Your baby’s brain starts a period of rapid growth in the 31st week of pregnancy. Also, your baby’s hair and skin are becoming pigmented. Mom may be experiencing severe heartburn by the time she is 31 weeks pregnant. I had heartburn when I was pregnant and tried many things to help get rid of it.
Pregnancy Week 31: Baby’s Development
Your baby may now weigh up to 3.5 pounds and is about 18 inches long by the end of pregnancy week 31. All those genetic markers are kicking in, and your baby’s skin and hair is becoming pigmented. Genetics will determine his skin color, hair color and texture, and his eye color. Your baby’s toenails are also developed.
Your baby’s brain development kicks in to high gear. His brain is forming grooves and neural pathways. Your baby will form trillions of neuron connections, and he is getting the information from all five of his senses: touch, hearing, taste, sight, and smell.
Pregnancy Week 31: Mom’s Heartburn
You may be experiencing heartburn by week 31 of your pregnancy. The old wives’ tale is if you have heartburn, then your baby will be born with a head full of hair. This is not the case. Your baby’s hair, or lack of hair, has nothing to do with your heartburn.
Your heartburn is caused by your baby squishing everything else that is inside your abdomen. Your stomach and intestines are distorted and shifted out of the way. Your stomach has a ring, or sphincter, between the top of your stomach and the bottom of your esophagus. This ring holds the food in your stomach. The pregnancy hormone, relaxin, also relaxes this sphincter. This coupled with slow digestion makes it easier for food to reflux up your esophagus.
I had severe heartburn with both of my pregnancies. I tried several solutions and even though each one only helped a little, putting all of these techniques together is what ultimately helped rid me of heartburn during my pregnancies.
There are a few things that you can do to ease your heartburn. Try to eat bland, non-acidic foods. These foods are easier to digest, and your stomach won’t produce as much acid. I tried chicken soup, crackers and rice to relieve my heartburn. Unfortunately for me, changing my diet only helped my heartburn a little. I also stayed away from foods high in fat and anything fried. If I did eat any fried foods, I would pay for it all night long.
You can also try to remain upright for at least two hours after eating. This will give your digestive process enough time to move your meal out of your stomach. For the last two months of my second pregnancy I had to sleep in a recliner to help relieve my heartburn.
If these tricks don’t help relieve your heartburn symptoms then talk to your health care provider, she may be able to prescribe you something safe to take during pregnancy. Never take anything over the counter without first talking to your doctor.
For more about pregnancy weeks and fetal development you can read:
Pregnancy Week 27
Pregnancy Week 28
Pregnancy Week 29
Pregnancy Week 30
Click here to find more information on your pregnancy and baby’s development.
Fit Pregnancy (2009). Pregnancy Calendar. Retrieved: April 8, 9, 2009. Web Site: fitpregnancy.com/calendar/40251887.html
Myers-Gorrie, Trula, Slone-McKinney, Emily, & Smith-Murray, Sharon (1998). Foundations of Maternal-Newborn Nursing (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Company.
What to Expect (2009). Weekly Pregnancy Calendar. Retrieved:April 8, 9, 2009. Web Site: whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/landing.aspx