As you probably know by now, your 40-week pregnancy is split into three trimesters and organized by weeks in gestational age, which is calculated to be 2 weeks older than fetal age. Depending on how you count it, the 27th week of pregnancy (gestational) falls either at the end of the second trimester or the beginning of the third trimester. At this time, you and your baby are gearing up for the final, and in some ways most challenging, months of pregnancy.
Baby’s Growth and Development
Weighing in at about 2 pounds, your baby is almost 10 inches long measured from crown to rump. Your baby’s length can now also be measured from head to toe at a range of about 14.4 to 15.25 inches. This week, he’ll grow about an inch longer.
Meanwhile, as he’s growing bigger, your baby’s doing more of what he does best—develop his brain, liver and immune system, improve his hearing and practice breathing (albeit amniotic fluid instead of air).
Your baby’s eyes first made their appearance back in the fourth week of pregnancy, and the eyelids showed up by the twelfth week. Now, the layers of the eye’s retina are fully developed, making them sensitive to light, and your baby’s eyelids are starting to open and close.
You’ve probably begun to feel your baby move by now. Get into the habit of paying attention to your baby’s kicks and thumps—not that they’re easy to ignore. Get used to noticing her quiet or sleeping times and her active times. Soon, your doctor will start asking you how often the baby kicks. You may notice your baby start to hiccup, as well, which is normal.
Start registering for prenatal classes, as the classes are scheduled at fixed times and can fill up quickly. Childbirth education classes help teach you what childbirth options are available to you and what your choices are for anesthesia and pain relief. They can reassure new parents, help you connect with other parents and start you thinking about the practicalities of your hospital visit or the birthing process.
Climbing on step stools and doing household chores may be getting difficult for you now. Although a certain amount of exercise is good—unless your doctor has advised you otherwise—recruit help for some of the riskier activities. Even more than before, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, eat well and keep taking your prenatal vitamins.
You’ve reached an important threshold—your baby has an 85 percent chance of survival if she’s born at 27 weeks. Of course, due to the potential for long-lasting complications, that is not an ideal outcome. The longer your baby keeps growing in your uterus, the better are her chances of survival.
From now until the end of your pregnancy, if you notice a sudden increase in weight gain or your feet, hands or face swelling significantly, let your doctor know right away. These may be signs of pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening condition associated with high blood pressure that occurs in some pregnant women.