Baby Growth at 27 Weeks Pregnant
The second trimester is coming to an end! Let's walk through what happens in the 27th week.
By this time, your baby is approximately the size of a cabbage, measuring 14.5 inches and weighing about 2.3 pounds. The baby's organs are all maturing in preparation for life outside the womb.
Your baby continues to gain weight as more fat accumulates beneath the skin. This makes their skin appear smoother and less wrinkled. Also, your baby’s eyelids are now open for the first time since the first trimester of pregnancy. They are also sucking on fingers, hands and toes, the baby sleeps and wakes frequently.
While in the womb, the baby's lungs continue to develop and learn how to breathe by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. In the meantime, with more development of their hearing, your baby may begin to recognize your voice as well as the voice of your partner.
You and Your Body at Pregnancy 27 Weeks
You probably feel bloated and constipated. Part of this constipation and bloating is due to the growing pressure on your abdomen from baby, and part is because of the pregnancy hormone progesterone. You may find that drinking lots of water, eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and choosing high fiber foods will help.
While your belly grows, your rib cage also expands. This allows your uterus to lift upwards and outwards. Due to insufficient space for your lungs to expand, you may start feeling breathless now and find yourself taking your bra band out a few notches. Take a deep breath whenever necessary. Speaking on the phone, climbing a steep flight of stairs, or walking rapidly can all cause your breathing rate to increase. Keep your posture upright and refrain from slouching, giving your lungs as much room as you can to more easily oxygenate you and your baby.
In addition, it's possible that you're experiencing an itchy tummy this week; like there are ants crawling on it. It is most likely caused by collagen fibers that stretch in the middle layer of your skin. You can try rubbing some moisturizing cream onto your belly after showering. Keep the water temperature moderate and avoid using soaps that will dry out your skin. Wear cotton or natural fibers against your skin and avoid overheating. If for any reason your itching increases in severity or is associated with vomiting, be sure to let your doctor know as it could be associated with a more severe condition.
Typical Symptoms at 27 Weeks Pregnant
During this week, you might experience the following symptoms:
- Breast Growth
- Sleeping problems
Breast size is normally determined by the amount of fat tissue in the breast. When you're pregnant, the milk-making tissue in your breasts grows in preparation for your baby. Your breasts' size and weight change as a result of this development.
When you are 27 weeks pregnant, you may have trouble sleeping. Even when you are very tired, you may not be able to drift off to sleep. There may be many thoughts filling your brain, and you may try to solve these problems until the wee hours of the morning. Speaking of wee, you may still need to get up and go to the bathroom a couple of times a night, and that's also not helping with your insomnia.
Instead of lying in bed, try going through your bedtime routine again, get up to take a shower, read a book and have a protein filled snack before returning back to bed. It can be helpful to have clean sheets, fresh air, a fan blowing across you, or a pile of supportive pillows nearby.
Snoring is very common at this stage because your nasal passages are more likely to become swollen and blocked. Sleeping on your side can act as a prevention method for snoring since it improves circulation and relieves stress on your organs and joints.
Hemorrhoids are extremely common during this stage of pregnancy. Due to progesterone – a pregnancy hormone – the walls of your blood vessels relax and this causes them to swell in combination with the downward pressure from your growing fetus and progesterone slowing your GI tract and causing constipation. When your baby's weight presses down on the vessels and you experience excess straining, hemorrhoids become more and more likely.
Drinking plenty of water and eating high-fiber foods like whole-wheat bread, fruit, and vegetables can help you avoid hemorrhoids. If you're in pain right now, try holding a cool compress or witch hazel soaked pad against your bottom to relieve the discomfort.
Other symptoms that you may experience during week 27 include:
- stretch marks
- swollen and bleeding gums
- indigestion and heartburn
- bloating and constipation
- leg cramps
Pregnancy Week 27 Tips and Advice
If you're looking for a way to continue moving at this time, consider including swimming in your normal workout routine; especially at 27 weeks pregnant when your tummy is still growing. Swimming provides an excellent workout, is gentler on your joints than other kinds of exercise, and may help ease aches and pains. If you're pregnant during the hot summer months, swimming could be a terrific method to stay cool when you're not feeling well.
As for the best sleeping position at this stage, sleeping on either side is preferable to sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back can compromise blood supply to your uterus due to the weight of your belly pushing down on major vessels that run through your abdomen, towards your back.
Moreover, you may start to consider whether or not you would like to breastfeed.Of course, a supportive partner is also important for achieving success. Wherever you choose to deliver your baby should have a lactation specialist, or consider taking a breastfeeding class beforehand and purchasing a breast pump should you need to return to work but still want to provide breastmilk for your child. Do not hesitate to reach out for help or tips on how to prepare for breastfeeding. Another great resource is La Leche League.
Next week, it will be the start of your third trimester and you'll be seeing your provider more frequently. Use this opportunity to continue to develop your relationship with your provider and ask questions if necessary, so that you can feel confident going into this final phase of pregnancy and meeting your baby.