It’s time to slow down a little, if you can. Your shortness of breath may start to get more frequent, and your sleeping can be more and more of a challenge beginning this week.
Your Baby at 31 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is now on average 16 1/2 inches (42 cm) in size, the size of a pineapple, and weighs about three and a half pounds (1.6 kg). He’s continuing to gain weight. His lungs are still developing, but most of his organs are functioning well.
Checklist at 31 Weeks Pregnant
Hospital Registration: It’s also time to register at the hospital or birth center where you will be delivering. Take a tour; you’ll feel more comfortable when you arrive on the big day.
Birth Plan: Finish your birth plan and remember that no birth goes exactly according to plan. The most important plan you can have is to be kind to yourself however your birth experience turns out. Remember: you are one amazing woman: you’ve created a baby.
Pack Your Hospital Bag: Here are ideas from other moms. Don’t forget the champagne, bubbly cider or sparkling water!
Choose a Pediatrician: Your baby should have a pediatrician prior to delivery, so ask for recommendations and make sure that the pediatrician you choose is accepting new patients. Your pediatrician should not only be someone with great credentials, but someone you’ll feel comfortable talking to about your child in the years to come. For five things moms say to look for in a pediatrician, read our article, here.
Install your infant car seat: Contact your local police station, fire station, or hospital to see if any of these locations can provide someone to check the installation of your infant car seat. The installation is harder than it seems and it’s worth a double check. Remember, the hospital won’t let you leave without an infant car seat for your baby.
WIC: Sign up for the U.S. Government Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program if you’re planning to use it.
Maternity Leave: If you’re working, it’s time to think about your maternity leave, if you haven’t already. Make sure to check in with your human resources department. Your health care provider will need to fill out some of the forms, so be sure to give her office plenty of time. Here’s advice from other moms about how to prepare for maternity leave gracefully as well as what to expect and plan for when you decide to go back to work.
Umbilical Cord Blood Storage: Now would be a good time to talk with your partner and your doctor about the option of umbilical cord blood storage.
Circumcision: If you’re having a boy, decide if you are going to have him circumcised and let your health care provider know.
Tubal Ligation and Birth Control: If you’re planning to have a tubal ligation, let your health care provider know and sign the necessary forms. Otherwise, think about which type of birth control might be right for you after delivering. Here’s a list of safe birth control for nursing moms.