Pregnancy Tracker: Week 27

Pregnancy Tracker: Week 27




This is a milestone week as you come to the end of your second trimester. 27 weeks pregnant means you have about 13 weeks to go!

It is probably becoming harder to find a comfortable position to sleep as your bump is constantly growing. Baby is also now very active - usually at night!  Taking daytime naps will go a long way towards ensuring you get enough much-needed rest at this time of your pregnancy.

Baby’s development at 27 weeks of pregnancy

Your little one has been laying down fat stores and is getting plumper by the day, weighing just over 900g, which is double what it was four short weeks ago. Head-to-heel measurement is roughly 37cm and baby, about the size of a head of a cauliflower, is now fully formed and looks just like a little newborn infant, albeit a bit thinner and smaller. 

If your baby had to be born now, he would have a good chance of survival but would probably need medical intervention. The immune system, liver and lungs still need to mature to support independent life. The lungs continue to produce the substance called surfactant, which assists in keeping the air sacs open in preparation for breathing after birth.

The little eyelids are finally unfused, and eyes can open and close. The difference between light and dark can be perceived at this stage, but vision will be fuzzy until after birth. However, the eyes can focus on and follow objects, and apparently the colour red can be distinguished.

Baby’s auditory development is progressing well, and he can hear your voice, as well as other noises from outside the uterus, but as the ears are still covered with vernix, all sounds are muffled.

The taste buds are fully developed, and baby will know when you eat spicy food! About two hours after you have eaten, you might notice your baby having a fit of hiccups.

The baby’s little heartbeat can be heard when using a stethoscope and your partner may even be able to hear it if he puts his ear to your belly, although it does depend on how and where the baby is lying.

Your body and your pregnancy symptoms at 27 weeks

Restless legs

This can manifest as an irresistible urge to move your legs constantly and can be very upsetting as it usually strikes at night when you are trying to fall asleep. Avoiding caffeine and nicotine are thought to help, as well as ensuring that you get enough iron and folate in your diet. RLS (restless leg syndrome) usually disappears after pregnancy.

Urinary incontinence

‘Snissing’ is what happens when you pee when sneezing! Your uterus pressing on the bladder, weakened pelvic muscles, hormonal changes and an increase in blood and fluid volume are all contributing factors that cause you to leak or lose a bit of control when coughing or sneezing. Wearing a pantiliner and visiting the toilet often are about the only solutions for this pesky symptom which is temporary and will improve after birth.


Oedema is swelling caused by retention of accumulated fluids in the tissues of the body as well as hormonal changes and is quite common during the second half of pregnancy. As your uterus becomes heavier, it puts pressure on veins, which causes the returning blood from the legs to be slow and sluggish, resulting in swelling in ankles and feet. Putting your feet up and resting, especially towards the end of the day, offers some relief for the condition. Compression stockings may also help and getting a leg and foot massage works wonders. Remember to drink plenty of water to help flush the fluids in your system.

Swelling is usually nothing to worry about, but if you find yourself suffering from excessive swelling, speak to your healthcare provider as it could be a sign of something more serious.

Pelvic Pain

You may experience sharp pain and stabbing aches in your hips and groin as your pregnancy progresses. Pelvic girdle pain that increases in intensity is caused by normal pregnancy changes such as hormones, weight gain, and your expanding belly which makes your centre of gravity shift. A preggie band, specifically designed for the purpose, will help support your abdominal muscles and pelvic area. A pillow placed between the knees will help to keep your hips in a comfortable position, and one supporting the back could lessen the discomfort and help ensure a better night’s sleep.

Abdominal Cramping

If you have regular, painful, or period-like abdominal cramping from this stage of pregnancy, speak to your healthcare provider urgently as it could be a sign of early labour. Other signs could include painful, regular contractions, unusual backache, or fluid trickling or flowing from your vagina.

It may be difficult to distinguish between the start of premature labour described above and Braxton Hicks contractions, which are normal contractions and help your body get ready for birth. But if you are in doubt, check with your healthcare provider. Better to err on the side of caution!

A word on rhesus negative

Rhesus disease is a condition in which antibodies in a pregnant woman's blood destroy the blood cells of her baby. Rhesus disease doesn't harm the mother, but it can cause the baby to become anaemic and develop jaundice, putting the baby at risk.

In a complicated set of circumstances, rhesus disease occurs only when the mother has RhD negative blood and the baby she is carrying has RhD positive blood (RhD positive). The mother must have been exposed to RhD positive blood during a previous pregnancy. The pregnant mum’s body produces antibodies to fight and destroy the foreign blood cells. These antibodies can cross the placenta and cause rhesus disease in an unborn baby.

Luckily, modern medicine has advanced so much that rhesus disease is not so common these days. Routine antenatal blood test monitoring can alert the doctor to a RhD negative state, and a course of anti-D immunoglobulin injections will be administered at certain stages of the pregnancy, and stringent monitoring will be done during the pregnancy and after birth. In severe cases, the unborn baby may have to undergo a blood transfusion. After delivery, a baby’s treatment may include phototherapy, injections, or a blood transfusion. Treatment is highly effective, and usually no lasting problems are noted.

Congratulations! You have now completed your second trimester!

The third and final stage is about to begin!

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