31 weeks of gestation: what happens in this gestational phase?

At 31 weeks of gestation the woman is moving towards the final stretch of pregnancy, already in the last trimester of this phase of her life.

The baby is more alert to external stimuli and reacts more easily to the movements and sounds emitted by the mother.

But in some cases, the woman may not feel the baby’s movements as much.

This is because the movements of the fetus become more and more limited as a result of the smaller space in the uterus.

It is a period of greater attention to symptoms, due to the possibility of premature birth and, often, of great discomfort for the woman due to the size of the belly.

Due to the diminishing space, the baby spends most of the time tight in the womb, with arms crossed, knees bent and chin close to the chest.

When the hands are close to the mouth, the baby can start, still in the mother’s belly, to have the habit of sucking the finger.

It is an action that helps later in breastfeeding, when it comes to grabbing the breast, since he manages to firm his mouth on his thumb and make the suction movement.

See in the text below the main symptoms that the pregnant woman has and the baby’s changes at 31 weeks of gestation:


31 weeks of gestation is how many months? Can you be born yet?

When the pregnant woman is 31 weeks pregnant it means that she is at the end of the seventh month. With that time, it is possible that the baby may be born, but it is still considered a premature birth.

Because of the risk of this type of delivery, it is important for women to know the difference between the symptoms of childbirth and Braxton Hicks contractions .

Symptoms of premature birth

Braxton Hicks contractions appear during the third quarter in an irregular and transient manner.

The woman may feel a general tightening of the uterus or feel that the baby is making sudden movements.

They are not as painful as pre-delivery contractions and are not a cause for alarm or concern.

They can occur and pass after a few hours, but not all women experience them, especially in the first pregnancy.

The symptoms that really indicate that the woman is going into premature labor are:

  • Menstrual-like cramps located above the pubic bone;
  • Pain or pressure in the lower back;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Increased vaginal discharge;
  • Pink or brown discharge;
  • Bleeding;
  • Intestinal cramps.

Read more: Seventh month of pregnancy: know the changes of mother and baby

How big and how much does a 31-week-old fetus weigh?

The baby at 31 weeks of gestation has a weight, on average, between 1300g and 1500g. The size of the fetus at this stage is about 38cm.

In this phase, the baby starts to gain weight more quickly, about 200g per week.

The baby’s head is one of the fastest growing, as the brain has an increase in size. Nerve cells also show greater growth.

The baby’s vision is also well developed and until birth is still improving. At birth, the newborn focuses more on nearby objects and gradually gets used to colors and to focus on distant objects.

Read more: Third trimester of pregnancy: know the symptoms and tests

Symptoms at 31 weeks of gestation

At 31 weeks of gestation, women may experience symptoms such as pain in the pelvis, constipation , pain in the rib region and shortness of breath.

The latter symptom may be due to the fact that the baby pushes the diaphragm towards the lungs. Thus, the woman presents greater tiredness , shortness of breath and loss of rhythm in breathing.

Between the 37th and 38th weeks, the shortness of breath gives a respite as the baby goes down to the pelvis, leaving more space for the diaphragm.

The woman may also experience greater fatigue due to the difficulty of finding a comfortable position, due to the baby’s weight and the size of the belly.