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Guide to Being 27 Weeks Pregnant

Trimester two, you've been a friend, but at week 27, it's on to the home stretch! See more pregnancy pictures.
©iStockphoto.com/arekmalang

Second trimester, you've been a friend. You saved us from the nausea and gave us time, perhaps hours, between bathroom breaks. You even let us sleep.

Many women find trimester two to be a relative breeze. And in this, the final week, you may still be pretty comfortable. Or, you may already feel like you're a third-trimester mom-to-be. Week 27 can be viewed as a transition week -- not quite in the final third of pregnancy, but certainly feeling the twinges of it.

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Here, what week 27 might feel like, where your baby's at this week, and which pressing concerns are worth your while as you wrap up the middle trimester.

First things first: That beach ball. Chances are, your belly is becoming a bit unwieldy.

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By this point, you're probably feeling lots of movement in your womb.
By this point, you're probably feeling lots of movement in your womb.
©iStockphoto.com/sborisov

If, up to now, you've barely been showing, this week could be your entry into "obviously pregnant" zone. Your baby is big enough now that your uterus has exceeded the previous boundaries of your abdomen, so you're probably feeling a bit lumbering, and possibly clumsy.

Of course, there may also be the heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids, stray hairs in unlikely places and that dark line down the middle of your belly. You're probably feeling lots of movement in your womb, since that little one has more limb control these days, and the round ligament pain in your lower abdomen is, most likely, still very much around.

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Your uterus is growing about half an inch per week now, shifting your center of gravity; pressing on your nerves, blood vessels and organs; as well as just generally increasing your load. As a result, some other week 27 symptoms may include:

  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Back pain (especially low down)
  • Frequent urination
  • Hand/wrist numbness (pregnancy-related carpal tunnel)
  • Pelvic pain (SPD), from the loosening of your pelvic joints

Around this time, you may also start experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions, aka "false labor." These mild, usually painless contractions are getting your uterus ready for the real deal a few months from now. You may feel some pressure, or nothing at all. If, on the other hand, you feel strong contractions, notify your doctor immediately, since it could signal preterm labor, and we definitely don't want that: Your little one is still very much baking.

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Length: About 14 inches (head to toe). Weight: About 2 pounds. Eyes: Open.

This week or next week, somewhere deep in your abdomen, tiny eyelids are opening, closing and opening again. Tiny, curious eyes are looking around the interior of your uterus and shutting quickly in response to bright light. It's a whole new visual world.

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Also this week, your baby may be experiencing:

  • A regular sleep cycle (which does not, unfortunately, match yours)
  • Hiccups (they don't hurt)
  • Continued lung development
  • Thumb sucking, which provides comfort and can help to strengthen facial structures
  • Increased brain-tissue development

It can be a lot to take in, this sprint toward readiness for life outside the womb, not to mention your own new life -- or, we should say, new lives. Your partner's about to experience a new life, too, and along those lines …

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With all the focus on the mom-to-be -- well-deserved, no doubt -- it can be easy to forget there's someone else involved here who almost definitely is feeling anxiety, excitement and confusion, too.

Partners, you don't need to keep it all in, thinking you need to be the all-strong, all-knowing, all-positive one to counter the pregnant lady's swings. In fact, it's much better if you share all of these things. No one wants to feel like he or she is alone in having questions or fears or doubts or the occasional anticipatory squeal.

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Talking about your feelings about the baby, parenthood and how your lives are about to change can only help to strengthen your relationship, assuage your own anxieties and, most likely, take some of the emotional weight off the woman who's already got a lot to carry.

This week, besides bonding over a shared fear of diaper blow-out, you may also want to think about …

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It's time to start planning maternity leave, if you plan to take any.
It's time to start planning maternity leave, if you plan to take any.
©iStockphoto.com/sborisov

It's the last week of the second trimester, which means you've got three months until you bring home a brand-new baby. If you haven't yet, you probably want to get moving on:

  • The car seat, since you can't take your baby home without it, and you may want to get the installation inspected by a pro before the big day (fire stations do this; hospitals may also have someone on staff)
  • Childbirth classes, since most of them run six-to-eight weeks and you want to be done before the contractions start
  • Setting up maternity leave, if that applies to you
  • Help at home after delivery (family member, friend, doula) and/or childcare (some places have waitlists)

Other things to keep in mind this week include:

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  • Mom-to-be's physical capacities are getting more limited. Heavy lifting and standing on ladders, for instance, should be avoided.
  • If you have any pregnancy complications now, vigorous exercise may no longer be safe, so be sure to check with your doctor before you go running.

And, at last, a few things you can probably wave off.

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Forgot what you were about to say? It's probably a case of "pregnancy brain."
Forgot what you were about to say? It's probably a case of "pregnancy brain."
©iStockphoto.com/sborisov

As you round second, you've probably got some good "pregnancy brain" going, and with car seat comparisons and infant bathtub features taking up a lot of room, you'll be glad to know you needn't worry if:

  • You simply cannot abide the gray (or brown or blonde or red or lack of highlights).Most experts agree that coloring your hair now is OK, but ask your doctor to be sure. For added security, choose natural dyes, like henna, or else highlights instead of all-over color, which will keep the chemicals away from your scalp.
  • You don't have a family member available (or invited) to help out in those first weeks.If you decide you'd like some help, and most people do, you've got options beyond the usual mom/aunt/grandmother type of assistance. Ask your doctor or midwife about doulas and other types of "mother's helpers" working in your area.

And if, as you contemplate the respective benefits of doulas and aunts, you notice your partner isn't quite as "into it" as you are -- don't worry about that, either (at least not yet). The next time you feel a kick, and the time after that, remember to put your partner's hand on your belly. You're feeling things your partner isn't, and it's up to you to share.

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For more information on pregnancy, parenting and related topics, look over the links on the next page.

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Related Articles

More Great Links

Sources

  • "27th Week of Pregnancy." American Pregnancy Association. (May 31, 2011)http://www.americanpregnancy.org/weekbyweek/week27.htm
  • "Second Trimester: Week 27." Parenting. (May 31, 2011)http://www.parenting.com/timeline/2nd-trimester-week-27
  • "Week 27 of Pregnancy." What to Expect. (May 31, 2011)http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-27.aspx
  • "Your Pregnancy: 27 Weeks." Baby Center. (May 31, 2011)http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-27-weeks_1116.bc

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