Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Week 27 of Pregnancy

This week marks the end of the second trimester. From now on your baby will continue to put on fat as most of the development has already taken place. Your baby will be very active over the next few weeks till the time the space inside the uterus gets cramped. Prepare yourself for some more steady weight gain as you will put on 0.45 kg or 1 pound a week from now until your last month. 

You may find darkening of the skin line down the centre of your abdomen (the linea nigra). While the baby’s nails are growing, yours may be growing well, too. Strong, long, healthy nails often accompany pregnancy because of improvements in circulation and metabolism.  At this stage you may experience excessive heat and sweating. Stay hydrated; keep your water intake high.



Your body

Your uterus measures roughly 26 to 18 cm from your pubic symphysis to the top of the uterus or 7 cm above your belly button. You will feel the baby as he bounces around inside. Your doctor may ask you to start counting your baby’s kicks. She may ask you to count how many times your baby moves in an hour or how long it takes him to move ten times.


You could find yourself wanting to eat more-good nutrition is very important. Make sure you eat a protein rich diet as protein plays an important role in the development of your baby. Good sources of protein are eggs, chicken, dairy products, nuts, lentils, and pulses. You may be plagued by constipation-make sure you drink plenty of fluids. As your baby gets bigger, you may notice some shortness of breath. As your growing uterus presses on your diaphragm, it becomes harder to fill your lungs and to breathe out completely. Your uterus continues to grow and expand, reaching almost 3 inches above your navel.

You may start to lose some of the energy you experienced during the last few weeks. As your uterus continues to grow during pregnancy, the demands on your circulatory system continue to rise, creating extra fatigue.

Some women experience pelvic joint pain in pregnancy. This is called pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). You may have pain and difficulty walking, climbing stairs or even just turning over in bed. Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist who can treat the condition effectively and safely using gentle manual therapy techniques. Seek advice early, as this can speed up your recovery after the baby is born.



Your baby

This week is very significant for your baby. Your baby’s lungs are now capable of breathing air. Now that your baby can breathe air, you can breathe a sigh of relief! With sufficient air sacs and surfactant, your baby will have a much easier time breathing by itself and adapting to the outside world. Your baby is going through a fast and furious phase of brain development. Your baby’s skin will still be wrinkled because of staying afloat in water. From now on until birth your baby is going to be in a rapid growth spurt. As your baby grows physically stronger, its thumping and bumping will become stronger, too. You can monitor your baby’s movement by counting its kicks.

Your baby looks similar to what he will look like at birth, except thinner and smaller. The lungs, liver, and immune system still need to be fully mature, but if born now, your baby would have a very good chance of surviving. Even though your baby is still not fully developed, she would be well within the limits of premature viability.

Over next few weeks, your baby will start putting on some weight and continue maturing. Typically your baby’s eyelids are fused closed until roughly the 27th or 28th weeks of pregnancy. After this point your baby’s eyelids will open. Your baby’s retina would have developed its normal layers by now. These layers help in receiving light and transmitting this information to the brain. While your baby’s vision will not stabilize for many weeks after birth, your baby will be able to make out shapes and sizes in the upcoming weeks.  Keep in mind fetal development is different for every baby and mother. The information we provide is a general outline and won’t necessarily reflect the development of every baby at 27 weeks.

The body weight increases during pregnancy. The total weight gain varies from 7 to 17 kg in normal cases, with an average of 12.5 kg. After the 12th week the average normal gain is about 0.35-0.45 kg per week.


Remember


Here are some handy tips to ease your discomforts. If you are worrying too much, try relaxation and breathing exercises or meditation to lessen your anxiety. For heartburn, sleep with your head propped up and eat small, non-spicy, frequent meals. For aches and cramps, try a foot massage and eat food rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium. To avoid frequent trips to bathroom, drink small amounts all day as opposed to large amount at one time. For discomfort during sleep, use lots of pillows around your legs or back. Read more about other useful remedies in our section on second trimester symptoms.



FAQs

1) Why am I getting leg cramps during pregnancy?

Leg cramps is a common complaint during pregnancy. It can either be due to nutrient deficiency or simple dehydration. To prevent cramps caused by dehydration, drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. This also includes fluids like milk or juice.

The other problem can be inadequate intake of calcium, phosphorous or magnesium in your diet. Your doctor may advice you multivitamin with minerals and magnesium.

In order to get relief from leg cramps, you need to do some stretching exercises. When you get a cramp, stretch your leg out heel first and gently flex your toes. Get someone to massage your calf muscles whenever you get the cramps.

Do some gentle exercises during the day to keep your circulation going. Exercise your calf muscles by stretching your legs several times a day and before you go to bed. Rotate your ankles and wiggles your toes when you sit and watch TV.  Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Try going for walks everyday unless you have been advised not to. Take frequent breaks between work.

Keep in mind that constant muscle tenderness and swelling in your leg is different from cramps that come and go. This can be something serious and require urgent medical attention. See your doctor as this could be DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

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