Ouch! what's that?
Your physical changes this week
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 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
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
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.