Third trimester - Weeks 27 - 29

Weeks 27 - 29

Week 27

Overview

At 27 weeks, your baby is weighing in at 875g (30.865oz) and is about 36.6 centimetres (14.41 inches) in length. The organs still have to mature a bit, but overall your little one looks like she or she will at birth (just a smaller version of course).

At this stage, your baby will have started a schedule of sleeping and waking of its own, unfortunately, this routine may not fit into yours, because of this you shouldn’t be surprised if you wake up a few times in the night from a kick from your baby.

Week 27

Your baby’s development at this stage

Your baby is about the size of a cauliflower head and is developing more and more brain tissue, having a very active brain at this stage. While the lungs may still be immature, they are actually able to function, with medical help, if your baby is born prematurely. If you are feeling any rhythmic movements, these are probably just baby hiccups, which are very common.

Changes in your life as your baby grows

Your third trimester comes with some new symptoms. You may suffer from backache and leg cramps from time to time. Your uterus, which is now expanding at a rapid rate, is putting pressure on the veins that run blood through your legs and to your heart, and also on the nerves that lead from your trunk to legs.

These cramps often only get worse as the pregnancy progresses. Cramps in your legs are commonly experienced at night, if you suffer from a cramp, try stretching out your calf muscle, this may offer some relief. A good way to stretch your calf is by straightening your leg, then gently flexing your toes towards your shin. Walking around for a couple of minutes also seems to help.

You may want to also start thinking about postpartum birth control. If you have decided that this is your last pregnancy and you are looking into tubal ligation (having your tubes tied), then you will need to speak to your doctor about this as you may be able to have this done during your hospital stay.

What to do at this stage

There are some symptoms that should never be ignored, but it can often be hard to tell the difference between normal pregnancy symptoms and those that are regarded as more serious.

Before reaching 37 weeks, you should be aware of:

  • Any pelvic pressure, this is the feeling of your baby pushing down on your uterus, lower back pain that you don’t normally experience, or more than four contractions felt within an hour, even if these are not painful.
  • An increase in vaginal discharge or if the type of discharge has changed in some way, particularly if it is watery, bloody or mucus-like, even if it is only tinged with blood and is a slight pink.

The following symptoms can happen at any time and should be reported to your doctor as soon as they are noticed:

  • The baby is kicking or moving less than normal
  • Persistent or severe abdominal tenderness or pain
  • Any vaginal spotting or bleeding or any watering discharge
  • A burning pain when urinating or not being able to urinate
  • Suffering from a fever or chills
  • Experiencing any issues with your vision (seeing spots or having a blurry vision)
  • Having a persistent or severe headache
  • Experiencing any unusual swelling in your face, hands, fingers or a sudden swelling in your legs or ankles
  • Having persistent or severe pain in your calves that does not ease when stretching
  • Experiencing any trauma to your abdomen
  • Suffering from frequent dizziness, fainting, a rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Suffering from an itchiness all over your body
  • Having a cold that gets worse and not better

If you experience anything that feels unusual to you, then it is best to always consult with your doctor.

Look into attending a breastfeeding class

If this is your first time as mom and you want to breastfeed, then you may want to consider attending a breastfeeding class as this will help you to breastfeed your baby more easily. Breastfeeding is something a lot of women battle with, so attending lessons and educating yourself on it can help in more ways than you know.

Week 28

Overview

Your baby is now 1005g (35.45oz) in weight and 37.6 centimetres, which is 14.80 inches in length. Your little one is blinking, coughing, hiccupping and maybe even dreaming! He or she will be preparing to move into the childbirth position, basically being upside down. Don’t panic if your baby hasn’t moved into this position yet, you still have some time! You will also be seeing your doctor once every two weeks at this stage.

 Week 28

Your baby’s development at this stage

Your baby is now the size of an eggplant and may even be able to see light filtering through into the womb with his or her eyesight developing.

Changes in your life as your baby grows

Having finally made it to the home-stretch, being your third trimester, you may start to experience something known as ‘creepy-crawly’. This is a sensation in your lower legs where you feel an urge to move when you are trying to relax or even sleep. This sensation is often relieved temporarily if you move, it is also known as RLS, restless legs syndrome. No one is sure as to what causes this, but it is very common among pregnant women. Try to massage or stretch your legs as often as you can to help relieve the symptoms of this.

Tests and what to do at this stage

Your doctor may suggest that you repeat the blood tests for syphilis and HIV at this stage. He or she may also conduct cultures for gonorrhoea and chlamydia, these are all dependent on your initial risk factors.

If you had a high result for your glucose screening test, then you may have a follow-up test.

You may want to also start researching paediatricians for your baby. A lot of women tend to stick to the doctor they had when they were younger, but it can sometimes help to do some research and find a doctor who supports your and your baby’s needs.

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

Imagine your uterus is rehearsing for labour and in doing so, it is flexing its muscles in preparation for the big day. These contractions are normal and are known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are also known as practice contractions or prodromal labour. These will only show up from time to time (or not at all), however, if you experience these more intensely and closer together, then you may be in true labour.

Week 29

Overview

At week 29 your baby is now weighing 1153g (40.671oz) and is 38.6 centimetres (15.2 inches) long. He or she is growing rapidly, and with less room to grow inside of the womb, you will be feeling more and more movements. Some of the jabs from the baby’s knees and elbows can be rather intense for you as the muscles and bones are getting stronger.

 Week 29

Your baby’s development at this stage

Your baby is now about the size of a butternut and all the parts of the little one are maturing, from the brain creating nerve cell connections to the senses adjusting to light, sound and touch as they develop. To meet the needs of his or her nutritional demands, you will need to up your intake of folic acid, protein, vitamin C and iron.

Changes in your life as your baby grows

Your baby is now extremely active, and with all this motion happening inside of you, your doctor may ask you to take some time every day to count the kicks and will also give you special instructions to help you to do this.

This is so that you notice any changes in your baby’s movements and if you notice fewer movements, then you may have to have a biophysical profile or non-stress test to monitor and check the health of your baby.

Constipation and heartburn may show their faces once again. Your digestion is often slowed by the higher levels of progesterone in your body, this will, in turn, slow down and relax all of your muscle tissue, including that of your gastrointestinal tract. This slow digestion will contribute to heartburn and constipation. Exercise and a high-fibre diet will often help with constipation.

As your uterus is continuing to grow, this may contribute to haemorrhoids forming. These are swollen blood vessels found in the rectal area and are very common for pregnant women, luckily, these clear up within a few weeks after having your baby. If these haemorrhoids cause any itching or pain, then try to soak in a warm bath or apply a cold compress to the affected area. Let your doctor know if you have any bleeding in your rectal area.

Tests and what to do at this stage

This is the time to really get your maternity leave sorted. You will need to speak to your employer about the details of this leave. It is not always required by law that you get paid while on maternity leave. Figure out exactly what questions you have for your boss or the HR department and set up a meeting with them to know where you stand in order for you to prepare.

You may want to start stocking up on supplies. When your baby is born you and your partner will not have a lot of time on your hands, so now may be the best time to start preparing, these can also amount to a large sum of money so it may be a good idea to start buying a few items a week well in advance.

These items include:

  • Diapers
  • Wet wipes
  • Diaper-rash cream
  • Laundry detergent that is baby friendly
  • Sanitary pads - You will bleed for a few weeks after giving birth
  • Healthy and quick snacks for you
  • Paper plates and paper towels to make for an easy clean up after eating
  • Lots of comfortable clothes for the baby and you
PREVIOUS Stages of Pregnancy - The Third Trimester Week-By-Week
NEXT Third trimester - Weeks 30 - 32
;