Twenty-seven weeks of pregnancy are over and you’ll complete your second trimester next week. You’ll be gaining weight rapidly now, adding two inches to your uterus every week. And while many of the pregnancy symptoms, such as constipation, gas, back pain and edema are still there, you may find that extreme fatigue becomes another problem to deal with.
What Happens Inside Your Body
You’re probably familiar with the many things your body is going through—bleeding gums, edema, hemorrhoids, muscle cramps, constipation and back pain induced by the increased weight—by now. This week you’ll find that you get tired easily, and even the simplest activities can be difficult to complete. But don’t be alarmed and just take some rest to combat it.
You may also find that your breathing is shallower and you often feel short of breath. This is because your growing uterus is putting pressure on your rib cage and diaphragm. Avoid lifting heavy things and exercise slowly to breathe normally.
Your Baby’s Growth
- Body size: Your baby weighs about 2.4 pounds (1100gm) and measures about 14 inches (350 millimeters) in height. It’s about the length of a large head of broccoli.
- Head characteristics: Your baby’s head now grows to accommodate the growing brain. The part of the brain responsible for intelligence, temperament and personality also develops during this week. In addition, the baby can now turn its head from one side to another as it gains neck flexibility. The optic nerves necessary for image interpretation are also fully developed.
- Body appearance: The baby’s skin is now becoming opaque due to the accumulation of fat. The bones strengthen as your baby absorbs more calcium from your vitamin reserves. As a result, your baby’s kicks are becoming increasingly powerful, and are strong enough to wake you up in the middle of the night.
- Internal organs: The lungs, liver and immune system are still developing. The placenta begins to transfer antibodies to help your child fight infections.
How Different Will You Look?
- From weeks 27-36, your rate of weight gain will rise. The extra pounds help the baby build its fat reserves and strengthen the bones.
- From now on, your uterus would gain 2 inches (5cm) every week. Your blood volume will also increase by 30 to 50 percent.
- Your breasts are getting bigger in preparation for lactation and will gained about 400 percent more volume. They might also start leaking colostrum (an early form of milk), which is lower in fat and higher in protein than regular breast milk and contains essential antibodies needed by your newborn.
Tips To Help You Sail Through
Count your baby’s moves: This is the time to start counting your baby’s movements. Your little one should move at least 10 times an hour. If the baby makes less than 10 moves, monitor its moves for the next two hours to make sure it wasn’t an aberration. If you find that the number of moves are less, don’t panic. Talk to your doctor or midwife.
Straighten that spine: Lower back pain would become a constant now and you can ease it by standing and sitting straight. If you are carrying a backpack, remember to carry it on both shoulders. And while shoulder bags might look fashionable, don’t carry heavy bags on one shoulder. If you’re still suffering from back pain, go for a scented oil pregnancy massage to soothe it.