Braxton Hicks contractions. Luckily, these are generally painless, although somewhat annoying as they can occur frequently (the middle of the night, during an important meeting, while you're trying to focus on Access Hollywood,
Braxton Hicks contractions feel like a sudden tightening of your uterus. This is just a little preview of what real contractions will feel like. They usually start to become noticeable around the eighth month and can become very strong by the end of your pregnancy.
While you can't get rid of Braxton Hicks contractions, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable, like gentle exercise (such as walking) or taking a warm, relaxing bath. Calgon, take me away. ...
From this week on, your baby will continue to gain around ½ pound a week until shortly before birth (even though it may feel like a whole lot more with every step you take). Other highlights this week:
Due to increasing space constraints, your baby's arms and legs stay drawn up close to the body now, known as the fetal position (oh, so that's where that name came from!). Plus, your baby can now process information from all five senses—so she'll be all set to smell the pureed peas, taste them, feel them as she mashes them into her hair, hear you crack up and then see the flash as you grab the camera to snap picture after picture.
By now, your baby's lungs are the only system not fully mature. And by mature, we're not saying that the rest of your baby's systems are mature enough to be out past 10 PM with the neighborhood hooligan, just that her lungs need a little bit more time to bake before they can kick it in the outside world.
Your baby weighs about 3½ pounds and measures a little over 16 inches, about the same length as that miniskirt you used to wear (and will again someday!).
Finding new mom friends is a little bit like dating. You need to actively seek them out. And while it may seem daunting meeting new people, chatting with your baby all day can get pretty lonely. But, like dating, one of the easiest ways to find new friends is online:
Search ParentsConnect Local
for a parenting community or playgroup and arrange to meet up in person. This could also be a great resource during
your pregnancy, since these groups often have gently used baby gear to sell or trade.
You may need to seek out new, equally round friends, but it's your inner posse that is your support group right now. So get a group together and go out for drinks, dinner or dessert to dish about everything other
having a baby.
"I hate my husband. I'm on bed rest and he's off travelling the world."
"I wanted an epidural, but it was too late!"
How to get your house ready for baby 'cause ready or not, here he (she?) comes!