Week 31

By now, almost at the end of the eighth month of your pregnancy, your baby has grown to the considerable size of 41.5-41.8 cm, though they’re not yet as big as they will be at birth. They weigh around 1575 grams, so they’re gradually approaching two kilograms, and they’ll continue to put on their baby fat and gain weight until they’re born. Depending on their genes, their weight can almost double between now and the birth.

Top tips

  • Get a long shoehorn to make it easier to put your shoes on.
  • If you suffer from temporary stress incontinence as a result of the pressure on your pelvic floor, wear sanitary towels or liners to protect your underwear while you’re out and about.
  • Start thinking about whether you want to push your baby around in a pram or carry them around in a sling – although most mums do both at different times.
  • When painting the walls and/or baby furniture, however, make sure that the colours and paints you use are non-toxic.

What it’s like for the mum-to-be in week 31

You may well feel a little overwhelmed at times when you look ahead to what you’re about to go through. One thing you’ll be thinking about a lot is where you’re going to give birth: you’ll want answers to questions about how safe it is for you and your baby as they come into the world. If you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you visit a few delivery units or birth centres and talk to the midwives who will look after you and your baby while you give birth.

Your thoughts revolve around your baby 

In week 31, you’ll be thinking more and more about the things you’ll need to get for your baby – and that may involve welling up at cute little babygros, jumpers, cardigans and shoes. Your friends and family are bound to have some things they can pass on to you, so it’s a good idea to create a wish list and send it out, whether online or the old-fashioned way. What you need for your baby will depend on whether they’ll be born in summer or winter, so bear that in mind. Furthermore, don’t forget to buy things for yourself for when it’s time to give birth: if you’ve chosen a hospital or midwifery unit birth, you’ll soon be packing a bag to have with you when you’re brought in there. It will contain the clothes (including baby clothes), toiletries, towels, etc., that you’ll need after giving birth.

Your body goes on strike

Sometimes it’ll feel like your body has gone on strike. Your lungs groan under the load from your belly, your legs get heavy and sore and your back is tense. You’ll often be kept awake at night and will be tossing and turning in bed, trying to find a comfortable position that allows you to sleep – and as if that wasn’t enough, your frequent need to pee will mean you don’t get many peaceful nights at all. There’s a higher chance you’ll get heartburn after meals, although you can minimise this by eating smaller meals spread across the day rather than larger ones at the usual times (this will also benefit your intestine, which is struggling as its usual rhythm has been disrupted by the pressure from your womb). You’ll also find it increasingly difficult to sit down and stand up, and will instinctively hold onto your belly and back to support yourself in the process. Before too long, your partner will have to tie your shoes for you or you’ll have to start wearing slip-ons.


The pressure on your pelvic floor, and your baby’s head pressing against your bladder, means that your bladder muscles no longer hold in liquid as reliably as before. As a result, you might wet yourself a little when you laugh, sneeze or cough, especially when your bladder is full. This is common in the latter stages of pregnancy, and it will get better after the birth. You can accelerate that process by training your pelvic floor during postnatal gymnastics courses.