This week, some sleepless nights are in store and your baby’s fingerprints have appeared. Find out more about what your baby and body is doing and the common symptoms to look out for at 25 weeks pregnant.
How big is my baby at 25 weeks?
We’ve gone through a whole fridge of the foods your baby has resembled in size, but this week, she’s about the size of a swede. At about 13 and a half inches long and one and a half pounds heavy, she’s growing steadily.
What’s my baby doing at 25 weeks?
Your baby’s becoming prettier than ever: as the weeks go on, baby fat is developing, meaning the wrinkled skin she’s currently used to is smoothing out and she’s looking more like a newborn than ever. She’s even starting to grow some hair, too.
Your baby's skin is also getting pinker as her capillaries form under the skin and fill with blood. Blood vessels will also develop this week in your baby’s lungs, bringing her ever closer to that first gulp of fresh air she’ll take after being born.
This week also marks the start of your baby’s nose and nostrils beginning to work, which allows your baby to begin taking practice breaths, breathing in amniotic fluid. She may even be able to smell things by this week too, although many babies can only experience this sense by the third trimester.
Your baby’s hands will develop creases in the palms this week (cute!), and soon sweat glands will form in her skin.
She’ll also have her own unique fingerprints: they’ll have started forming as early as eight weeks. Your baby will also be improving the dexterity in her hands and fingers, which means she’ll be able to grasp things in her fist and even play with her umbilical cord. She may also suck her thumb and play with her hands and feet. Just think, not long until she’s gripping your finger in that little fist!
What is my body doing at 25 weeks?
Feeling exhausted? Your expanding bump may start making it harder to get to sleep. Now that you’re in the second trimester, it’s important that you sleep on your side (ideally your left) rather than your back, because lying on your back presses down on the vein that returns blood from your lower body back up to your heart, and also to the placenta.
If you tend to thrash around when you sleep and wake up on your back, just make sure you roll onto your side before dropping back off to sleep. Using cushions to support yourself, including a pillow between your legs, may help make you more comfortable.
Common symptoms to look out for:
- Finding it hard to move around: Now that you’re getting bigger, it’s understandable that it’s more of an effort to move around. Chat with your doctor about which types of exercise are safe, but make sure you’re following a few rules: don’t work out when you’re tired, and stop immediately if you feel pain, shortness of breath or dizziness. Don’t lie flat on your back and try to avoid contact sports.
- Gorgeous hair: Finally, a pregnancy symptom you wish would stick around! Your hair may be fuller and glossier than ever thanks to pregnancy hormones keeping a hold of hair you’d normally shed. Enjoy it while it lasts!
- Piles: And now back to those side-effects you can't wait to say goodbye to: the oh-so-unwelcome haemorrhoids you may be noticing in the rectal area, caused by increased blood flow to the area as well as your enlarged uterus. Avoiding constipation is a good idea as this will only make the piles worse, so make sure you’re stocking up on fibre-rich foods and drinking plenty of water.
- Restless leg syndrome: 15% of women experience the peculiar effects of RLS, which include a tingling feeling in your feet and legs, along with an urge to move them. Experts aren't sure what causes it, but many women are helped by different methods, such as acupuncture, a warm bath or eating iron-rich foods.
- Bleeding gums: A common but unpleasant side-effect of pregnancy, bleeding gums may affect you this week. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly, and if you’re concerned, see a dentist to talk through your worries.
What to do this week
- The birth plan: Now’s a good time to start thinking about where you’d like to give birth. There are generally three choices although they vary depending on where you live (and nope, a luxury five star hotel is not one of the options!). The first is a regular maternity ward, where you’ll be looked after by midwives, but there’ll also be obstetricians on the wards if needed. The second is a birth centre. These can be attached to hospitals or standalone, have a more ‘homely’ feel and are run by midwives, but there’s no immediate access to things like epidurals or C-sections. Finally, you can give birth at home. This is available if you’re having a low-risk pregnancy. Picking your birth centre does require a lot of thought and you really need to research what’s available to you before making any definite decisions.
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