WEEK 27: Getting ready to breathe
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27 weeks pregnant: we’re nearly there, baby!

At week 27 you’re coming to the end of your second trimester. The day when the two of you meet face to tiny face is getting closer and closer. This week baby is long enough to lie in your arms and reach from your hand to your elbow.

In Pregnancy

    3-minutes read

    At a glance

    Your little one is not so little anymore – about 36cm long  

    If heartburn is interrupting your sleep, try an extra pillow

     

    Eat light at night and avoid going to bed on a full stomach

    Start breathing exercises now. They could help calm you on ‘labour day’

    Baby's development at 27 weeks pregnant

    At 27 weeks your baby is developing nicely. All curled up, the size of your baby at 27 weeks is about the size of a cabbage.

    There’s still plenty of growing to do though – and your baby’s lungs are one of the last things to develop. Baby has all the right parts to start breathing but their air sacs have more growing to do and they’re yet to produce something called ‘surfactant’. This substance keeps the airways open and makes it possible for baby’s lungs to breathe in air after delivery. It’ll be week 35 or so before they have enough to breathe properly.

    Baby’s heart at this stage is fully developed and going strong. Something to look forward to hearing again at your next check-up.

    Changes in you and your body at 27 weeks pregnant

    You might find some of the more embarrassing pregnancy side effects are bothering you now - piles, wind and even leaky boobs! Not enjoyable but totally normal and luckily they won’t last long. Once baby is born most of these annoying symptoms will ease off and be quickly forgotten as your world gets turned upside down in the most wonderful way.

    Having a hard time sleeping? It’s a very common complaint as you near the end of your pregnancy, which isn’t surprising since you’ve got a lively little human on board. We have a few tricks that could help you get more ZZZZs

    Nutrition at 27 weeks pregnant

    If you’ve avoided heartburn so far, don’t relax too soon, it can still bite you on the tum as you get near the end. In fact, *20-70% of women suffer from heartburn, indigestion or reflux during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters where symptoms tend to get worse. That’s because baby is getting heavier and their weight is pushing on your stomach and intestines. This pressure can cause stomach acids to be squeezed into your oesophagus, relaxing the muscle at the top, creating that uncomfortable burning sensation.

    If heartburn is interrupting your sleep, add an extra pillow so you’re sleeping almost upright. Our resident dietitian Ellie advises eating light meals in the evening so you’re not going to bed on a full stomach. If you get hungry later on, yoghurt or a piece of non-acidic fruit like a banana should tide you over until breakfast time. You may want to consider cutting out acidic, spicy or fatty foods, as these can make things worse. Speak to your GP if changing your diet doesn’t help.

    Getting ready for labour and beyond

    Antenatal classes are helpful, even for experienced mums. That’s because researchers are constantly discovering new things that can help your pregnancy, and delivery methods change a lot too.

    For instance, breathing exercises have always been part of antenatal classes, but now hypnobirthing is covered as well. This adds relaxation, visualisation and mindfulness methods to the traditional breathing techniques, helping you concentrate on your body and the birth of your baby.

    Antenatal classes will also help you understand what’s happening inside your body during labour and delivery. It’s a good chance to find out about pain relief and give you hospital options too.

    For more information about antenatal classes, speak to your midwife.

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    Important advice to mothers

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.