31 Weeks Pregnant, Head Down Position

When you reach the 31st week, you have completed the first month in your last trimester. Once you pass the 30th week, the odds that your baby will survive without long-term problems keep increasing considerably with each passing week. Now your baby is continuing to develop. All you have to do is take good care of yourself and look forward to the due day to come. But if you see your baby is head down in the pregnancy exam, should you worry about it?

Should I Worry If My Baby Is Head Down at 31 Weeks?

Usually, while 31 weeks pregnant, head down position with your baby needs no worry. Some babies will go into this position early. They are unlikely to flip back to head up, especially in the first pregnancy. This means there is less chance of "malpresentation", such as a breech delivery or transverse presentation, close to delivery. In some cases, the head down position can cause pain in your pelvis. Be sure to ask your midwife or doctor for advice.

Does It Mean an Early Labor?

The head down position doesn’t mean baby will come right away and doesn’t increase your chance of going into preterm laborBut it is important to know the signs of early labor to prevent any complications. Call the midwife or doctor right away if:

  • Contractions are regular, coming every ten minutes or so.
  • You have backache in your lower back. This can either come and go, or be constant. But it won’t leave with a position change.
  • You have cramps in your lower stomach. These often feel like menstrual cramps. They can also come with diarrhea or feel like gas.
  • You leak fluid from your vagina.
  • You have symptoms that feel like the flu, such as diarrhea, nausea, and even vomiting. Even if they seem mild, you should call your doctor. You especially need to see your doctor if you can’t keep liquids down for eight hours or more.
  • You have increased pressure in your pelvis.
  • You notice a vaginal discharge increase.
  • There is vaginal bleeding.

Other Mothers’ Experience

It is always a relief to know you are not the only one confronting the situation. Here are the stories of other mothers who are 31 weeks pregnant; head down position is found with their babies.

My baby was already in his head down position at the 31st week. My midwife thought this was good, since the breech is less likely. She told me my baby would not come early and this was true.

"I’m on my second pregnancy and her head is already in my pelvis in 31st week. I have read that in a first pregnancy this can happen weeks early, but in later pregnancies it happens closer to birth, sometimes only when you’re in labor. So I'm afraid it’s too early for her to be born. I’m also in a lot of groin and pelvis pain. Not sure I can make it for the next 9 weeks."

Your Baby’s Development at 31 Weeks

Though your baby will truly look like a newborn, weighing in at about 1.5 kg and measuring 41 cm from head to foot, he/she still has some filling out to do in the arms, legs and body. Between now and being born, the baby can gain as much as 900 g.

The baby will pass water from the bladder, which is a good practice for the weeing after birth. Bone marrow is now starting to produce red blood cells.

Until now, you’ve likely felt steady increase in your baby’s movements. From now, the movements will level off, but the type of movements will likely change. As long as you’re feeling movement, you know your baby is fine.

What You Need to Do Now

By the time you are 31 weeks pregnant, head down position is possible. What do you need to do now? Though it may not be time to start packing just yet, it’s a good idea to make a list of what you will need. Click here for an idea.

First time parents will have begun the birthing preparations already. Here are some questions to think about:

  • Have you decided on a childbirth prep class to register for?
  • Have you taken a tour of the birthing department and floor where you plan to deliver?
  • Have you considered saving the baby’s umbilical cord blood? What about the placenta?
  • Is your car seat ready?  
  • Do you know a pediatrician?
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