Your growing baby now measures 37cm from crown to heel and weighs approximately 910g. You should be aware of the symptoms of pre eclampsia, which is dangerous but very rare (see below).
3D Ultrasound image of a fetus at 27 weeks gestation.
In week 27 of pregnancy, the fetus measures approximately 37cm from crown to heel, and weighs around 910g. Fetal length is likely to have tripled, or even quadrupled since the twelfth week of pregnancy. If a baby is born at 27 weeks, their chances of surviving – providing that they have specialist care – are increased greatly compared to babies that are born before this point.
Brain development continues during the course of this week and the grooves on the surface of the brain are starting to form as more and more brain tissue is developing. The lungs are continuing to develop but are still very immature at this stage. The fetus continues to breathe in amniotic fluid to prepare the lungs to breathe air after birth. This action can result in a bout of hiccups, which you may be able to feel.
The eyes are now able to open and close and there is a clear pattern of waking and sleeping. Some experts believe that babies are capable of dreaming now. Some babies can be seen sucking their thumb on a scan from this time onwards.
You may notices changes in fetal movements, with movements becoming increasingly stronger and purposeful. You may also occasionally notice rhythmic movements when your baby is suffering a bout of hiccups!
By this stage of pregnancy, the uterus is so enlarged that it is now just below the rib cage. This can lead to shortness of breath. Increased blood pressure in blood vessels that are being compromised by your enlarged uterus may also cause you to experience occasional dizziness or feel light-headed. You can help to maintain good blood circulation by staying hydrated; drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Many women also begin to, or continue to suffer from oedema – mild swelling of the hands, feet and/or ankles. Oedema is caused by increased blood flow leading to a build up of fluid in tissue. Mild swelling is perfectly normal, especially in he latter stages of pregnancy, but you should consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
By now, you will have had a blood test to determine your rhesus status. If the test revealed that you have a negative blood type, you will probably be offered an antibody test in the near future. If you have a negative blood group, and your baby has a positive blood group, then antibodies may be present in your blood. If you are found to have antibodies in your blood you will be given an anti-D injection that will combat the incompatibility between the two blood types. This injection may also be repeated later in your pregnancy. You are also likely to have been tested for anaemia – also determined by a blood test. Being anaemic can affect the health of the placenta, so it is important to be treated. Your midwife will advise you on any supplements and dietary changes that will help. If you are feeling tired and think that you may be anaemic, you can request a blood test from your Doctor or midwife.
Although unusual 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 vigorous and frequent. They can be painful. There may be a few Braxton Hicks contractions. They should not be painful or more than once a day. A variety of minor symptoms are common particularly those related to greater pressure on the bones and muscles of the spine and pelvis. Skin complaints are also quite common. If severe, a consultation with a dermatologist may be helpful.
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 discuss antenatal preparation classes which are usually run locally.
You can be seen in a private clinic without a referral letter. If you are concerned about any aspect of your health or that of your baby you can book a Fetal Wellbeing Scan, or an appointment with a Midwife or Obstetrician. Many women find pregnancy reflexology helpful at this stage.
We had received possible worrying news from our NHS anomaly scan, without much information provided or confirmation. I am so pleased that we came to The Birth Company for reassurance, as we are now extremely happy that everything is fine. Shahrzad was fantastic and went through the whole anomaly scan thoroughly, explaining everything and looking in detail at each area. Nothing was rushed and she took her time to make sure baby was in the correct position to get the best results. We can’t thank her and Dr Gibb enough for the confidence they have given us. Would highly recommend The Birth Company for all scans.
' 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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