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Week 31

Support and information from NCT

NCT offers reliable support and information about the various stages of pregnancy, week by week.

Your developing baby

Now you are into week 31 of pregnancy. The vernix and lanugo, a thin layer of protective hair, covering your baby’s body are starting to disappear. They can recognise you and your partner’s voices and even those of other people you spend a lot of time with.

Week 31

Choosing your birth partner

Your due date is approaching so now would be a good time to think about your birth partner. Having someone you know and trust with you during labour can really boost your confidence in your ability to give birth. Different people can be birth supporters including your partner, relations, friends, doulas or NCT birth companions.

Braxton-Hicks contractions

Any time from now you might experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These are “practice” contractions, lasting about 25 seconds, to prepare you for labour. Sometimes they are so strong that you can mistake them for labour, but don’t worry you will know when you are having real contractions because they will generally happen at regular intervals.

Caesarean section

A caesarean birth is a hospital birth when a baby is born by abdominal surgery in an operating theatre. Around one in every four or five pregnant women have a caesarean birth in the UK. Birth by caesarean section can either be planned in advance or carried out at short notice in an emergency.


Have you taken a tour of your chosen hospital or birth centre?

This will help you feel more prepared for birth.

Further information

NCT offers reliable support and information about the various stages of pregnancy, week by week. Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.


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Week 31

Courses & workshops

In-person NCT Antenatal course

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NCT Antenatal refresher course

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