Being 27 weeks pregnant marks an exciting milestone – you’ve entered the third and final trimester! At this stage, your baby’s development is rapidly progressing as they prepare for birth. This article will walk you through exactly what to expect during week 27 of pregnancy so you can stay informed and prepared.
Key Takeaways When 27 Weeks Pregnant
- Baby is around 14 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds
- You may start experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions
- Back pain and other discomforts become more common
- Your baby’s lungs and brain are still developing
- Kick counts become an important way to monitor baby’s health
- You should start planning for your maternity leave
- Prenatal testing like the glucose screening test occurs around this time
Common Physical Symptoms
Being 27 weeks pregnant comes with a variety of common physical symptoms as your body continues to adapt to support your growing baby. Here’s what to expect:
Size of Baby
At 27 weeks, your baby is about the size of a head of cauliflower. They measure around 14 inches long from head to heel and weigh approximately 2 pounds.
It’s normal to have gained around 18-22 pounds by this point in pregnancy. Recommended weight gain varies by your pre-pregnancy BMI. Discuss your weight gain with your doctor.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
As your uterus grows, you may start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as false labor. These are sporadic tightening sensations that prepare your body for true labor. They are usually painless but can sometimes be uncomfortable. Stay hydrated and change positions to ease them.
Added weight, loosening joints, and shifting posture can lead to lower back pain when 27 weeks pregnant. Use cold/hot packs, massage, and exercise to find relief. Consult your doctor if pain persists.
Round Ligament Pain
As your uterus expands, you may feel sharp pain in your lower abdomen or groin caused by stretching round ligaments. Switch positions, rest, and apply gentle heat to ease discomfort.
Increased Vaginal Discharge
Hormone changes and increased blood flow can cause more vaginal discharge during pregnancy. Wear a panty liner and avoid irritants to help you stay comfortable.
It’s common for your expanding belly to feel itchy as the skin is stretched tight. Moisturize daily with lotion to hydrate skin and prevent itching.
Difficulty sleeping becomes more likely as discomfort increases and bathroom trips interrupt sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and wind down fully before bed.
Hormonal shifts can cause swollen, tender gums that bleed when brushing. Maintain good oral hygiene and massage gums with cool water.
Leg cramps are common due to pressure on nerves and insufficient calcium. Stretch before bed, hydrate, and boost calcium intake.
Progesterone relaxes the esophageal sphincter causing frequent heartburn when 27 weeks pregnant. Avoid trigger foods, eat small meals, and limit fluids before laying down.
Increased pregnancy hormones and blood volume can stuff up your nose. Try saline spray, a humidifier, and sleeping propped up with pillows.
Baby Development at 27 Weeks
Your baby is actively developing critical organs and systems while gaining weight in preparation for birth. Here is what’s happening with your baby at 27 weeks pregnant:
Size and Weight
Your baby now measures about 14 inches long and weighs approximately 2 pounds.
The brain is developing rapidly as billions of neural connections form. The brain will continue maturing well into baby’s first year.
The tiny air sacs in your baby’s lungs are forming branches and developing surfactant, a substance needed for breathing after birth. The lungs are still immature.
Your baby can hear and respond to familiar voices and sounds. Their vision is also developing as the eyes start to open and close.
Your baby is building antibodies and immunity. Important disease antibodies from mom pass through the placenta.
Your baby is starting to accumulate body fat needed to regulate temperature after birth and sustain growth.
Your baby’s sleeping and waking cycles become more defined this week. Track kick counts to ensure baby is active enough throughout the day.
Fingerprints are now fully formed with their unique ridges. These help your baby grip the umbilical cord.
While your baby still has major development ahead in the third trimester, they are progressing steadily each day as your due date approaches.
Checkups and Testing
Your doctor will want to see you regularly at this stage for important checkups and testing. Here are some things that typically occur around 27 weeks pregnant:
Fundal Height Measurement
Your doctor will start measuring from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus to track the fundal height, which should match your weeks pregnant.
Weight and Blood Pressure
Your provider will track your weight gain and check your blood pressure at each visit to ensure you’re within a healthy range.
Fetal Heart Rate
Your doctor will listen to your baby’s heart rate using a Doppler which should fall between 110-160 bpm. An irregular heartbeat may require closer monitoring.
This screening test checks your blood sugar levels to diagnose gestational diabetes, which is common in mid to late pregnancy. High blood sugar requires diet and exercise management.
If you are Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive, you may need a shot of Rh immunoglobulin around 27-28 weeks to prevent your body from attacking the baby’s blood.
Group B Strep Test
This routine test looks for the Group B Strep bacteria which can be harmful to newborns. Positive results mean you’ll need IV antibiotics during labor.
Some providers perform a growth ultrasound around this time to check your baby’s size and position. It can also assess the location of the placenta.
Attend all prenatal visits to monitor your health and the progression of your pregnancy. Speak up about any concerning symptoms in between appointments as well.
Adjusting your lifestyle is important for both comfort and health during your third trimester. Here are some tips for week 27:
Get Plenty of Rest
Growing a baby is tiring! Rest as much as possible and take breaks throughout the day. Naps are very beneficial. Listen to your body.
Low-impact exercise helps alleviate common aches and pains while building stamina for labor. Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are excellent choices.
Drink plenty of water to prevent Braxton Hicks contractions, headaches, swelling, and constipation. Aim for 10-12 glasses daily.
Eat Nutritious Foods
Make balanced meal plans that give you and baby the nutrients you need. Include lean proteins, whole grains, fruits/veggies at every meal.
Maintain an Active Social Life
Don’t isolate yourself! Continue seeing close friends and doing enjoyable activities. This is crucial for your mood and mental health.
Prepare for Breastfeeding
Read up on breastfeeding basics ahead of time. Take a breastfeeding class. Shop for nursing bras and breast pads.
Make time for self-care activities like prenatal massages, pedicures, relaxing baths, or meeting up with friends to destress.
Focus on keeping both your body and mind healthy with self-care, nutrition, activity and rest during your third trimester.
With your due date approaching in 13 weeks, you should start planning ahead for the big arrival:
Take a Childbirth Class
Now is the time to take a childbirth education class to learn about what to expect during labor, coping techniques, pain relief options and more. Both parents should attend.
Prepare Your Hospital Bag
Pack your hospital bag around 27-28 weeks with everything you’ll need for your hospital stay, like comfortable clothes, toiletries, electronics, and insurance cards.
Install the Car Seat
Have your car seat professionally installed to make sure it’s properly fitted in your car. Read the instructions for correct usage.
Select a Pediatrician
Research pediatricians in your area and choose one for your baby by around week 28. Schedule an introductory appointment.
Discuss Maternity Leave
Talk with HR about your maternity leave benefits and notify your manager. Create a transition plan to cover your workload while out.
Make a Birth Plan
While childbirth can be unpredictable, making a birth plan of your preferences helps you feel empowered and prepared. Share it with your doctor.
Advance planning reduces stress and helps you feel organized for the exciting arrival of your new baby!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common FAQ’s for 27 weeks pregnant mamas:
What if I’m measuring bigger or smaller than 27 weeks?
It’s normal to measure up to 3 weeks more or less than your actual week. Growth varies baby to baby. But significant differences or changes in growth patterns should be evaluated by your doctor to assess fetal size and amniotic fluid levels.
How can I manage heartburn and indigestion?
Avoid spicy, fatty, and acidic foods that trigger heartburn. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Wait 2-3 hours after eating to lie down. Ask your doctor about taking over-the-counter antacids for occasional relief. prescription medication may be needed for severe cases unresponsive to diet and lifestyle changes.
Should I be worried if my Braxton Hicks contractions are frequent or painful?
Infrequent, painless Braxton Hicks contractions are very normal by this stage. But call your doctor if you have more than 4-6 contractions per hour or if they become painful like period cramps. This may indicate preterm labor that needs to be evaluated.
Why are kick counts important at 27 weeks pregnant?
Your baby’s sleep and wake cycles become more regulated at this stage. Kick counting helps ensure baby is moving adequately during active cycles, which is a sign of well-being. Alert your doctor right away if you notice decreased fetal movement.
What causes leg cramps and how can I prevent them?
Leg cramps are often caused by compressed nerves and low calcium. Stretch calf muscles before bed, stay hydrated, get enough magnesium and calcium, and avoid pointing toes during stretches or sleep. Gentle massage can also help if cramps wake you.
When 27 weeks pregnant, you’re in the home stretch but still have important growth and development occurring. Monitor baby’s movements, practice kick counts, stay on top of your nutrition and sleep needs, and get excited for the big arrival coming soon! With just 13 weeks left to go, savor this special time in your pregnancy journey.