A Family Approach to Photos
Your Photo Albums:

Edit Albums
Upload New Pictures
Week #31 of Pregnancy

Get Weekly Updates on your Pregnancy E-Mailed to You
Complete Privacy - Your information will be used by edHelperBaby only and will never be shared with another company.

  Enter your E-MAIL ADDRESS:  

Your Pregnancy: Week 31

By Erin Horner, edHelperBaby

  Your Baby
           This week has been a real eye opener for your baby-literally!  Your little one can now see and differentiate between light and dark.  If you were to shine a bright light on your belly, there is a good chance that your baby would try and follow it.  Who knows, you might even feel a kick or a punch as baby reaches out to touch this bright area.  Her eyebrows and eyelashes are also now complete and her lungs and digestive track are nearly mature.


Your Body
           As your body continues to prepare for motherhood, you are probably noticing that your breasts now look and feel nothing like they did 31 weeks ago.  In fact, this week, you may begin to notice that your breasts have begun leaking some colostrum.  Colostrum, or pre-milk, is truly nature's miracle food.  If you have chosen to breastfeed, this clear, orange, or yellow liquid will nourish your little one during the first few days after his birth.  Packed full of amazing anti-bodies and complete with three times the protein of mature breast milk, it will boost your little one's immune system and help him or her resist infections that can occur after birth.  Some women notice that their breasts leak colostrum after a warm shower or at random times throughout the day.  If you are experiencing this, try tucking a nursing pad in your bra in order to help absorb the fluid and avoid looking like you have accidentally dribbled water on a very awkward location!


  You're Wondering. . .
           This pregnancy has taken my breath away!  I often feel short of breath and have a hard time breathing deeply.  If I'm struggling to take a deep breath, is my baby getting enough oxygen?

       While the miracle of growing a child inside of you can create a deep sense of awe and wonder and take your breath away, it would be nice to be able to get it back every once in a while, wouldn't it?  Breathlessness is a very common pregnancy complaint.  As amazing as the human body is, the truth of the matter is that there is only so much room inside of it.  That means that as your uterus grows, the rest of your body has to accommodate all of the changes.  In this case, it is your diaphragm that has to take one for the team.  As your uterus continues to expand to make room for your growing baby, it inadvertently pushes down on your diaphragm, making it harder to take deep breaths.  While this condition is uncomfortable, it is not dangerous for your baby.  She continues to receive plenty of oxygen directly through the placenta.  If your breathlessness is particularly bothersome, the following tips may help you breathe a bit easier:
  • Stand up straight.  Become aware of your posture and be sure to sit up nice and tall and stand up nice and straight.  By keeping your shoulders down and back, you will ease some of the pressure that your diaphragm is feeling.
  • Slow Down.  If you are struggling to catch your breath, now is not the time to attempt an activity that would have left you short of breath even before your pregnancy.  Take it easy and slow down.
  • Sleep with extra pillows.  If you are feeling short of breath when lying down, try propping your head and shoulders up with some extra pillows.  This may make it easier to breathe by providing some much needed support for your upper body.  If your partner balks at you for taking all of his pillows, just rub your belly and smile.


  Your "To-Do" List
           The search is on!  Take some time this week and begin the process of looking for a doctor for your little bundle of joy.  Once your baby is born, it is his or her doctor who will come to the hospital and begin providing any needed medical care.  Finding a medical provider that you can really trust your child's health care to is a huge responsibility, but also a great privilege.  Remember, this is the person that you will come and see when your little one is sick and you are scared, so be sure to find one that you not only trust professionally, but feel comfortable with personally.  Here are a few tips that may help you in your search for baby's new doctor:
  • Pediatrician or Practitioner?  Decide whether or not you want your child to be cared for by a pediatrician, who strictly practices infant and child health care, or a family practitioner, a doctor who would be able to treat the entire family.  Some parents feel more comfortable choosing a pediatrician because their training has helped them to specialize in the care of infants and young children.  Others, however, prefer to take the whole family, mom and dad included, all to the same doctor.  This can be convenient when the whole family comes down with the same illness, as one doctor can write a prescription for the whole gang.
  • Check your coverage.  If you have health insurance, start by identifying the names of all of the doctors that are covered by your plan.  You don't want to take the time to find a great doctor only to learn that your health care plan won't cover his services.
  • Location, location, location.  After gathering a list of covered doctors, pay close attention to where their offices are located. When your child is sick or hurt, you don't want to find yourself having to drive for 45 minutes through rush hour traffic to take your little one to his or her appointment.  Look for a physician that is close to home or close to your child's future day care facility.
  • Ask Around.  Ask other parents in your social circles which doctor they have chosen for their children.  Often, the best way to find a great pediatrician is through a friend's recommendation.  Other parents have seen their physician at work and can give you the inside scoop as to how this provider relates to and cares for children.

       After creating a list of a few names that meet the above mentioned criteria call the doctors' offices and ask to set-up an interview appointment.  Many offices will offer a consultation appointment for free or for a nominal fee.  Then, be prepared to ask some of the following questions during your time together:
  1. What are your office hours?  What if my child needs care on a weekend?
  2. How do you handle night time and emergency calls on holidays?
  3. How are appointments handled when children are sick?  Do the sick children wait in the same room as the healthy children?  If my child is sick, will he be seen the day I call for an appointment?
  4. At which hospital do you (or your group members) have full staff privileges?
  5. What is your advice about how to handle a crying baby? (This question will help you determine if you and the physician will share the same parenting philosophies.)
  6. What is your opinion of childhood vaccinations and the schedule at which they should be given?

       After interviewing the different doctors, select the one that you feel most comfortable with.  Don't however, allow this process to become too overwhelming.  If in the future during the course of medical treatment, you begin to feel as though this physician is no longer a good fit for your child, you can always select a new doctor.  Your decision right now is not set in stone, but it is important to have someone lined up to care for your sweet one once he or she is born.  Be sure to let your obstetrician know which doctor you have chosen for your baby so that they can contact him or her once your little one makes her grand entrance.


Your Homework: Preparing For Parenthood
           Go for a "Wonder Walk" this week with your partner.  Find some time and enjoy a walk around the block, through a favorite park, or another great location.  As you walk, look at all of the different things around you as if you were seeing them for the first time.  Take some time to appreciate the "wonder" of all that you see.  Then, begin to think about how it will feel to introduce your child to all of these things.  What will it be like the first time your little one feels the coolness of the blades of grass on her bare feet?  How about the first time she smells a blooming rose?  How will your little boy respond to the noise of a jet soaring overhead?  What will it be like to help him stomp through a pile of dried autumn leaves?  Allow yourself to dream about the experiences that you and your baby will have together and remember that as your child's first teacher you are blessed with the awesome privilege of introducing him to all of the wonder that can be found in this wonderful world.


  My Experience
           One of my favorite things about parenthood is the gift of being able to see the world through the eyes of my children.  I have found that the joy that my kids find in the little things all around them is contagious.  When I was pregnant, my husband and I did this homework assignment together as we walked along a local beach.  As I listened to the waves crash on the shore and felt the sand between my toes, I couldn't help but smile as I thought about our little girl one day exploring the beach for the first time.  It was then that my eyes were opened to all of the wonder around me that I take for granted.  As I looked forward to introducing my daughter to all of the wonderful things that this world has to offer, I inadvertently rediscovered them for myself.



     Are there any activities that I should avoid during pregnancy?
Can Breastfeeding Actually Be Continued When I Return To Work?

Ask Your Own Question

Ask a Question

Give a Suggestion     Contact edHelperBaby
Note: All information on edHelperBaby is of a general nature for educational purposes only.
For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
Your use of this site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.