Human foetus in amniotic sac at 31 weeks. The foetus is slim, but during the remaining weeks it will put on more and more subcutaneous fat.

Week 31

Mum

It may seem a bit early to pack a hospital bag, but if you do it now, it’ll give you a sense of being prepared. Even if you’re planning a home birth, pack the bag in case of an emergency, or simply to have all the essentials together in one place.

For you:

  • Pyjamas or night dress, preferably one that buttons up in front (at least 2 pairs)
  • Dressing gown
  • Nursing bras x 3
  • Cotton knickers x 10
  • Socks
  • Slippers
  • Jandals for the shower
  • Clothes to wear home (alas, still your pregnancy clothes, because even after the baby’s out, your tummy will be still be swollen)
  • Toiletries (your usual overnight stuff)
  • Make-up (to be honest, you probably won’t bother with it, busy as you’ll be, but just in case)
  • Disposable breast pads and nipple cream
  • Any medications or vitamins you are taking
  • Copy of your birth plan
  • List of people and numbers to call after birth (store them in your phone)
  • Snacks and bottles of water
  • Camera with extra batteries or charger
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Books/magazines
  • Cash/credit cards/wallet
  • Maternity pads (these should be supplied by the hospital, but you’ll feel better knowing you have them available)
  • A few of pairs of big granny undies (high waist) because if you have a C-section you don’t want the elastic to rub the stitches.

For baby:

  • Car capsule or car seat (already installed and ready for the baby)
  • Blankets x 2
  • Muslin wraps x 2
  • Baby bodysuits x 4
  • Socks/booties x2
  • Beanie
  • Going home outfit
  • Bottles/formula/steriliser if you plan to bottle feed
  • Nappies and baby wipes (the hospital should have them available, but in case they don’t)

Dad

Get packed for the hospital: A change of clothes, some snacks and water, something to read, a card game, change for the parking meter and for the vending machine. Remember the camera.

Baby

You are the approximate size and weight of a coconut. You are able to turn your head from side to side, and you’re moving a lot in general. Enjoy it while you can – in the next few weeks, you will go through a growth spurt that will make your house tighter.

Photos in the bumpandbaby.co.nz/week-by-week/ are by Lenart Nilsson. Lenart's series was bought to fame when his photo, considered the greatest photo of the 20th century, appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1965. “Everyone interprets images differently, depending on their social, cultural and religious background. In the digital era, I believe it is more important than ever to go back and take a look inside ourselves. What better way of doing that than with these photos?” ~ Jane Stene, art gallery director and curator of Lenart's definitive black and white series, told the The Guardian in 2019. It is Lenart Nilsson's wish that his images are never used for political debate about pro-life.

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