31 weeks pregnant illustration

31 Weeks Pregnant

9 Weeks to Go!
Baby is as big as asparagus
Updated May 31, 2024
Fact Checked by Ira Lacher

Key Takeaways at 31 Weeks Pregnant

  • Things are feeling mighty crowded. You might be having trouble walking, talking or doing both at the same time. Baby is making it hard for you to feel like you can catch your breath.
  • Fundal height is probably somewhere around 30 centimeters—give or take. Suffice it to say, you may no longer be able to see your feet when you’re standing up straight.
  • If you’re expecting twins, your doctor may schedule a biophysical profile. This is a combo ultrasound and a non-stress test (NST). For the NST, you’ll have sensors put on your belly to detect and measure your contractions and baby or babies’ heart rates.
  • All five of baby’s senses are fully developed at 31 weeks pregnant. Baby is also getting smarter! In the meantime, you might actually feel a little absentminded. Some say that “pregnancy brain” isn’t a real thing, but can you honestly think of another time in your life when you’ve had as much on your mind as now? There’s ample reason to be so forgetful at week 31 of pregnancy.

Video Highlights at 31 Weeks

Watch Week 31 Highlights

3D Views: My Baby, My Body

See their progress for yourself with our 3D interactive tool.

Baby at Week 31

Your week 31 fetus is going through major brain and nerve development. In fact, all five of baby’s senses are in working order. At this point, their visual system is fully functional. Baby’s eyes can open and close, and the pupils can detect light and respond by constricting or dilating. Baby may even respond to a light, if you shine a flashlight on your bump! The eyes can also begin to focus (although there’s not much of a view in there).

Baby can recognize familiar voices outside of the womb—including yours and your partner’s. At around week 18 of pregnancy, baby’s hearing was developed enough to hear internal noises, like the gurgling of your digestion; outside noises become audible between weeks 27 to 29. Research shows that by 31 weeks, babies have begun to recognize voices and even specific words and sounds they hear on a regular basis. Hearing these familiar noises after birth can be comforting for baby, so don’t hesitate to play your favorite music, sing or read out loud. Baby is listening!

Baby’s brain is busy building connections and is now capable of controlling baby’s body heat. For now, the womb is a tightly controlled environment—which means baby’s body temperature is about the same as Mom’s (more precisely, it’s about 0.5 to 1-degree F warmer, thanks to baby’s rapid metabolism). Extra heat is filtered off through the amniotic fluid or baby’s blood, which passes to Mom via the placenta. At birth, babies can’t shiver, so they warm themselves by burning through body fat stores.

How big is baby at 31 weeks?

At 31 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a bunch of asparagus. Baby is likely over 15.5 inches long and weighs between 3.5 and 4 pounds. Baby is getting so big, and your uterus may be crowding your lungs, which is why you might find yourself winded on a normal walk up the stairs.

What does baby look like at 31 weeks?

Baby looks a lot like how they’ll look when they’re born! Lanugo, that downy covering of hair all over the body that protects baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid, starts to disappear. Their big job now is to keep filling out and gain a little more weight—oh, that adorable, cuddly baby fat!

Is baby fully developed at 31 weeks?

All of your hard work—eating right, exercising and generally taking care of your health—is paying off. You’re 31 weeks pregnant, which means baby has done a lot of growing (and still has some to do!). You’re ready to meet them—and they’re almost ready to meet you!

31 weeks pregnant is how many months?

At 31 weeks pregnant, you’re approximately seven months pregnant, although pregnancy is generally tracked by week, not month.

31 week ultrasound

Women who have pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes or who are 31 weeks pregnant with twins may have a 31 weeks pregnant ultrasound to check in on baby (or babies). But if that’s not you, you’re off the hook this week.

We know, we know. You’re just dying to know what baby looks like inside your 31 weeks pregnant belly. Some curious parents-to-be choose to have a 3D/4D ultrasound done later in pregnancy—usually sometime between weeks 24 to 32. (So 31 weeks pregnant is the perfect time!)

In a 3D/4D ultrasound, you can see the entire surface of baby’s face in one picture. Yep, the picture is three dimensional. The fourth dimension is time—you get to see baby move on the screen in 3D. That means you may see your 31-week fetus blinking, thumb sucking and maybe even smiling or frowning, and you’ll get probably take home a video of it, too!

There are medical circumstances that could call for a 3D/4D ultrasound at 31 weeks pregnant. But if your doctor doesn’t order one, you have the option of having one done at an independent imaging center. In that case, the 3D/4D ultrasound is an elective procedure, so your insurance won’t cover it and you’ll have to pay out of pocket for it.

They’re pretty cool to see though, so if you want one and your doctor okays it, go for it! Aw, so cute!


Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 31

From week 31 of pregnancy on, you’re bound to feel a lot of the same symptoms you’ve already been experiencing. Some may get worse, and some may become bearable. Here are the most typical 31 weeks pregnant symptoms:

Shortness of breath

You might start to have more trouble getting around as you get heavier and shorter of breath. Remember not to push yourself too much. It’s good for you and baby to get some exercise, but definitely take breaks to rest as much as you need to.

Dry, brittle nails

Sure, you’re having extra fingernail and toenail growth, but that can make those nails feel dry and easily broken. Some moms-to-be have success with a moisturizing cuticle oil.

Braxton Hicks contractions

To ease the discomfort of Braxton Hicks, drink plenty of water and change positions often.

Leaky boobs

That yellow liquid is baby's first food, called colostrum, and your body is getting it ready for the big arrival. A little leakage at this point is totally normal.

Frequent urination

Your bladder is just as crowded as your lungs are. Not much you can do about it except mentally plan for more bathroom breaks in your daily routine.


Be sure to keep stretching to ease your aching back. Prenatal yoga poses can help!

Trouble sleeping

It’s no wonder you can’t sleep when your back hurts. Your belly is contracting, you can’t find a comfortable position and oh, you have to keep getting up to pee!

Your Pregnant Belly at 31 Weeks

By 31 weeks pregnant you’ve probably gained about 21 to 27 pounds. If you’re 31 weeks pregnant with twins, it’s more like 27 to 42 pounds.

Your 31 weeks pregnant belly is getting in the way of everyday things like tying your shoes and sex. It’s even in the way of your usual swagger—have you started waddling yet?!

What position is baby in at 31 weeks?

Baby’s position at 31 weeks? Head down (although this becomes even more likely at 32 weeks). Your OB will check at your next appointment. With baby at 31 weeks, you’re both getting prepared for labor!

It's always better to be prepared, especially if your labor starts sooner or lasts longer than you expected! You'll want to pack a change of clothes for yourself and your baby, any toiletries you want, and labor support items like essential oils or a back massager. Many pregnant people also appreciate bringing a pillow from home for extra comfort. And don’t forget lip balm! This is so helpful for mouth-breathing during labor in dry hospital air.

CNM, MSN, RN, a certified nurse midwife and clinical director of Quilted Health in Washington State

Tips for 31 Weeks Pregnant

The finish line is in sight. Here’s what you can do as you round the corner and head to claim your prize (baby!).

Invest in nursing pads

If your breasts are leaking colostrum, nursing pads will keep your bras from getting messy. You can use either disposable or reusable pads.

Try a simple stretch for back pain

There are a lot of great stretches to help ease those aches, but here’s one you can do anytime, anywhere: Rest your back against a wall, standing with feet under your shoulders. Tilt your lower back against the wall and leave it there for about five to 10 seconds, then release. Repeat up to 10 times if needed.

Start training for labor

The big day will be here before you know it, so start practicing the deep, patterned breaths that will help you stay relaxed during labor. You’ll be more prepared when it’s time to deliver baby, but for now, these cleansing inhales and exhales have the added benefit of helping with any shortness of breath.

Cut back on tea or coffee

You may love your cuppa, but it could be driving some of those extra trips to the bathroom. Drinks with caffeine, such as coffee or tea, can act as diuretics and cause you to urinate more often.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is tea safe to drink herbal tea during this stage of pregnancy?

A few common herbal teas—including peppermint, chamomile, ginger and fruit teas—are safe to drink throughout pregnancy. Some might even help with common pregnancy complaints, such as indigestion and gas (ginger and peppermint) and sleep (chamomile).

That said, you should only drink other herbal teas if you get the go-ahead from your practitioner. Herbs can interact with certain medications, plus There just isn’t enough research to know if they’re 100 percent safe for you or baby.

When does the pregnancy waddle start?

Not all pregnant people have an obvious waddle, but the changes in your body will impact how you walk. All that added weight plus the increased size of your bump put a lot of pressure on your lower joints, especially your hips. Research shows that between the second and third trimester of pregnancy, a person’s steps become shorter and wider apart. Try walking like this consciously—you’ll feel like you’re waddling.

When does nesting in pregnancy start?

The drive to nest—a sudden burst of energy to clean and organize—can happen any time in pregnancy, but it’s most common in the third trimester and increases with every passing week. Some moms find nesting peaks in the week or two before birth, while others have no desire to nest at all.

In fact, there’s not a lot of evidence that nesting is a real hormonal or biological phenomenon. Instead, the nesting instinct may simply be a way for some parents to control their environment and feel more psychologically prepared for birth and the life changes to come.

How long can preterm labor be delayed?

If you’ve officially gone into labor, medications known as tocolytics can delay delivery for a few days by slowing labor contractions. In the meantime, your doctor will offer you treatments to help prepare baby, such as antenatal steroids to speed up lung development. Keep in mind that tocolytics aren’t recommended for everyone, including if you have heart problems or preeclampsia.

If you're at risk for preterm labor, your doctor may give you progesterone or recommend cervical cerclage (which helps reduce the risk of your cervix dilating). These treatments may lower the chances that you’ll give birth too early.

What should I know about newborn circumcision?

Circumcision, or removal of some of the foreskin on the penis, is typically done at the hospital within a few days of birth. The procedure has some benefits, including a slightly lower risk of developing urinary tract infections, penile cancer and some sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) later in life. Unlikely risks include infection, bleeding and scarring that can, in very rare cases, impact a baby’s ability to urinate.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends circumcision, noting that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Experiencing our first pregnancy together made us feel even closer. It was so special to have my partner their for all the firsts—from our positive test to the midpregnancy ultrasound right through to that first contraction. - Melissa L., mom of one

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


Mayo Clinic, Third Trimester Pregnancy: What to Expect, March 2022

Cleveland Clinic, Fundal Height, January 2022

Cleveland Clinic, [Biophysical Profile](, December 2022

Kaiser Permanente, Your Developing Baby - Week 31, June 2022

National Institutes of Health, The Effect of Pregnancy on Maternal Cognition, June 2021

Mount Sinai Hospitals, Fetal Development, July 2021

American Pregnancy Organization, 31 Weeks Pregnant

National Institutes of Health, Respiratory Physiology of Pregnancy, December 2015

Cleveland Clinic, Lanugo, March 2022

Cleveland Clinic, Gestational Diabetes, November 2022

Cigna, Ultrasound in Pregnancy (including 3D, 4D and 5D Ultrasound), June 2023

UNICEF, Your Third Trimester Guide

National Institutes of Health, Nail Alterations During Pregnancy: a Clinical Study, April 2016

American Pregnancy Association, Braxton Hicks Contractions – Causes, Symptoms & Pain Relief

Marshfield Clinic, What Causes Frequent Urination During Pregnancy?

Mayo Clinic, Back Pain During Pregnancy: 7 Tips for Relief, November 2021

Sleep Foundation, Pregnancy Insomnia, June 2023

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?, August 2021

Cleveland Clinic, Fetal Positions for Birth, March 2020

Mayo Clinic, Pregnancy Stretches, July 2023

Kaiser Permanente, Breathing Techniques for Childbirth, July 2023

American Pregnancy Association, Caffeine During Pregnancy

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