6 months pregnant: Signs, symptoms and baby development

pregnant woman in stripy dress

by Maria Martin |

At six months pregnant you're approaching the end of your second trimester, which means you're between 23-27 weeks pregnant.

The pregnancy will be taking an increasing toll on your body and you'll probably begin to feel far more tired, perhaps hungrier and as your bump grows bedtimes may become a little bit more uncomfortable at this stage.

Symptoms at 6 months pregnant

Here are common symptoms you may be experiencing at this milestone:

Your growing belly and back pain: By six months you're likely to have a definite baby bump growing. With the growth and your centre of gravity changing you may experience back pain. The ligaments in your back and pelvis have also softened preparing you for labour and may contribute to the back pain. There are a few things you can do here to help alleviate any pain, such as wearing flat shoes, bending at the knees when picking stuff up, getting as much rest as possible, having a pregnancy massage or even trying out some pregnancy yoga.

Swelling feet and ankles: It’s around now that you might notice your ankles, feet and hands becoming swollen. First of all, if you didn’t already have a visible enough excuse to put your feet up, you really do now so get them up whenever you can and rest. This swelling is best raised with your midwife or GP as they can rule out if this is linked to a rare, but serious blood pressure condition, called pre-eclampsia.

Leg cramps: Sometimes at this stage leg cramps and especially in the middle of the night, can be common. Stretching and keeping hydrated can help here, although sadly won't stop the cramps from occurring completely.

Those pregnancy cravings: At this stage, your baby is really growing and developing so your appetite can go through the roof. Providing fuel for both them and you is a hungry business. Your body needs extra nutrients and vitamins to support your baby's organs which can result in weird cravings. Make sure you don't deprive yourself but don't go overboard. Opt for healthy things like fruit, vegetables and whole grains over junk and definitely speak to your midwife about diet and how many extra calories is recommended per day at this stage for you.

Snoring: Due to hormones changing so much, pregnant women often experience snoring at this stage of pregnancy. High levels of oestrogen and progesterone cause the blood vessels in your nose to open wider as well as the swelling of your mucous membranes - all this contributes to congestion and snoring.

Sleeplessness: Getting a good night's sleep during pregnancy is important but tossing and turning has taken on a new meaning this month. As mother nature gives you a taste of what it’s like to be up half the night, you may be ready to swing for the next person who says ‘get used to it'. It might be a tad early for sleeplessness yet, but it will kick in at some point and the reasons for it are delightfully varied and endless. If it’s not your bladder nagging you to get up, it’s a simple fact that you no longer have any idea how to get comfortable. If there is one enjoyable part of being kept awake, it has to be the wiggling sensations of your little one in the depths of the night. There’s nothing quite like the moment you find yourself giggling in the darkness as you and your precious cargo share a moment of wakefulness in the quiet of the night.

Heartburn: Your uterus is growing and moving upwards at 6 months pregnant and after, putting pressure on your stomach which can cause heartburn. Eating smaller meals more frequently may help subside this, as well as cutting out rich, fatty, spicy foods and caffeine. If you want to take over the counter heartburn medication, make sure you speak to your doctor or midwife first.

Feeling overheated: Extra blood is being pumped around your skin, which leads to an increase in body temperature. Opt for loose fitting clothes made of natural fibres and take frequent showers.

Feeling faint: Stand up and feel dizzy? It’s all down to those hormones. If this happens, make sure you sit down and wait until it passes. Lying on your back isn’t recommended, so try lying on your side if sitting down doesn’t help.

Your baby's development at 6 months pregnant:

Find out what your baby is doing at six months pregnant here:

View Gallery
6 photos
1 of 6

1) Your baby weighs as much as a swede

At 25 weeks, your baby will weigh as much as a swede, coming up to 650g.

Should I be eating for two?

As advised by the NHS, there is no need to eat for two. The guide for pregnant women is to eat as healthy and balanced a diet as possible. It's advised to eat plenty of fruit and veg during your week - the more colourful your plate looks the better. Some of the best foods to eat during pregnancy include spinach, oily fish, carrots, milk, mushrooms and meat.

Another way to stay healthy is to implement some exercise into your week, a walk counts too! Exercise is perfectly safe during pregnancy and you can try a calming yoga or pilates session to stretch those aching muscles and make you feel relaxed. Remember to discuss with a GP or midwife before attempting any exercise you haven't done before. For example, it may not be advised to start running during pregnancy if you weren't a runner before.

Checklist at 6 months pregnant

Hypnobirthing: if this is something you might like to try you can find and book a spot on a hypnobirthing class.

Finding a doula: If you're keen for extra support during your pregnancy, now is the time to start researching and interviewing for potential doulas.

The baby shower: The six-month pregnancy mark is a great time to plan your baby shower. Keen to keep it to a budget? Read our seven tips to keeping the costs down at your baby shower.

Go on a babymoon: Have you considered having a babymoon? Usually taken during the second-trimester of pregnancy before it becomes unsafe to fly, a babymoon is a chance for you to enjoy a holiday before your baby arrives. Find out more about flying while pregnant here. You can also like to look at the best UK staycations to go on!

Think of some possible names for your baby: Have you decided on any names yet? It's such an exciting time to think about possible names! Click here to try out our baby name generator for some new ideas!

Prepare the nursery: You'll soon be in full-on nesting mode and when you are, you'll want your new arrivals nursery to be in order. Read our tips on building a nursery on a budget!

Five months pregnant: symptoms and baby development

7 months pregnant: signs, symptoms and baby development

Your hospital bag checklist: essentials to pack for labour and beyond

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us