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27 Weeks Pregnant

Jan 26, 2022 | 4 minutes Read

Baby, it's getting a little cramped in there! Your baby is really pushing the boundaries of her space and your uterus needs to expand a little more everyday just to fit everything in. This will inevitably mean you’ll feel some ligament and muscle discomfort when you’re 27 weeks pregnant. Your back, pelvis, sides of your belly and even your legs could be feeling aching and sore because of the effects your pregnancy hormones are having on all your connective tissues.

Gaining excess weight will only increase your discomforts. An average total weight gain over the 40 weeks of gestation is around 25-35 pounds. The baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, extra circulating fluid in your body, increase in your breasts, and a little extra fat all contribute to your weight gain.

Ouch! what's that?

If this is your first pregnancy, every new twinge or symptom will probably have you running for the reference books. Is this normal, should I be feeling like this, will the baby be alright? But, if you've done it all before and have the benefit of experience behind you, you're probably a little less concerned. Some level of worry is normal in pregnancy because it serves to put a stop to potentially risky behaviors. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety and it’s affecting your enjoyment of everyday life, consider speaking with a counselor or therapist.

Your physical changes this week

As your belly is expanding, so is your rib cage. It needs to expand so that your uterus has more room to lift upwards and outwards. You may find yourself getting breathless around now because your lungs don’t have their usual space to expand down into. You could need to take the occasional deep breath. Talking on the phone, climbing a steep flight of stairs or walking quickly can all mean your breathing rate increases. Watch your posture and avoid slouching, give your lungs as much room as they need to do their work of oxygenating you and your baby.

Your belly could be getting itchy this week, with a sensation of ants crawling over it. This is likely due to the collagen fibers in the middle layer of your skin stretching. Rubbing some moisturizing cream into your belly after showering may help. Avoid water temperature extremes and drying soaps. Aim to wear only cotton or natural fibers against your skin and avoid overheating.

Sleep may be more difficult when you’re 27 weeks pregnant. You could find yourself going to bed very tired but be unable to drift off to sleep when you want to. Your brain could be flooded with thoughts and you problem solve until the wee hours of the morning. You're probably finding you still need to get up and go to the bathroom a couple of times a night and that's not helping your insomnia. There's no point lying in bed tossing and turning for hours. If this happens, get up for a while. Watch some television, have a glass of milk, take a shower or read a book. Small comfort measures like clean sheets, fresh air, a fan blowing across you and a pile of supportive pillows can all be helpful.

Even if you're longing for an afternoon nap, if you're having trouble sleeping at night then try to resist the temptation. Instead, go to bed early and use your body's tired signals to their maximum advantage. Try having a regular bed-time routine and avoid using your phone or computer just before bed. You want to deactivate the stimuli in your environment, not switch them on.

You could be feeling irritated by carpal tunnel syndrome this week. Fluid retention causes the carpal tunnel in your wrist to swell, placing pressure on the nerves which supply each hand. Physical therapy can be very effective, and so can a wrist splint, which may need to be ordered by your provider or physical therapist. If you’re bothered by these symptoms, try sleeping with the affected hand elevated on a pillow. This will help drain your hand of excess fluid.

Your emotional changes this week

You’re probably getting even more excited at this stage. If you’re working, you’ll need to submit your application forms for maternity leave soon, if you've not already done this. Do some preliminary research into your leave options, your planned return to work date, and your employer's arrangements for taking maternity leave. Having a definite date in mind for when to finish work can be something to mentally work towards when you feel as if you're getting nowhere.

You may be starting to think about the changes the baby will bring in your relationship with your partner. When a duo becomes a trio, there is always some shuffling and reestablishment of roles. If you already have older children, this realignment of personalities in the family will become more complex. Yes, things will be different between you and your partner, but they need to be. Parenthood is so significant and momentous that there needs to be big changes to do it well.

Your baby's changes this week

Baby can be measured from her head to her heels from this week on. She's spending less of her time curled up and more time uncurled. An average length at 27 weeks gestation is 15 inches. Baby is growing quickly, with more all-important fat forming under her skin and around her vital organs. She is less skinny than she was and is filling out.

Big changes with Baby's eyes this week, with more maturation of her retinas. This important light sensitive part of the eye is essential for her to see properly. She has been able to open and close her eyes for a couple of weeks now, so there's lots of visual development all around.

Baby has learned how to soothe herself and can now suck her thumb when she wants to. This simple pleasure is not so much an involuntary act from 27 weeks on. Baby is still breathing the amniotic fluid in and out of her lungs, practicing for those all-important first breaths at birth. All her oxygen needs in utero are still being provided by the placenta.

Hints for the week

If you’re interested, speak with your pregnancy care provider about your options regarding cord blood banking.

Think about how you would like to feed your baby. One of the major indicators for successful breastfeeding is how positive a woman feels during her pregnancy about breastfeeding. Other influences are a supportive partner, positive attitude from a woman's mother and/or her mother-in-law, and the general attitudes towards breastfeeding in a woman's family and community.

Schedule a tour of the hospital and labor ward where you plan to give birth. If you haven’t already registered at the hospital, find out what's involved.

Research baby car seats and what will fit securely into the make and model of your car.

Week 28 is next!

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.