Throughout the pregnancy stage, it is essential for soon-to-be mothers to take extra precaution and change their lifestyle habits in order to ensure that their baby gets all the necessary nutrients to develop healthily. On the 31st week of pregnancy, pregnant women have just crossed the threshold into the third trimester. If pregnancy is a marathon, this is the final stretch. This is the final countdown towards the baby’s due date.
At this stage, pregnant women continue to experience various changes in their bodies. As the baby increases its growth rate in anticipation of being introduced to the world, it absorbs higher energy levels from its mother. As the uterus expands to accommodate the baby’s growth, it signals additional changes to the body as well.
On the 31st week of pregnancy, soon-to-be mothers continually experience various changes. Most of these changes are physical and includes:
The increase in blood circulation and expansion of milk-producing glands contributes towards the increase in cup sizes. The breasts can grow up to 3 pounds heavier throughout the pregnancy process.
Some women might experience minor colostrum discharge from their breasts at this stage. This is the body’s way of preparing for breastfeeding. Pregnant women are advised to use breast pads to avoid embarrassing situations.
As a result of the uterus expanding, it puts additional pressure on the bladder. This causes small urine leakages when a pregnant woman coughs, sneezes or laughs. To combat this unwanted situation, pregnant women are advised to empty their bladders more frequently, use pelvic exercises to improve bladder control and wear panty liners or pads if necessary.
Many pregnant women might dread these changes during pregnancy. Therefore, it is encouraging to discover that pregnancy brings out the beauty in every woman. At this stage, a woman’s hair volume increases, giving her a better hair shape and improving her overall outlook. Fingernails and toenails also grow faster, meaning that they can pamper themselves with some manicure and pedicure.
As every pregnant woman continue to experience physical changes to their body, their diet must be altered as well. Their daily consumption must be changed to cater to the new developments and meet the increased demand.
According to an independent medical advisory board comprised of health experts in the women's and children's health and development field, pregnant women requires an additional 200 calories on a daily basis. As a standard recommendation, most doctors advise consuming an extra 300 calories per day. Nonetheless, it should be noted that this guide should be modified according to each woman’s physical condition such as:
- More calories if carrying more than one baby
- More calories if underweight before pregnancy
- Less calories if overweight before pregnancy
In additional, pregnant women should draw the line between the increase in nutrients intake and an overall increase in meal consumption. While it is common to hear people say that pregnant women are eating for two, it should not be taking literally. It only means that they need to consume additional nutrients and vitamins for 2 people. To provide an idea of healthy meal choices, listed below are some 300 calorie meals suitable for pregnant women:
- Tomato soup with buttered toast
- Cheese sandwich
- Banana Milkshake
- A dish of vegetable curry
- Other Considerations
At this stage of pregnancy, the mother and baby require a constant provision of energy. Pregnant women are highly encouraged not to skip any meals. Having an empty stomach leads to increased acidity and can cause heartburn.
One of the universal side effects of pregnancy is the body’s ability to retain heat. Pregnant women will most likely face some trouble in cooling down their body temperature. They might become more uncomfortable than usual and be susceptible to exhaustion.
To combat this negative reaction, they should increase their consumption of liquid to replenish quickly the fluids lost through perspiration. Other alternative drinks that can help to reduce body temperature include:
- Coconut Water
- Fresh Lime Water
- Vegetable Juices
- Iced Tea
Alternatively, pregnant women can incorporate a few additional dishes into their meals to help with the searing body temperature. Fruits such as pineapple, cucumber and carrot can be mixed into a salad and effectively helps to lower body heat. Watermelons and pomegranates are also great desserts. Not only do they help to cool body temperature, but they are also easy to digest and contains wide variety of nutrients.
Other than regular meals, pregnant women can also rely on these healthy snacks to satisfy their cravings:
- Almond Milk
- Apple or Carrot Juice
- Grape Sherbet
- Cheese Rolls
Naturally, the predetermined list of what not to eat during pregnancy still applies at this stage. It should be ensured that only clean ingredients are used in every dish and seafood must be avoided. Most importantly, caffeine intake is should be totally eliminated.
At the 31st week of pregnancy, soon-to-be mothers have just crossed the threshold into the third trimester. Extra precaution and care is necessary in this final countdown towards the due date of the baby. As the baby prepares itself to enter the world, it speeds up its physical development, demanding more nutrients from their mothers.
Due to this increased demand, pregnant woman should change their diets accordingly and raise their daily consumption intake. As a general rule of thumb, every pregnant woman should consume approximately 300 calories at this stage of their pregnancy. Among other physical changes that start to present themselves, most women might be most uncomfortable with the body’s enhanced ability to retain heat. It would be helpful to rely on certain drinks and foods to help reduce the body heat naturally.
With these preparations and precautions in hand, it ensures a comfortable passage throughout the 31st week and helps to transition into the latter stages of pregnancy.