31 weeks pregnant
Have you decided whether to breast-feed or bottle-feed your baby? The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding from birth, but ultimately the decision about how to feed your child is a personal one. If you have concerns about how to breastfeed, you might find it helpful to talk to your LMC or a lactation consultant. See here for more information on breastfeeding.
The milk glands in your breasts may start to make colostrum around this time. Colostrum is the thick, yellowish milk that will provide your baby with calories and nutrients for the first few days before your milk comes in if you plan to breast-feed. If you notice your breasts leaking colostrum, you can purchase disposable or washable breast pads that will protect your clothing.
You may feel extremely breathless now, this will improve around weeks 34-35 when your baby drops lower into your pelvis in preparation for delivery.
Your baby’s total length is around 40cm and he weighs about 1.6kg. Soon he will slow-down growing in length and will only put much needed extra fat on. Your baby receives all the nutrients he or she needs through the placenta, and the placental blood flow is what allows your baby to produce urine. Your baby urinates approximately half a litre of urine a day into the amniotic fluid. He or she also swallows some of the fluid, which is completely replaced several times a day. Excess fluid in the amniotic sac (a condition known as polyhydramnios) may mean that the baby isn't swallowing normally or that he or she has a gastrointestinal obstruction. Not enough fluid in the amniotic sac (oligohydramnios) may mean that the baby isn't urinating properly, and could indicate a problem with the kidneys or urinary system. If your LMC is concerned that your baby may have reduced or increased fluid levels, he or she may recommend an ultrasound to check the levels.
Your baby now has eyelashes and eyebrows and his or her lungs and digestive tract are almost fully functional.
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