Pregnancy Stages: Week 31

Your Baby:

Your baby is now around 40cm long and around 1.5kg. He moves almost all the time and his kicks are quite strong. The fat is still developing underneath his skin and his senses are fully developed. He can perceive light and react towards it. Also he recognizes your voice between all others. Sing and talk to him as much as you can.

Your body:

You are heading towards the final stage of pregnancy. Your uterus is still expanding and pushes your lungs and stomach. Backache may become unbearable at the end of the day and especially if you are carrying a big baby or twins. Heartburn and indigestion are common and mainly due to the shrinking tummy. Eat small quantities and several times a day. You will feel breathless. Don’t worry about the baby. He is getting enough oxygen through the placenta. You might start feeling some light irregular contractions called Braxton Hicks contractions. They do not have any effect on the cervix. On another hand if you feel regular strong contractions for a period of 1 hour, contact your doctor immediately.

You will notice a leakage of colostrum from your breasts. You can use pads in your bra to absorb any leakage. Eat healthy and keep on drinking water.

It is the time to discuss pain medications choices with your doctor. The choice depends on your condition during labor, what medications you were using during your pregnancy, and if the hospital is equipped with the material necessary for each type of medication. Here are the types of pain medications to check before making your decision:

-          Epidural anesthesia: Most women opt for the epidural as a way of pain medication during labor. It consists of injecting continuously a small dose of pain medication through a catheter inserted in the spine to relief the lower part and allows the woman to stay conscious during the delivery.

-          Analgesics: Used during labor by intravenous route. They do not remove the pain but makes you feel it less. The disadvantage is that they pass through to the baby’s system.

You should always discuss with your doctor the advantages and disadvantages of each type and what suits you best. You still can use the breathing exercise during labor to minimize the pain without using any type of pain medications.

There are also lots of techniques to cope with pain during labor. You can talk with the midwife, once you are admitted to the delivery section, of the best way that helps you manage pain as walking, lower back massage, sitting or showering. Always seek help and ask questions. The doctor and the nursing staff are there to help you and make your delivery process as easy as it can be.