Your growing baby now measures 35cm from crown to heel and weighs approximately 680g. You should be aware of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia, a rare but life threatening condition (see below).
Ultrasound image of the skull of a fetus at 25 weeks gestation.
The fetus is now approximately 35cm long – from crown to heal – and weighs around 680g. Body fat is continuing to form and build up during this week. This causes the skin to appear less wrinkled and translucent. Sensory development also continues and the fetus is now able to respond to both light and touch. All major organs are now formed and in the correct place and the remainder of the pregnancy is primarily focused on fetal growth and increasing weight and body fat.
Capillaries are continuing to form and fill with blood, enhancing the circulatory system. The lungs also continue to develop and, although they will not be fully functional yet, air sacs are forming within them and surfactant (a substance that will help lung expansion after birth) is being produced. In addition to this, the nostrils are beginning to open and the vocal cords are also developing.
By this stage of pregnancy, some women experience aching and/or numbness in their wrists, hands and fingers. The carpal tunnels in the wrists, which contain nerves and tendons, become swollen during pregnancy, exerting pressure on the nerve and causing pain in the hand. You should consult your midwife or Doctor if you are struggling to cope with the discomfort.
Varicose veins are common during pregnancy. They most often occur in the legs and are simply swollen veins. Varicose veins usually disappear after your baby is born. If you are concerned about varicose veins, you should try to avoid standing for long periods of time. It may also be helpful to elevate your legs while sleeping. Some women also suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) during pregnancy. This is characterised by a tingling in the legs and an urge to move the legs. Although the symptoms are uncomfortable, they are not harmful however some healthcare professionals believe that there is a link between RLS and anaemia. so you may want to request a blood test to rule this out if you have any concerns.
Snoring is another common symptom during pregnancy and is reported by many women. The cause of pregnancy-related snoring is usually the swelling of mucous membranes in the nose – caused by increased levels of progesterone – causing nasal congestion. Although this may be irritating, it is not usually a cause for concern, however you should talk to a health professional if you are concerned.
You may be having an antenatal appointment around now. During this appointment, you will have your blood pressure checked and will be asked to provide a urine sample for testing. These tests will identify conditions such as pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes and enable them to be treated if necessary.
Although rare at this stage pre eclampsia is a potentially very serious condition. It is characterized by headaches, swelling of the legs and particularly the face, flashing lights or little black floaters in the eyes.
When severe there can be pain below the ribs. There should be no vaginal bleeding or change in vaginal discharge at this stage. Fetal movements should in general be well established.
You will have a midwife check about this time. She will ask you questions about how you are feeling. She will check your blood pressure and urine for signs of pre eclampsia. She will feel your tummy and may use a tape measure to measure it. From this stage your tummy will increase in size from the top of the lump to the bottom by one centimetre per week. If she finds this is not the case you will be referred for a scan. The midwife will start to discuss antenatal preparation classes which are usually run locally.
You can be seen in a private clinic without a referral letter. You can see a midwife or a specialist to discuss any concerns you may have, including a comprehensive ultrasound scan where needed. In a private clinic there should be more time, often better equipment and access to highly skilled expertise. If you have had a previous late miscarriage or carry twins then a cervical scan is readily available. You can have a detailed discussion with a specialist about any concerns you may have.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
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