Week Twenty-seven of Your Pregnancy

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Week 27 Info

WEEK 27

This week your baby weighs almost 2 pounds "like a head of cauliflower" and is about 14 inches long when her legs are extended.  27 weeks marks the end of the second trimester. The retina, which is important in the reception of light images, develops its normal layers by the 27th week of gestation.  She's opening and closer her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. Your baby's skin is quite wrinkled from floating in water. This will stay this way until a few weeks after birth as your newborn fills out into a baby.  If you feel tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling baby hiccups, which may be common from now on.

Your body will need an extra 300 to 350 calories each day. During this time you will continue to put on weight and will continue to do so until about your 36th or 37th week. You will notice that the weight you gain will be different in the placement then the weight you have gained to this point. As long as you are eating healthily and maintaining a well-balanced diet, the weight you gain during pregnancy is not considered fat or unhealthy, but instead, necessary for sustaining both you and your baby. Now is not the time to worry about the number on the scale and you should not diet while pregnant. If you are concerned with the amount of weight you are gaining - whether too much or too little - discuss it with your doctor.

You may be experiencing some shortness of breath from the pressure of your uterus on your rib cage. As your uterus grows, it places pressure on the rib cage and prevents your lungs from being able to expand completely. But don't worry. You and your baby are still getting enough oxygen.
 
You may be experiencing leg cramps, especially at night.  Your legs are carrying extra weight and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading to your legs.  Unfortunately, leg cramps can get worse as your pregnancy progresses.  When you get a leg cramp, try not to massage the muscle too much, this may lead to more soreness the next day.  Instead, straighten your leg and then gently flex your toes back toward your shin, like a "runner's stretch", until the muscle let's go.

In your third trimester it is important to recognize the signs of premature labor. Research shows that premature labor is more common in some women in the summer months then other times of year due to dehydration. Be sure to continue to drink plenty of fluids.

If you have any of the following, be sure to call your doctor right away-
Bright red blood from your vagina
Sudden gush of clear, watery fluid from your vagina
Intense pelvic pain
Contractions or bad cramps "especially if more then 5 in one hour"
Pain during urination "could be an infection of the urinary tract, bladder or kidneys"
Significant swelling or puffiness of your face and hands "possible sign of preeclampsia"
Sharp or prolonged pain in your abdomen "possible sign of preeclampsia"
 

It may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but it's not too soon to think about family planning. You'll want to have made some decisions about postpartum birth control before your baby arrives. If you're considering a tubal ligation, be aware that most states require you to sign a consent form at least 30 days beforehand. So if you'd like the option of having the surgery during your postpartum hospital stay, don't wait too much longer to discuss it with your caregiver. "You can still change your mind later."

Don't forget to sign up for a breastfeeding class if you are a first time mom or if you had trouble breastfeeding your first child.  Ask your caregiver or childbirth education teacher where you can take one or call La Leche League.  They are a great resource for breastfeeding information.

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