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Week 27 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Baby Development|Body & Life Changes|Your Doctor Visits|Health & Safety
Week 27 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

You are almost in the final stretch! Week 27 of pregnancy baby development marks the end of the second trimester and the beginning of the third. This week gets more exciting and busy as you undergo more procedures in your prenatal checkups. All these prenatal tests are to ensure mommy and baby’s healthy delivery.

Baby Development

At around week 27 of pregnancy baby development, your baby’s heartbeat slows down to around 140 beats per minute. This is still faster than an adult’s heartbeat, but slower compared to the first trimester.

The lungs, digestive system, and brain of the fetus are all fully-formed by this time. However, it’s still not ready for the outside world. At this point, your baby will be around 14 to 15 inches long and at least 2.5 pounds in weight. This is comparable to a head of cauliflower or broccoli.

Your doctor may prescribe additional supplements or alter your diet if it seems your baby is not growing enough. You will be encouraged to take more vitamins and consume more calories.

The embryology department of the University of NSW states that by week 27, a baby can sense acoustic vibrations. Sounds and movements can startle them. Therefore, go easy on the bass or hard rock music so your child can peacefully rest inside your tummy. On the upside, your baby can already recognize your voice.

While it may be alarming, some babies are born extremely preterm (before 28 weeks). In the past, babies born this early were likely to not survive. However, as technology and medical knowledge has progressed, many of these babies are able to not only survive but thrive.

Body & Life Changes

How is my body changing?

At week 27 of pregnancy baby development, you will probably start feeling your baby kicking you in the ribs and stomach area. You may also start experiencing the discomfort of lying down flat on your stomach due to your protruding belly.

By week 27, your organs may slightly shift and move around to accommodate the growing baby. Even your heart literally tilts to make room, especially if you have a large-sized fetus or if you have multiple pregnancies.

What should I be concerned about?

Another uncomfortable inconvenience experienced at week 27 of pregnancy baby development is constipation. Calcium supplements may slow down your bowel movements. However, these supplements necessary to aid in the development of your baby inside your womb.

Your doctor may prescribe you with laxatives to help loosen up your hardened bowels and reduce the risk of bleeding or preterm labor due to bearing down too hard. Alternatively, you eat more fiber and stay hydrated.

Your Doctor Visits

What tests should I know about?

By week 27 of pregnancy baby development, you may expect to undergo biophysical profiling and non-stress tests for the fetus.

Most of the time, the biophysical profile and non-stress tests are given to women who are considered to have high-risk pregnancies. Although, your doctor may request one as part of the routine examination of fetal development. This is the second major procedure after the second trimester’s congenital anomaly scan.

The biophysical profile score determines a list of things, namely:

  • Fetal breathing movements
  • Fetal tone
  • Gross body movement
  • The volume of amniotic fluid (too much or too little can be dangerous to you and your baby)
  • Stress levels

Dr. Mark Curran, a perinatologist, outlines in his article what is normal and what is not during this procedure for your easy reference. The baby will be graded on a scale of 1 to 10 based on these factors.

The non-stress test, on the other hand, measures the baby’s health by checking his fetal heart rate acceleration in response to fetal movement. It is best if the baby is awake at this time as the medical technician will check his responses to stimuli. If the medical technician senses that the baby is falling asleep during this 30-minute to hour-long procedure, he may make noises to wake up your baby. Do not be alarmed; these are necessary to ensure that the best and most accurate laboratory test results. In addition to the aforementioned, you may also need to get another ultrasound evaluation, like with previous checkups.

Health & Safety

What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?

It can get exhausting sometimes to be waddling around with a large belly but feel free to rest and allow yourself to get as comfortable as you want.

By week 27 of pregnancy baby development, though your baby’s central nervous system has developed over the first trimester, do not skip your prenatal vitamins. Make sure you also eat a balanced diet and do not over-restrict your calories, unless you have macrosomia risks due to gestational diabetes.

You can eat an extra 500 to 700 calories to accommodate the growing life inside of you and still be in good shape.

Aim to sleep on your left side, which offers greater comfort. Sleeping on your stomach and having sex at this time may not be advised especially if you are a high-risk case.

Develop your birth plan

Week 27 of pregnancy baby development may get a little busy, but this is also a good time to finalize the details of your birth plan. Who will accompany you to the delivery room? What do you prefer after giving birth – immediate skin to skin latching for breastfeeding or a little delay until you have recovered from the labor? These questions and more are best discussed with your doctor and birthing partner three months ahead of schedule. Make sure also that you visit the hospital facilities where you plan to have your delivery. If you live far from your planned hospital, you may want to consider a backup hospital or birthing clinic that is closer to home should your delivery date be accelerated.

Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis, or medical treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

University of New South Wales Embryology Timeline of Human Development – https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Template:Third_Trimester_Timeline Accessed April 2, 2021

Stages of Development of Fetus by Merck Manual – https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/women-s-health-issues/normal-pregnancy/stages-of-development-of-the-fetus Accessed April 2, 2021

Perinatology Fetal Development for Week 27 – http://perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#27 Accessed April 2, 2021

NHS UK – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/27-weeks-pregnant/ Accessed April 2, 2021

Stanford Children’s Health – https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=biophysical-profile-bpp-90-P02438

Perinatology BPS or BPP Notes –  http://perinatology.com/Reference/glossary/B/Biophysical%20profile.htm Accessed April 2, 2021

Preterm birth https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preterm-birth Accessed April 2, 2021

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Written by Den Alibudbud Updated Apr 02
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.
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