Your Baby is the size of a


Have you scheduled your maternity photoshoot session yet? No matter how you decide to be photographed, maternity photos are a great keepsake that captures this significant change in your life. Your little one is encountering key brain and nerve development at this stage. All five senses are fully developed, their irises fully react to light, and they can turn their head from side to side.

Week 31

Length : 41.1 cm

Weight : 1.49 kg

Week 31
Length : 41.1 cm
Weight : 1.49 kg

Your Baby is the size of a


Have you scheduled your maternity photoshoot session yet? No matter how you decide to be photographed, maternity photos are a great keepsake that captures this significant change in your life. Your little one is encountering key brain and nerve development at this stage. All five senses are fully developed, their irises fully react to light, and they can turn their head from side to side.

Your little one is encountering crucial brain and nerve development. All five senses are fully developed, their irises fully react to light, and they can turn their head from side to side.

As you've probably noticed, your baby is moving around a lot these days! Their arms, legs, and body are filling out as they continue to develop fat underneath their skin, making each kick and turn feel stronger than last week. You might even see an arm or a foot moving slowly across your belly. (Aw!)         

Are you having any Braxton Hicks contractions? Common towards the end of a pregnancy and often referred to as "false labor," Braxton Hicks contractions commonly last about 30 seconds. These are relatively painless and shouldn’t occur more than four times within one hour. However, if they are more frequent, it may be a sign of preterm labor. Call your midwife or doctor if you experience: more than four contractions within an hour, an increase or change in vaginal discharge, abdominal pain or cramping, an increase in pressure in the pelvic area, and low back pain (especially if you haven't experienced this low-back pain before). And remember that even though Braxton Hicks doesn’t bring babies, they do tone the uterus, preparing it for childbirth.

Is there any leakage from your nipples? This "pre-milk" is called colostrum. An easy way to keep tabs on this is with nursing pads, which will absorb the fluid and keep it from soaking through your top. Even if you aren't leaking any colostrum, your breasts are making it. This is also why your bra is probably fitting a little more snugly than it used to. If you decide to buy new bras from now on, you might consider getting a nursing bra one size larger than your present demand calls for. You might find yourself extremely grateful for the extra room in a month or two.         

The ups and downs of pregnancy are exhausting, but once you hold that little baby and stare into those perfect, trusting eyes, it will all be entirely worth it. Below is a list of symptoms you might experience during week 31.

Swelling, or edema, in your ankles and/or feet: some swelling is normal and expected during pregnancy, especially if you are on your feet all day, but talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing sudden swelling, as this could be a warning sign of a dangerous complication called preeclampsia. 

Stretch marks and/or unwanted hair growth: as your baby continues to grow and your body grows to accommodate, your skin may experience stretching, leaving marks and causing discomfort. You may also notice hair growing in places it didn’t grow previously, or growing more aggressively than it did before. You can utilize lotions and creams to soothe irritated skin; but stretch marks are largely genetic and not something you should feel guilty for not “preventing”.  Unwanted hair growth can be shaved or plucked. Waxing may not be advisable during pregnancy and should be explored as an option with caution. 

Sweating: increased perspiration can be a result of hormonal changes, or the additional weight and pressure on your body as you carry your growing baby. Stay hydrated to replace any fluids lost. 

Heartburn: as your baby continues to grow and press on internal organs, your digestive system is likely to feel the impact of cramped quarters. This, paired with continuing hormone fluctuations can result in heartburn or indigestion. Talk to your medical care provider about options for relief if you’re feeling too uncomfortable.

Braxton Hicks: also referred to as “practice contractions” Braxton Hicks are your body’s way of preparing for giving birth. They are generally painless, or uncomfortable at most– like subtle period cramps. If you are experiencing severe pain, or the cramping does not stop– seek medical attention.

Tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands and wrists: possible warning signs for carpal tunnel syndrome, keep an eye on any numbness or pain in your hands and wrists and be sure your doctor is aware so they can rule out any concerns.

Bleeding and/or swollen gums: increased blood volume can make ruptures in sensitive places like the nasal membranes and gum line more likely. Dental health is critical during pregnancy, so you should continue to brush and floss– but take care to do so gently!

Interrupted sleep: trouble sleeping? It’s no surprise as midnight bathroom breaks, heartburn, leg cramps, and the stress of your soon-to-come newborn can all make it difficult to get a full night’s rest.

Backaches and/or leg cramps:  aches and pains are an uncomfortable, albeit normal, part of pregnancy. Avoid staying in the same position for too long, stay hydrated, and talk to your doctor about safe pain relief options that may offer some comfort.

Crazy dreams: the stress of anticipating your baby’s arrival and the poor sleep of the third trimester can result in interrupted sleep. While the cause of the more vivid dreams in pregnancy is unknown it may have something to do with that interrupted sleep. Not sleeping as deeply may allow you to remember your dreams more easily. 

Fetal activity: your baby’s movements are becoming less responsive and more purposeful! As the part of their brain responsible for movement develops you may notice more patterns in when and how your baby moves.          

Thinking About Your Newborn Photoshoot

Have you scheduled a maternity photoshoot session yet? If you have any friends who've had maternity photoshoots, then you've probably seen their photos. And we’re sure you have your opinions. There's the usual unbuttoned shirt photo with the swell of your belly peeking out, and the interlocked hands around the growing bump, or hands shaped into a heart overtop the growing bump, all of which tend to be hallmarked images that celebrate the pregnant form.

There’s also the kindred partner bump (where they are pressing their belly out to its fullest grandeur) pressed against the real baby bump image to consider too, along with full nudity and boudoir, versus outdoors and fully clothed. Either way, maternity photos are a great keepsake to help you remember this significant change in your life.

To find the right maternity photographer, ask around! A high-quality photographer knows which angles are best for pregnant individuals and how to capture them effortlessly. Your friends, family members, and coworkers may have excellent recommendations. You can also search online. Look at the photographer’s personal website and portfolio of work. Do you like the overall feel of their images? The colors captured, and the scenery chosen? Some photographers offer packages for maternity and newborn shoots, and some offer digital versions and will ask you to pay per jpg.

When to Book

Good maternity photographers are usually booked early on; the longer you wait, the smaller your chances of getting your session booked when you want. And keep in mind, if you schedule your maternity photoshoot for some time during your 38th week and go into labor at 37 weeks, you'll have waited too long. Get it scheduled!

If you already have enough going on right now, you might also consider having a friend take a few photos, if you'll feel comfortable and have a good camera to use. Let's face it, many cell phones nowadays can take a dang good picture. Turn yourself into a model and have a fun night in! The best ways to capture the perfect image include using natural light (a flash may make you look washed out) and keeping it simple (there's no need to make a career change of things). You don't need props and wardrobe changes, nor a staged background. You could also make it a family affair! If you have older children, let them get in on the lights, camera, action. Get your spouse to jump in; or if your partner is a really good sport, take some pictures together! You want a snapshot of life, as it presently is - who you are and what life is about - in this moment.

And don't forget to write in your pregnancy journal this week!

At a Glance

  • Stay safe: While you may feel like you can do it all, you are doing plenty! Now is not the time to do heavy lifting, climb ladders, or use strong chemicals.
  • Sciatica: A sharp or dull pain radiating from your lower back and down your bottom and legs may be sciatica. Triggered by pressure or inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
  • Pain management: Epidural or no epidural? Start thinking about your birth plan and your plan for pain management during labor.
  • Postpartum Depression: Research postpartum depression and anxiety so you can be prepared and know the signs after you deliver.
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3rd Trimester

Louise Broadbridge

Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a registered senior midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby antenatal classes and the face behind instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have taught over 100,000 expectant parents since starting my antenatal classes which have 5* reviews.

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The information on the Your Baby Club website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always discuss any health concerns with a qualified healthcare provider and carefully review all guidance that comes with any medications or supplements before taking.