Welcome to your week 31 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.
Congratulations – he now has a 90% survival rate, if he is born prematurely. He could weigh around 1.5kg at this time, and from here on in his overall growth rate slows down. Baby definitely continues to gain weight, lay down fat and develop his brain and other organs over the next few weeks, though.
His eyesight continues to become more developed, though it’s not terribly keen; even after he’s born, he’ll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day. When he does open his eyes, he’ll only make out objects a few centimetres from his face.
Baby’s developing immune system has made some serious gains over the past weeks, preparing him to face the disease-ridden world we all live in. His blood cells are being produced nicely by the bone marrow, and will be further boosted by breast milk offered in the first days after birth.
His cute little head is very soft, and it might be covered in lashings of thick hair or be as bald as an eagle, depending on genetic tendencies. His skull is not yet fused together, which is a necessity so his head can squish and change shape during his passage through the birth canal during labour. If your baby is engaged in the pelvis for an extended period during these weeks of pregnancy, he may come into the world with a bit of a cone head, as a result of skull plates being compressed! It’s normal, harmless and his skull will even out into a more round, less cone-heady shape in the week following birth.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.
The Mum Update
Your body produces as much as 50% more blood and body fluids during pregnancy to meet baby’s needs. Some of this extra fluid leaks into your body tissues. When your enlarging uterus pushes on pelvis veins, blood flow in the lower part of your body is partially blocked. This pushes fluid into your legs and feet, causing swelling. If you have sudden and rapid swelling contact your LMC but gradual swelling from 20 weeks on is common.
Your baby’s bones will begin to store up phosphorous and iron which he uses to remain strong and grow during his lifetime so . Your LMC will be keeping an eye on your iron levels through out your pregnancy but you can help by including iron rich food in your diet as much as possible.
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