Welcome to week 31 of your incredible journey through pregnancy, your baby is around the size of a coconut!

Your baby's lungs are developing rapidly, preparing them for that first breath of air outside the womb. While they're not quite ready to breathe on their own just yet, by around 36 weeks, their lungs will be fully matured and primed for independent breathing.

Your baby will still be moving around, and you should feel movement up until and during labour. It's essential to stay attuned to your baby's movements - their regular movement is a reassuring indicator of their wellbeing. If you notice any changes, such as a decrease in movements, call your maternity unit for guidance straight away.

Now, let's talk about your health. At every antenatal appointment, your midwife and doctors will check your blood pressure. This is because high blood pressure can be harmful to both you and your baby and can sometimes be an early sign of pre-eclampsia, a serious pregnancy-related condition. In addition to high blood pressure, other signs of pre-eclampsia include headaches, vision problems and pain below your ribs. It's essential to be aware of these symptoms and to call your maternity unit if you experience any of them.

Now, let's touch on premature labour. If labour begins before 37 weeks, it's considered premature, and your baby may need special care in the hospital. It's essential to familiarise yourself with the signs of premature labour and know when to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms.

As your due date approaches, it's also helpful to prepare for breastfeeding, if you're planning to feed your baby that way. Knowing what to expect in those first few days can help set you up for success. 

Remember, if you have any concerns at all, you're not alone — the team at your maternity unit are there to support you every step of the way. Never worry about calling them!



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