31 Weeks Pregnant
You will probably have a prenatal checkup during week 31 of pregnancy to ensure that you and your baby are healthy.
At this prenatal visit, you may want to talk to your doctor about Braxton Hicks contractions, which are spontaneous contractions that prepare you for labor. As your pregnancy due date nears, the contractions can become more intense, and you may worry that you are going into labor. However, Braxton Hicks are not true labor contractions; they are considered practice contractions.
You should call your doctor immediately if the contractions occur more than four times in one hour, or if the contractions are accompanied by pain in the abdomen or back or by any unusual vaginal discharge. These could be true labor signs.
(Click Signs of Labor for more information.)
The exam at your 31 week prenatal visit will be similar to previous exams in that your doctor will likely check the following:
- Blood pressure
- Uterus size
- Your baby's heart rate.
When you are around 31 weeks pregnant, your pregnancy weight gain should stabilize at about a pound per week. Most women have gained about 19 pounds at the end of week 31 of pregnancy.
Your doctor will be looking for any changes in your blood pressure from your last visit that could indicate a problem (see High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy or Preeclampsia for more information).
Your urine will be tested for:
- Protein, which can be a sign of high blood pressure
- Sugar, which can be a sign of gestational diabetes.
By the end of week 31 of pregnancy, your uterus should be located about five fingers below the point where your ribs meet. Your doctor will also feel for the position of the baby, who should be positioning himself or herself for a head-first birth.
Your Baby's Heartbeat
The Doppler ultrasound test, among other things, will allow you to hear your baby's heartbeat.