This week, your baby’s eyes are changing colour, and your body’s experiencing some peculiar pregnancy symptoms. Here’s everything you need to know about your baby and your body at 27 weeks.
How big is my baby at 27 weeks?
Your baby is almost double the weight she was four weeks ago. This week, she’s nearly two pounds and around 14 and a half inches long. There’s a food comparison, of course: she’s about the size of a head of cauliflower.
What’s my baby doing at 27 weeks?
Your baby’s brain is really active these days, as more brain tissue is developing. She’s an active foetus, sleeping and waking up regularly, opening and closing her eyes and sucking her fingers too.
If you’re feeling any small rhythmic movements that feel like belly spasms, don’t be alarmed: they're just baby hiccups! Don’t fret, as these movements are usually short-lived and don’t harm your baby at all.
Your baby is as snuggly as ever, too: most babies this age still like to assume the cosy curled position inside the uterus, AKA the foetal position.
In other exciting news, your baby’s auditory development will be better than ever as the network of nerves to the ears matures, and she may now recognise both yours and your partner’s voices.
Your baby’s eyes will also be developing. Her irises – the coloured part of the eye – will have started to develop pigment by now. Many babies are born with blue eyes because they’re still making melanin. Often the colour changes during infancy, going from blue to green, hazel or brown. The more melanin you have (which is dictated by your genes), the darker your eye colour. So it’s likely that if you’re brown-eyed your bub will be too. But you’ll know for sure by the time your baby is around two years old.
What is my body doing at 27 weeks?
Look down, and you don't need us to tell you that your belly will have grown by now. Your uterus will now be about the size of a basketball. Whilst it might be growing, your tummy will feel rather squished, so those big plates of pasta you were craving in the early part of your pregnancy may be harder to stomach. You may even feel nauseous after eating a large meal because you’re so full.
You may also notice that your leg – particularly your calf - muscle spasms. Some experts think it’s due to a shortage of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium being available to your body because they’re being used to help grow your baby. Cramps are most likely to occur when you’ve been sitting or lying still for a while, so don’t be surprised if you’re woken up at night by them.
Common symptoms to look out for:
- Itchy tummy: Thanks to the skin stretching out across your expanding belly, your skin may become dry and itchy. Apply oils and moisturisers to the itchy areas, and if the urge to scratch is overwhelming, soak in an soothing oatmeal bath.
- Swelling: Nearly three quarters of women experience swelling elsewhere in the body (unfortunately, it’s not just the stomach!) due to edema. This happens when fluids build up in your body tissues thanks to an increase in blood flow and pressure on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to the heart. Most commonly affecting the feet, ankles and hands, this lovely side effect usually begins somewhere around this stage of pregnancy. Don’t worry about it and bear in mind that it will disappear once your baby is born - but if the swelling seems to be excessive, check with your doctor, as it could be a sign of preeclampsia.
- Bleeding gums: Ah, another lovely pregnancy side effect! Your gums could be swollen, inflamed and bleeding thanks to those glorious pregnancy hormones. Although it might be tempting to stay away from floss if your gums are bleeding, it’s more important than ever to brush and floss twice a day to keep your mouth in tip-top shape.
What to do this week:
- Eat smaller meals: To help your changing tummy, go for smaller, more regular meals that are easier to digest.Try half a sliced avocado on wholemeal bread, summer fruits and natural yogurt topped with chopped nuts or a ham and salad pitta bread.
- Try pregnancy yoga: To help with cramps, try some pregnancy yoga stretches (straightening out your leg and flexing your ankle and toes is a great way to do this). Going for a quick walk can sometimes help, too. You could also get your partner to massage the muscle. Probably not a good idea at 3am, though!
- Snack before bed: To try and prevent nocturnal cramps from happening, tuck into snacks containing calcium and magnesium, such as a glass of milk and a banana. A magnesium spray might also be a good idea.
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