27 Weeks Pregnant

You have now entered the seventh month of your pregnancy and the first month of the third trimester. So, just 13 more weeks left till you get to meet your baby. In the meantime, maintain a healthy lifestyle, follow a nutritious diet and watch out for any warning signs.

Baby development this week

Brain development

The brain and nervous system continues to grow and control the fetal organs and activities. One important change this week is the development of the characteristic grooves or channels on the surface of the brain as the brain tissues are forming [1].

Picture of 27 Weeks Pregnancy Fetal Development

Internal organ development

The fetal lungs are quite mature by this week, practicing breathing in and out amniotic fluid [2]. Although your baby would have about 90% chances of survival if you were to give birth this week [3], he would need to spend several weeks in the neonatal intensive care as the lungs are still not able to function on their own. The fetal heartbeat is now strong enough to be heard by your partner by placing his ears to your belly [4].

In a male fetus, the testes descend into the scrotum this week, while a female fetus develops all the follicles in the growing ovaries [5].

External appearance and development

His appearance already resembles what he is going to look like after birth, only much bigger and plumper [6]. Your baby’s skin is turning opaque as the fat layers continue to form and prepare for regulating his body temperature once he enters the world outside your womb [2].

Sensory organ development

The developing network of auditory nerves enables the baby to hear and recognize both his parents’ voices. However, all the sounds he hears now are muffled due to the vernix caseosa covering the ears. The fetal taste buds are also fully developed with their number being higher at this stage than it will be after birth [4].

Your little one can now open those tiny eyes [13] and might even respond to startling noises with a few blinks [5]. The part of the brain responsible for vision becomes active around the 27th week with all the principal eye structures in place, enabling your baby to make out his surroundings (vaguely) [7].

Fetal movements during pregnancy week 27

Babies develop a specific sleep-and-wake cycle by the 26th-27th week, with most babies becoming more active at night, often between 9 pm and 1 am [8], when you try to get some sleep. Like newborn infants, babies in the womb get relaxed and sleepy by rocking. All your movements and activities during daytime feel like gentle rocking to your baby floating in amniotic fluid, lulling him to sleep. However at night, when you are resting, your baby wakes up because he cannot feel the rhythmic movement anymore [7].

Usually, the fetal movement increases after you drink something cold or eat something spicy or sweet (as your baby can now taste the foods through the amniotic fluid) as well as after you work out [8]. If you feel rhythmic small movements that last for a few minutes at a time, your baby is probably hiccupping. Hiccups occur due to involuntary movements of the fetal diaphragm as his lungs mature [9]. Having spicy foods might also trigger hiccups in your little one; but, they are in no way annoying to him.

How big is your baby?

The baby is now as big as the head of a cauliflower [10], measuring around 14.5 inches (36.83 cm) from crown to ankle, weighing about 2 pounds (907 gm) [11].

Week 27: Weight gain, belly and body changes

Your belly is now as big as a basketball and growing every week to accommodate your baby as he experiences his growth spurt [4].

Swelling or edema of your legs might get worse in the third trimester due to fluid retention, increased blood volume and the growing uterus putting pressure on the vena cava (the nerve that carries blood from the lower body back to the heart), slowing down the blood flow [4]. Fluid retention in your arms and wrist might lead to swelling of the carpal tunnel, pressing on the nerves, causing numbness and tingling sensations in your hands (carpal tunnel syndrome) [12].

27 weeks pregnant tests and ultrasound

An ultrasound performed this week will show your baby kicking, punching, yawning, sucking on those little thumbs or even blinking his tiny eyes.

27 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Picture

27 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Picture

Routine prenatal visits to your doctor now involve weekly diabetes and blood pressure checks. Women found to be Rh-negative in previous pregnancies are usually examined for Rh antibodies around the 27th week. An anti-D injection can be administered to fight the incompatibility and ascertain proper fetal health. A repeat injection might be offered during the 34th week [14].

Twin pregnancy 27th week

In a twin pregnancy, the babies are viewed separately on ultrasound so your doctor can better check their growth and health or detect any problem. The amniotic fluid levels are assessed while the relative size and growth rate of the babies are evaluated as well.

Pregnancy week 27 signs and symptoms

When to call the doctor

  • Frequent contractions along with a change in discharge, bleeding or spotting, period-like cramps, feeling pressure in the pelvic area, back pain and lots of thin watery discharge (might indicate preterm labor) [18]
  • Burning or pain while urinating along with lower back pain, yellowish jelly like or milky white discharge with a foul odor, abdominal pain, fever, chills and nausea (might indicate a condition like UTI, kidney or yeast infection)
  • Extreme fatigue or dizziness accompanied by blurred vision, persistent headaches, feeling out of breath, upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or sudden swelling of the face, hands and feet (might indicate high blood pressure) [19]
  • Lots of yellowish or clear watery discharge (might indicate leaking amniotic fluid) [20]
  • Extreme thirst and urinating too often with or without sudden vision changes, excessive tiredness and severe nausea (might indicate gestational diabetes) [21]
  • Severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea lasting for over 24 hours
  • Feeling no fetal movement for over 4-5 hours

Tips for a healthy pregnancy and baby

  • Following a diet containing ample amounts of iron, protein, vitamins A, B complex, C and D (fresh fruits and vegetables like cranberries, oranges, avocados, spinach, kale as well as lean meat, fish etc.)
  • Establishing a regular early bedtime routine and avoiding watching television or using your computer just before going to bed can help cope with the sleep disturbances; avoiding taking afternoon naps might help as well [12]
  • Keeping your hands elevated above the rest of the body when lying down to drain the excess fluid and reduce the swelling and tingling
  • Consulting your doctor regarding the safety of physiotherapy for fighting the pelvic pain, backaches and edema (physiotherapy is considered safe in most cases when performed by a licensed practitioner)
  • Maintaining a healthy diet throughout the pregnancy to avoid excess weight gain; you only need 300 extra calories (500 to 600 if carrying twins) every day so your baby gets sufficient nutrients [22]
  • Consulting your doctor or midwife regarding the risks of premature delivery and any preventive measures, especially in case of a multiple pregnancy (twins often arrive much earlier than their due date) [15]
[ref]
  1. http://www.babycenter.in/27-weeks-pregnant
  2. http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/27-weeks-pregnant_70839
  3. http://www.cyh.com/healthtopics/healthtopicdetails.aspx?p=438&np=465&id=2831
  4. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-27.aspx
  5. http://www.bounty.com/pregnancy/27-weeks-pregnant
  6. http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/pregnancy_calendar/week27.html
  7. http://www.pampers.com/diapers/27-weeks-pregnant
  8. http://americanpregnancy.org/duringpregnancy/kickcounts.htm
  9. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/baby-development/#page=27
  10. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/how-big-is-your-baby-this-week/#page=26
  11. http://www.babycenter.com/slideshow-baby-size?slideNumber=25
  12. http://www.huggies.com.au/pregnancy/week-by-week/27-weeks-pregnant/
  13. http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-27-weeks_1116.bc
  14. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/27-weeks-pregnant
  15. http://www.parenting.com/timeline/2nd-trimester-week-27
  16. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/pregnancy-problems-restless-leg-syndrome
  17. http://www.kidspot.com.au/pregnancy-third-trimester-your-pregnancy-week-27+1065+114+article.htm
  18. http://similac.com/pregnancy/27-weeks-pregnant
  19. http://www.preeclampsia.org/health-information/sign-symptoms#sick
  20. http://www.kidspot.com.au/Pregnancy-Third-trimester-Pregnancy-symptoms-you-should-never-ignore+1925+114+article.htm
  21. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a2058/gestational-diabetes
  22. http://www.pregnancycorner.com/being-pregnant/pregnancy-week-by-week/27-weeks-pregnant.html
  23. http://www.parents.com/advice/pregnancy-birth/my-pregnant-body/are-the-chills-normal-during-pregnancy/ [/ref]