At 27 weeks, you are finishing the second trimester and beginning the third. Your baby will begin to add on pounds as you enter your final trimester, and your body will respond to this growth with many changes.
You have now been pregnant for more than six months. In that time, your body has gone through a lot of adjustments, and it will continue to do so in the time leading up to baby’s arrival. Like many women entering the third trimester, you might be physically and emotionally exhausted. As your baby grows, heartburn, weight gain, back pain, and swelling all increase.
Between weeks 24 and 28, your doctor will test you for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is the result of hormonal changes during pregnancy that interfere with insulin production and/or resistance. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your doctor will determine a course of action to monitor and treat your blood sugar.
At the end of week 27, your doctor may administer an Rh immune globulin shot. This injection prevents antibodies developing that could be harmful to your baby. It is only required for women whose blood does not contain an antigen protein found on red blood cells. Your blood type determines whether you need this shot or not.
In the third trimester, your baby will continue to grow and develop. By week 27, your baby looks like a thinner and smaller version of what they will look like when they are born. Your baby’s lungs and nervous system continue to mature at 27 weeks, although there is a good chance that the baby could survive outside of the womb.
You may have noticed your baby moving in the last few weeks. Now is a great time to start tracking those movements. If you notice a decrease in movement (less than 6 to 10 movements per hour), call your doctor.
You’ll officially enter the third trimester by the end of week 27. You don’t have much longer to go. More than half of twin pregnancies are delivered by 37 weeks. If you work outside of the home, talk to your doctor about their recommendations for when you should stop working, and try to plan your work leave accordingly.
By the conclusion of the second trimester, your baby has grown large enough for you to experience physical changes related to their size. Common symptoms awaiting you in the third trimester that may begin during week 27 include:
- mental and physical exhaustion
- shortness of breath
- back aches
- swelling of the ankles, fingers, or face
- trouble sleeping
You may also be experiencing leg cramps or restless leg syndrome, which affect more than a quarter of pregnant women, according to a study in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. The study reports that sleep disturbances can cause you to be excessively sleepy during the day, less productive, unable to concentrate, and irritable.
Exercise can help you sleep better and feel more energized. Remember to always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine in pregnancy. Eating a healthy, balanced diet (while taking your prenatal vitamins) can also improve your energy levels.
It’s possible that your energy levels are still high at week 27, and that you are trying to maximize your time before baby. Or you may be struggling to get enough rest as your body adapts to your baby’s increasing size and the symptoms of pregnancy take their toll. No matter how you feel, prioritizing rest will help your outlook as you move along into the third trimester.
Try some techniques to improve your sleep and decrease physical and emotional strain. Here are some tips to improve your sleep:
- maintain a routine sleep schedule
- eat healthy foods
- avoid excessive liquid consumption in the evening
- exercise and stretch
- use relaxation techniques before bed
Your doctor’s appointments will increase in frequency toward the end of the third trimester, but at week 27 your appointments are still spaced out, probably around 4 to 5 weeks apart.
Call your doctor if you encounter the following symptoms in week 27:
- extreme swelling in the ankles, fingers, and face (this could be a sign of preeclampsia)
- vaginal bleeding or a sudden change in vaginal discharge
- severe pain or cramping in the abdomen or pelvis
- difficulty breathing
- decreased fetal movement