Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 31

As your pregnancy progresses into week thirty-one, so too do your concerns, fears and anxiety about labour, delivery and childbirth. It’s normal for pregnant women to have concerns about the upcomingbigday, even those who have gone through it before.

Whether it’s your first child or your fifth, there is always a certain amount of trepidation about going into labour. Will you be alone when it happens? What if baby comes early? You might find yourself constantly topping up the gas tank on the car, packing or repacking your suitcase, or building a long list of cleaning tasks for yourself. All of this amounts to one thing: being prepared for baby’s arrival.

Like a bird building a nest to lay eggs, expectant Moms take measures to make sure house and home are fit and ready to greet the newest member of the family. Some women go on cleaning binges, finding dirt that would otherwise go unnoticed, like the dust that accumulates on light bulbs. Other women worry about planning babysitters for older kids, setting up a call tree for the labour announcement or strategically organizing baby’s wardrobe.

All these activities are propelled by the need to get ready for baby, and it’s a way for the mind to release some of the anxiety about childbirth. No matter how many children you already have, each baby arrives at its own pace, and you never really know exactly what might happen. No matter how much you clean or prepare, you still won’t eliminate the element of surprise.

If you must keep your mind and body busy, some useful things to do are preparing some casseroles and other quick meals that you can place in the freezer. Having meals ready for you and your family will mean less work and less stress when baby arrives. It also ensures you are eating properly when you are too tired to even think about cooking.

Freezable favorites include pancakes, which can easily be reheated in the microwave or a toaster. You can also prepare mashed potatoes, lasagna, spaghetti (pasta and sauce can be cooked, frozen and reheated in a snap) or even freeze up some cooked hamburger for quick meal prep. Sealed tightly, most meats can be frozen after being cooked, such as turkey or beef, so you can make up your own tv dinners.

Baby is busy preparing for the big day too, and is gearing up for another growth spurt. Your little one has now reached about 16 inches in length and weighs approximately 3.3 pounds. Layers of fat that will keep baby nice and warm outside the womb are starting to build up beneath the wrinkled skin, giving it the smooth feel babies are famous for.

Truth or Myth: All pregnant women go through a “nesting” phase to get ready for baby. When a pregnant woman is obsessively cleaning, doing laundry and taking on other household tasks during the final weeks of pregnancy, they are often said to be nesting. It’s a common phenomenon, but it’s not really a symptom of pregnancy. Some women never stray from their normal cleaning routine and some women are far too tired to even think about it. While it’s important to have a reasonably clean environment to bring baby home to, it’s just as important for Mommy’s to be well rested and ready for childbirth. So don’t feel bad if you’d much rather take a nap than scrub the toilets, since taking care of baby also means taking care of you!

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