You are now 31 weeks pregnant, which is the beginning of week 32. Your baby weighs about 1.7kg (1,700 grams or approximately 3 lbs 12 ozs) and measures about 43 cm from head to toe (or just under 17 inches). Some women start feeling heavy and large now and may need to slow down, perhaps finding physical tasks are requiring more effort as the weeks pass by. You may consider stopping work (if employed) during the next few weeks.
Your baby has now put on enough weight to make them look a little chubby! The fine hair that covered their entire body (called lanugo) now disappears from their face, but remains on their torso. Most babies sleep about 90% of the time at this stage, in between having shorts bursts of movement when awake (every 1 to 2 hours). Many unborn babies like to be active during the evenings when their mother is trying to sleep, between 9pm and 1am!
Your baby's lungs continue to mature, producing increasing amounts of 'surfactant'. This is a fatty liquid (called phospholipid) that lines their lungs, keeping them moist and helping the sacs within them (called alveoli) to expand efficiently for breathing. Your baby's sucking and swallowing action (required to drink milk) fully coordinates between 32 to 34 weeks. However, if your baby is born during this time they may require fluids and glucose through a drip in their vein and/or be fed with a fine tube inserted through their mouth or nose, because suckling tires them quickly.
Babies born at around 32 weeks still need to be cared for in an intensive care nursery. Nearly 80% of preterm babies are born between 32 to 37 weeks gestationand are regarded as being 'mildly preterm'. If born at 31 to 32 weeks, they have about a 95% chance of survival.
Go to Weeks 33 - 34