With your baby’s five senses in play, tasting, tracking light, reacting to sound, looking and feeling around mummy’s insides, are all part of the bay’s day. So whatever you are doing, whether it’s in a movie or a restaurant, your baby is sure to be busy putting on his own bhangra show. Your baby is right there with you, soaking in all the sounds and stimuli he is subjected to – and not a bad thing considering you will both spend the next few years attached at the hip!

What’s happening with you

Your body is busy preparing for your baby’s arrival. Braxton Hicks contractions are a daily occurrence now and while they are painless, they are uncomfortable as your abdomen hardens for short periods of time. Also, these don’t come with a warning, so you may wake up in the middle of the night with one or even be in an important meeting with your boss when one hits. These contractions feel like your entire belly is tightening and can become very strong as you near the end of the pregnancy. While these cannot be avoided, one can make the episode more bearable by taking a leisurely bath, if only to distract from the contractions.

From the eight month onward, these can occur on a very regular basis. Varicose veins are a fairly common occurrence at this point in the pregnancy. The increased blood volume, the pressure of the uterus on the blood vessels along with the extra pregnancy hormones all contribute towards varicose veins. The most relief is provided by taking walks when possible or exercising moderately on a regular basis.

What’s happening with your baby

Until just before birth, your baby will gain close to a half a pound (225 gms) with every passing week. As your uterus gets more and more cramped, your baby will spend more time crouched in the fetal position than in any other. Most of the baby’s organs are fully mature except for the lungs. For this reason, preterm labor contractions must be addressed as soon as they begin, to reduce the chances of the baby’s immature lungs having to breathe on their own.

week 31 of pregnancyYour baby is blissfully unaware of the sex that you are having. Even at this juncture in the pregnancy, although it is harder to find positions that work, sexual intercourse or sex during pregnancy does not pose a problem for your growing fetus, so continue to enjoy it for as long as you want.

The baby is 16 inches long and weighs just under 3 ½ pounds(1.5 kg) with at least another 3 to 6 pounds (1.4 kg to 2.5 kg) to go before birth. This is a great time to actively seek out new moms-to-be, as all the new emotions and anxieties you are experiencing are best shared with women in your situation. So make this a time of new friend-making, as your friends who don’t have children yet may not be interested in hours of home videos of baby’s first steps every time they see you!