My 31 Week Pregnant Belly: Bump Updates (With Pictures)

My 31 Weeks Pregnant Belly Picture

31 week bump update

Starting Weight: 123lbs

Current Weight: 136lbs

Total Weight Gain: 13lbs

Now let’s go over how my week went and what to expect…

Disclaimer

Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.



Energy Level: My energy level was above average this week. My husband and I had just returned from our babymoon which probably contributed to this. I am feeling excited to end this third trimester strong!

Pregnancy symptoms: This week I continued to experience painful leg cramps in my calves throughout the night. I continued applying magnesium oil to my lower legs as well as massaging the area prior to going to sleep which seems to help.

I also felt stronger Braxton Hicks contractions on and off, early in the week, which I attribute to stress and dehydration from traveling.

Lastly, I am feeling more pressure in my pelvis which I believe is due to the position of my baby. His head is quite low (I checked on the ultrasound) and every time he moves my bladder is super uncomfortable.

Other Physical Changes: No other significant changes other than my baby bump getting bigger and my belly button becoming more prominent.

Still no linea nigra nor stretch marks.

Diet: I actually made some changes to my breakfast this week. Normally, I work out in the morning around 5 am. After my workout, I drink a protein shake and then pack my food for the day. Around 8 am I typically eat my breakfast which consists of overnight oats with chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, chocolate protein, coconut, goji berries, banana, and some sort of berry.

After using a continuous glucose monitor for about two weeks (not because I am diabetic, solely for informational purposes) I noticed that this meal spiked my blood sugar.

So this week, I decided to make steel-cut oats and only add nut butter, banana, and some blueberries. Sure enough, my blood sugar did not spike at all.

I continued to make other minor adjustments using the data from the glucose monitor.

The cool thing about this data is that everyone is unique and will respond differently to the same meals.

What spikes my blood sugar necessarily won’t spike yours.

My husband was able to get a 20% discount on the sensors if you are interested in trying them for a month. Don’t forget, these sensors are NOT to detect or manage diabetes. They are simply a way to gauge how your blood glucose reacts to certain foods.

Diet Modifications: I made changes to my breakfast as above due to my blood sugar going higher than I’d like.

I also notice that I have to consume smaller meals than normal, as I get full quickly.

Food Aversions: No food aversions this week.

Food Cravings: No real food cravings.

Workouts: This week I was able to complete my usual four strength workouts (squat, overhead press, bench, and deadlift) in addition to a yoga class and three peloton rides.

The yoga class was really fun. I made sure to take my time, go through the flow at my own pace, and not attempt any pose that placed significant tension on my abdomen.

As far as the Peloton, cycling during pregnancy is a great way to get in some aerobic training. However, it is super important that you take your time, don’t push yourself, have water near you, and make sure you can always engage in a conversation during the ride.

You can see examples of my entire pregnancy workout in my Prenatal Fitness Prescription.

desktop computer showing the cover of the prenatal fitness rx workout program

Modifications to my workout: I haven’t had to modify my workouts too much as I am still able to use barbells and dumbbells. I always use lighter weights and ensure I am going through the movements carefully to minimize the risk of injuring myself.

In addition, I make sure my heart rate does not rise significantly and take the appropriate time to rest in between sets.

*Be sure to speak with your health care provider before doing any physical activity or heavy lifting in pregnancy.*

Here is a video of me performing the overhead press with 50lbs at 31 weeks:

How big is a baby at 31 weeks?

At 31 weeks, your baby is about the size of a coconut or a pineapple. He weighs ~3 lbs 3 ounces on average and measures about 16.5 inches.

How many inches should your belly be at 31 weeks?

The top of your uterus should measure 31 centimeters (plus or minus 2 cm) from your pubic symphysis which is the most inferior part of your pelvic bone.

This measurement is known as the fundal height and will be measured at every prenatal visit to ensure your baby is growing appropriately.

Here is what my belly looks like at 31 weeks:

brittany holding up sign at 31 weeks pregnant from side

What position should the baby be in at 31 weeks?

At 31 weeks your baby can be in one of three positions:

  • Cephalic: The baby’s head is down in your pelvis. The cephalic or vertex presentation is necessary for vaginal delivery
  • Breech: The baby’s buttocks are the presenting part in your pelvis. Breech presentation equires an external cephalic version or cesarean section
  • Transverse: The baby is lying across your abdomen. Transverse presentation requires an external cephalic version or cesarean section
An external cephalic version is a procedure that occurs after 37 weeks of gestation if your baby is in the breech or transverse position. Your doctor or a specialized OBGYN known as a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist will perform the version either at the bedside or in the operating room in an attempt to move your baby into the cephalic position. I will discuss this in further detail later on.

Can my baby still turn at 31 weeks?

Yes, your baby can still turn at 31 weeks.

In fact, your baby can turn up until 40 weeks of gestation! It is slightly more difficult as the baby is bigger but it can definitely happen.

By 32 weeks, most babies will be head down.

What causes a baby not to turn head down?

Unfortunately, the majority of times, there is no clear reason why the baby did not turn into the head-down position.

In some cases, there may be a uterine or fetal malformation preventing the baby from turning into the cephalic position.

In addition, twins, fibroids, or having a decreased amount of amniotic fluid, known as oligohydramnios can prevent babies from flipping.

What does a super active baby in womb mean?

An active baby is usually a reassuring sign that all is well inside your uterus.

With that said, the movements can become quite uncomfortable as your baby is growing and filling up the space inside your uterus.

How often should your baby move at 31 weeks

Your baby should move at least 10 times in 2 hours during the third trimester.

This is known as the fetal kick count.

Make sure you are paying attention to how often your baby is moving as you will be asked at your prenatal visits.

If you notice decreased or absent movement, try drinking something sweet and going into a quiet room to concentrate.

Keep in mind that your baby has less room to move around than before, so the movement quality might be different.

If you still don’t feel your baby moving, seek immediate medical attention as there could be something more serious going on.

Can your belly drop at 31 weeks?

In general, most babies will settle into their final head-down position by 32-36 weeks.

However, your belly (and the baby’s head) will truly drop when you are going into labor.

Why is my belly so hard at 31 weeks pregnant?

Your belly may be hard at 31 weeks because of Braxton-Hicks contractions.

These practice contractions are neither consistent nor painful and do not cause cervical dilation.

Another reason for a hard belly at 31 weeks is preterm labor.

True labor contractions usually occur at regular intervals, every couple of minutes, and are painful.

If you are having regular and painful contractions at 31 weeks, you should seek medical attention right away.

Can a baby born at 31 weeks survive and be healthy?

A baby born at 31 weeks has about a 95% chance of survival.

However, these babies will require special attention and need to be cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit by highly trained pediatricians called neonatologists.

No two preterm deliveries are the same, and outcomes differ widely.

Is the baby fully developed at 31 weeks?

Yes, your baby is fully developed at 31 weeks but many of their organs will continue to develop until they reach full term which is 37-40 weeks.

Specifically, the lungs are not quite ready for the outside world at this time.

What does a baby looks like at 31 weeks?

At 31 weeks, your baby will look just like a full-term baby just smaller and with less body fat and thinner skin.

What is 31 weeks in months?

31 weeks is 7 months and 3 weeks.

You are almost done with 8 months of pregnancy!

Anything else I should know?

It is at 31-32 weeks that many pregnant women will begin to feel significantly more uncomfortable physically.

This has been true for me as well.

The expanding uterus and extra weight in your abdomen will continue to worsen common symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath (as your diaphragm continues to be pushed up)
  • Round ligament pain
  • Lower back pain or discomfort
  • Frequent urination
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Swelling
  • Constipation

You may also notice leakage of colostrum from your breasts as well, which is completely normal.

Nevertheless, this is a good time to ensure that you are still maintaining a healthy pregnancy and doing what you can to support your baby’s development.

This includes:

  • Eating a healthy well-balanced diet
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Not sleeping flat on your back
  • Exercising when you can if you are medically cleared to do so
  • Doing pelvic floor exercises
  • Regularly seeing your healthcare provider
  • Being aware of any symptoms of high blood pressure like headaches, changes in vision, chest pain

Final Words on Pregnancy Week 31

We are now 9 weeks away from your due date!

Are you continuing to take care of yourself and do things that are important for your physical and emotional wellbeing?

Have you started thinking about what to put in your hospital bag for the big day?

Comment below and let me and other moms know!

Check back next week for my 32 week update as I enter the last weeks of my pregnancy!

My Other Weekly Updates


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brittany-robles

Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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References:

  1. Shanahan MM, Gray CJ. External Cephalic Version. [Updated 2021 Jul 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482475/
  2. Manktelow, B. N., Seaton, S. E., Field, D. J., & Draper, E. S. (2013). Population-based estimates of in-unit survival for very preterm infants. Pediatrics131(2), e425–e432. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-2189