Your baby is the size of an acorn squash

25 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Isn’t it amazing to think that you now have two hearts (or three, or four if you’re pregnant with twins or triplets) beating inside you? You might be interested to know that those hearts are pumping at different speeds from each other.

The foetal heart rate, which peaked at around 170 beats per minute sometime around 10 weeks, will have slowed to around 140 beats per minute around this time.

This is still very quick compared to your own heart, which is probably beating around 80-85 times a minute. Of course, this is just a rough guide to the resting heart rate of an adult. You might find your heart beating much faster when you think about the little one growing inside your bump, or when you look at a picture from your last ultrasound scan.

The difference in heart rates is due to the fact that your foetus’s heart is much smaller than yours. This means it needs to work faster to circulate blood and supply his or her brand new organs with oxygen and nutrients from your placenta.

These vital organs – the brain, lungs and digestive system – are all in place now, although they still need time to mature before your foetus will be capable of surviving unassisted outside the uterus.

The Size of the Foetus at 25 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you’re 25 weeks pregnant, your foetus is about the size of an acorn squash, measuring close to 34.6 centimetres from head to heel, and weighing in at around 660 grams.

There’s so much going on with your baby, here’s an idea of what he or she may be looking like this week:

25 weeks pregnant

Mum’s Body at 25 Weeks Pregnant

With only three weeks to go until the third trimester, your little one is growing and putting on weight as a layer of insulating fat builds up under the skin.

This weight gain means that by around 25 weeks pregnant you might be experiencing some extra pressure against your stomach.

As a result, larger meals could be off the menu for now, as your growing foetus starts to take over some of the space that your stomach normally uses.

Some other very common side effects of the pressure on your stomach can be heartburn, indigestion and (oops!) more frequent burping.

To keep any digestive discomfort to a minimum, try eating smaller meals more frequently, and keeping to a healthy diet including lots of fruit and veg.

Cut down on caffeine based drinks such as tea, coffee and cola, and steer clear of spicy, fatty or rich foods.

You may be wondering how many months along you are at 25 weeks pregnant. There are a few different ways of converting the weeks of pregnancy to months. According to one common method, you’ve probably entered month six by now.

25 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing at 25 weeks pregnant:

  • Constipation. This can affect anyone, but pregnancy hormones can further increase your chances of becoming constipated when you’re pregnant. At 25 weeks pregnant, your uterus may also be putting pressure on your bowel as it grows, especially if you lean backwards. This can make it harder to poo. Taking iron supplements is something else that may contribute to constipation. To help keep things moving, stay hydrated and make sure you’re getting enough fibre in your diet. This means eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholemeal breads or cereals, and pulses like lentils or beans. Walking and other forms of exercise can also help keep you regular. It’s best to check with your midwife or doctor before embarking on a new exercise routine though, and ask them for advice if nothing seems to help clear up the constipation.

  • Backache. Back pain is a common complaint among mums-to-be. This can partly be caused by the hormone relaxin, which loosens up the ligaments holding your joints together, putting more strain on the muscles. Now that you’re 25 weeks pregnant, your weight gain may also be putting your joints under more stress. The shift in your centre of gravity, as your belly grows upwards and outwards, could also be making it harder to maintain good posture. You can do a lot to ease or prevent back pain by getting into good posture habits – things like sitting and standing up straight, bending at the knees and keeping a straight back when you pick something up off the floor, and turning with your whole body instead of twisting your spine. Wearing flat-soled shoes also helps distribute your weight evenly. Starting to take care of your back at 25 weeks pregnant could make life easier during the later stages of pregnancy. Why not ask your midwife about back care classes in your area? If you need to take painkillers for back pain, check with your doctor first.

  • Leg cramps. Some mums-to-be are bothered by leg cramps during the second trimester. It’s not uncommon for these uncomfortable muscle spasms to strike at night. Moderate exercise can help prevent them, especially if it involves the legs and feet. Calf stretching exercises can be especially beneficial before going to bed. When cramps strike, pulling your toes up hard towards your shin, or rubbing the affected muscle, can help to ease them.

25 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • If aches and pains are getting you down at 25 weeks pregnant, think about adjusting your exercise routine. Swimming is a great way of staying fit while you’re pregnant, as the water supports the extra weight of your growing bump. See if your local swimming pool offers ‘aquanatal’ lessons with specially qualified instructors. Some mums-to-be find that prenatal yoga can help with aches and pains, too. If you take exercise classes, check that the trainer is properly qualified. Always let them know that you’re pregnant, and tell them how many months or weeks along you are. It’s best to avoid exercise or sports with a high risk of injury or falling, such as horse riding, ice hockey or gymnastics.

  • Have you thought about pain management during labour? There’s a host of alternatives to consider. One of the best-known of these is the epidural, which involves administering an anaesthetic directly into the spine, but there are many other comfort measures available, including various drug-free options. You might also like a combination of different things. Ask your midwife or doctor about all the options. Keep in mind that, whatever you decide now, you can always change your mind later. To get a different perspective on this topic and see what others are saying about pain management, take our labour pain management quiz.

  • You might have already heard the phrase ‘cord blood banking’, but what does this involve? Cord blood, which remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth, contains valuable stem cells that could be used for the treatment of future illnesses. Generally speaking, the treatments work best if the stem cells are a close genetic match with the patient. There are two ways of ‘banking’ cord blood. One is to donate it to the NHS Cord Blood Bank. This is free of charge, and your cord blood will be available for treating anyone who is a close enough genetic match (which doesn’t necessarily rule out you and your family either, depending on availability). The other option is to deposit the cord blood with a private cord bank. These service providers charge a fee for collection and storage of the cord blood, which is then kept specifically for treating you and your family if needed. Ask your midwife for more information if you’re interested in either of these opportunities.

  • If you’ll be having a baby shower in the third trimester, it’s time to get your shower registry organized! This is because the host of your shower will need the details to include in the invitations, and the invitations will need to be sent out well in advance to give guests enough time to set aside the date and buy a gift. Use our interactive baby shower registry checklist so you register for everything you’ll need.

25 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • Can you stop taking iron supplements, or change the dose, if you’re constipated at 25 weeks pregnant?

  • What other options are there for making sure you get the right amount of iron and other important vitamins and minerals?

  • If you’re peeing a lot more than usual, is this just a normal symptom of pregnancy? Are there any accompanying symptoms you should be looking out for, which might suggest it’s a sign of gestational diabetes or a urinary tract infection?

  • What painkillers can you take for backaches or headaches while you’re pregnant?

25 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Start writing a birth plan, if you haven’t already. This is essentially a record of your preferences for the aspects of labour and delivery that you consider important. For example, you could include the place you intend to give birth and the types of pain relief you might like to use. Writing a birth plan not only helps your focus your own mind on the various aspects of giving birth, it’s also a great way of sharing this information with your midwife and birth partner or doula. A birth plan isn’t for everyone and not all aspects of labour and delivery can be controlled or foreseen, but having a plan might make you feel more comfortable and confident as you get nearer the big day, even if things work out a little differently or your preferences end up changing when the time comes.

  • Learn more about cord blood banking, and talk to your midwife if this is something you feel you may be interested in.

  • Tell your employer that you’re pregnant, if you haven’t already. At 25 weeks pregnant, if you leave it any longer you could risk losing entitlement to certain maternity benefits that you may be eligible for.

  • If you haven’t already done so, sign up for antenatal classes to be sure of getting a place, as demand can be high. These classes are free when they’re provided through the NHS, and will help you (and your birth partner, if you have one) prepare for labour.

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How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS). The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.