At 27 weeks, the second trimester is coming to an end. It is only 1 week to the third trimester. From now going forward, some of the old symptoms you experienced during the first trimester will start coming back.
Baby’s growth and development in week twenty seven
The baby is so big at the 27th week! He/she is about 14.5 inches long and weighs about a pound. Every part has been on the run to grow more cells and add on mass to make the body proportional and organs functional.
The eyes: Since the eyes started forming as simple optic nerves and then migrated from the side of the head to the current position, they have remained closed. This is the week that the baby will open the eyes for the first time. However, the eyes will not be responding to light, but will open through reflex.
The retina: While the retina and optic nerves were among the first to form, the retina will start maturing this week. New cells form on the retina to allow eyes receive light and transmit the signals to the brains to interpret the images. The entire process is referred to as a sight.
Reproductive organs: On the 27th week, the baby’s reproductive organs keep developing. If you are carrying a boy, the testes have already moved to the scrotum. However, the testes may remain in the pelvic cavity until the baby is born. If you are pregnant with a girl, the ovaries have developed all the follicles for producing eggs in her lifetime.
Baby’s movements: The baby has grown so much and the remaining space taken by amniotic fluid keeps becoming smaller. As a result, the kicks become stronger than any other time in the previous weeks. Even your partner will be able to feel the baby by placing the hand on the baby bump.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 27
The last two weeks of the second trimester are like preparations of what you will experience in the third trimester. These changes and symptoms include;
Regular urination: Frequent urination becomes an issue as the baby takes more space and the uterus keeps expanding. The bladder is pressed and gives you a sensation that you want to visit the loo every 10 minutes. This is never fun for many people especially if you have to keep waking up at night when you want to enjoy a deep sleep.
Exhaustion and fatigue: Exhaustion in this week is caused by the activities that the body has to do including supplying additional nutrients to the growing baby. You will also get exhausted even more if you are engaged in very exhaustive tasks. It is advisable to take enough breaks and relax when going on with your tasks.
Leg cramps: As fatigue sets in, chances are very high that you will also experience leg cramps. The cramps make it difficult for a mom to sleep and could have some painful sensation when you wake up. Though it is unclear about what causes the problem, it is thought to occur because of extra pressure from uterus exerted on the veins that drain blood from legs to the heart. Some useful tips on preventing leg cramps include;
- Avoid standing for long periods and sitting with legs crossed.
- Make sure to stretch the calf muscles regularly during the day and before going to bed.
- When sleeping, ensure to rest on the left side to allow blood circulate through the lower part of the body especially legs.
- Drink lots of water during the day.
It is advisable to regularly massage the leg muscles in the course of the day. If reaching the legs is a problem, ask your partner to rub all the muscles gently to allow blood flow faster. Note that you should call your doctor immediately if the cramps start reddening because it could be a sign of blood clot.
Weight gain: By the close of the 27th week, you will have added about 19.5-20 pounds. Remember that it is very important to maintain the right weight gain for normal development of the baby. If you gain too much weight, there is a higher risk of varicose veins, high blood pressure, diabetes, and premature labor. However, too little weight gain can make you deliver an underweight baby.
One of the key reasons that you need to visit the hospital before the due date is preterm labor. Preterm labor is regular uterine contractions that bring changes in the cervix before the 37th week. The cervical changes include dilation and effacement. Once you check in the hospital, the doctor will do the following.
- Monitor the strengths of contractions.
- Check whether the baby is in the low in the birth canal.
- Speculum examination to check for cervical dilation, bleeding, or broken bag of water.
- Fetal fibronectin will be tested.
- Urine culture test will be done to check for bladder infections that raise risks of preterm birth.
- Ultrasound will be done to assess the size of the cervical length and measure baby size.
Things to do during the 10th week
- Make a closer check on the vagina every day to ensure that the discharge is milky to clear and does not have signs of blood stains.
- Start thinking and discussing with your doctor about labor. This is a great moment to start learning about preterm labor and why you might not carry the pregnancy to 40th week or might go all the way to the 42nd week.
- Think about where you want to stay during the first one month or two after delivery. Some people prefer staying in a specialized maternity nursing unit to get the assistance of an expert. However, even your home is a great place. You might need to hire an assistant to help you with daily chores, preparing your meals, and cleaning.
- Take a visit to your delivery hospital of choice once again. Even if you might have made another visit, it is advisable to check with the doctor because you understand more about pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
- Stay in touch with other moms in the 27th week of pregnancy and reach out to others who have gone through delivery. This is a great way of learning both theoretically and getting reports on people who have gone through the process.
- Continue taking appropriate diet and exercises that will help to maintain good health of your body and that of the baby.
- Take ample time relaxing to help prevent back pain, leg cramps, and fatigue.
- Continue buying baby clothes by comparing what different stores have to offer. Remember that just like the baby is developing fast in the uterus, growth will also be rapid after delivery. Therefore, make sure to go for clothes of varying sizes.