Your baby is the size of a cauliflower

27 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Is it getting harder to find a comfortable position for sleeping at 27 weeks pregnant? That’s hardly surprising as your little one is getting steadily bigger now, resulting in your bigger bump.

Sleeping on your side and supporting your belly with a pillow can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Your little one is also gaining weight, partly because he or she has spent the past few weeks building up a layer of insulating fat under her skin. This extra layer of fat is smoothing out the wrinkles, giving that brand new skin a softer, less prune-like appearance than before.

Vital organs such as your foetus’s lungs, brain and digestive system are still maturing when you’re 27 weeks pregnant. Around now, your little one’s lungs are producing a mix of proteins and fats known as surfactant, which helps keep them inflated enough to breath unassisted.

There may not be enough surfactant in those little lungs for them to work properly in the outside world just yet, so they need to develop for longer in your uterus before your little one is ready to be born.

Until he or she is born and takes those first breaths of fresh air, your foetus will continue to be supplied with oxygen by your placenta via the umbilical cord.

Although your due date is at 40 weeks, your pregnancy is considered full-term at any time after week 37. By that time, all your little one’s organs will usually be ready for life outside your bump.


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The Size of the Foetus at 27 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you’re 27 weeks pregnant, your foetus is about the size of a cauliflower, measuring close to 36.6 centimetres head to heel, and weighing in at around 875 grams.

Although this is just an illustration, it does give you a sense of how your little one is growing and developing. What a cutie!

27 weeks pregnant

Mum’s Body at 27 Weeks Pregnant

Well done! You’ve made it to the last week before the third trimester. With this important milestone approaching, you might find that the ‘honeymoon’ of the second trimester is coming to an end, and that your energy levels may start to taper off a little.

Added to this, as your growing foetus starts to put the squeeze on your stomach, you might find that bloating, constipation and difficulty keeping your food down are symptoms of pregnancy for you at 27 weeks.

Digestive woes of this kind can be made worse by the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which sometimes causes nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Every cloud has a silver lining – almost literally in this case! The hormone progesterone is important for keeping the lining of your uterus in good shape. It might be reassuring to think of any nausea you experience around this time as a sign that your body is working hard to keep your little one safe and comfy for the remainder of your pregnancy.

If you can’t keep your food or drink down for 24 hours, or vomiting is accompanied by weight loss, dizziness, fainting or dehydration, call your doctor or midwife straight away.

27 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing at 27 weeks pregnant:

  • Constipation. Although difficult bowel movements are a common symptom of early pregnancy due to hormonal changes, constipation can strike at any time. One cause at 27 weeks pregnant could be that your growing uterus is putting more pressure on your bowel, especially when you recline, making it more difficult to poo. You can try to avoid constipation by getting plenty of fibre in your diet – for example by eating wholemeal grains, loads of fruit and veg and pulses like beans and lentils – and drinking enough water. Iron supplements can make constipation worse. If you’re frequently constipated and taking these, you might want to ask your doctor if they’re still necessary or whether you can do more to get enough iron via your diet instead.

  • Snoring. Your nasal passages can get swollen and blocked more easily during pregnancy. This is what makes snoring so common among mums-to-be. If you’re snorting and snuffling in your sleep at 27 weeks pregnant, there isn’t much you can do about this apart from sleeping on your side and avoiding excessive weight gain. If your partner’s starting to look bit frazzled in the mornings, consider buying them a set of earplugs.

  • Strange dreams. If you’ve been having strange dreams or even nightmares about labour, birth and babies, it’s not just you – many mums-to-be experience this. This isn’t anything to worry about, but if your dreams are making you anxious, talking to your partner or midwife might help ease your mind. If you think your dreams might also be triggered by stress, you could try some relaxation techniques. Antenatal yoga is another great way of restoring your equilibrium.

  • Cramping. If you experience regular, painful or period-like abdominal cramping at 27 weeks pregnant or later, call your midwife or maternity unit immediately as this could be a sign of premature labour. Other possible symptoms of early labour include contractions that are painful or come at regular intervals, an unusual backache, or fluid trickling or gushing from your vagina. If you feel tightening in your belly that isn’t painful or regular, and isn’t accompanied by any of these other symptoms, you’re probably experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, which are just your body’s way of getting into practice for the real thing.

27 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • If you’re planning any last minute travel, be aware that at 27 weeks pregnant this could be the last week you’re able to fly without a ‘fitness to fly’ certificate from your doctor or midwife. This is basically just a letter confirming your due date and certifying that you have no complications with your pregnancy. As long as you can present one of these, travelling by plane is usually permitted up to the end of week 36, or the end or week 32 if you’re pregnant with twins or triplets. However, the rules vary widely between airlines, so always check the airline’s policy before booking any tickets for the coming weeks or months. It’s also a good idea to get the green light first from your doctor as there may be reasons why they advise you against flying or travel based on your specific situation. Get more tips on travelling while pregnant.

  • At 27 weeks pregnant and in the weeks that follow, experts advise against sleeping on your back, as research suggests that under certain conditions this may affect the flow of blood and oxygen to your foetus. Keep in mind that this advice (and the research that backs it up) only relates to the position you’re in when you drop off to sleep. This is the position that you’ll spend the most time in while you’re asleep, so there’s no need to panic if you wake up and find that you’ve changed position while sleeping.

  • Is your usual exercise routine becoming less comfortable with the extra weight you’re carrying at 27 weeks pregnant? Swimming could be a great alternative, as the water supports your growing bump, and it’s a great form of aerobic exercise that’s easy on the joints. If you take classes, make sure the instructor is qualified and knows how many months or weeks pregnant you are.

  • If your antenatal screening tests showed that your blood group is rhesus (Rh) negative – in other words, if your blood does not contain a molecule called the rhesus D antigen – then you may be offered a single or double injection of anti-D immunoglobulin, in case your little one’s blood is rhesus positive. This will keep your body from producing antibodies to any of your foetus’s blood cells that may have crept into your blood circulation. Depending on the policy in your local area, injections are either given as a single dose between week 28 and week 30, or as 2 injections: the first during week 28 and the second in week 34. Your baby will be tested straight after birth, and if he does turn out to be Rh positive, you'll be given another shot of immunoglobulin to prevent your immune system from developing an immune response that might be triggered during a future pregnancy.

  • If you’ve been thinking about cord blood banking, now might be a good time to start looking into the available options. Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after birth and contains stem cells that may be used to treat certain diseases. You may be eligible to donate to the NHS cord blood bank, in which case, your baby’s cord blood would be available to be used by anyone who is considered a match, similar to a blood bank. Or you may wish to store your baby’s cord blood in a private bank, which charges fees for collection and storage. Cord blood banking is not compulsory; it’s just something you might like to do. Ask your midwife for more information about the pros and cons of these alternatives.

  • If your nesting instincts are kicking in, you might like to use this time to do some things around the home, whether it’s organising wardrobes, writing a list of any little things that need fixing around the home or getting started with baby proofing. Don’t overdo it though – always make time for some rest, and ask for help for anything that might be dangerous for you to do right now – like scaling a ladder, for example.

27 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • Where can you find information about a first aid course that includes infant CPR training?

  • How is your weight for 27 weeks pregnant? If you’re not on track, what can you do to ensure healthy weight gain during pregnancy?

  • Do you have any risk factors for premature labour?

  • Should you be taking any vitamin supplements at 27 weeks pregnant?

27 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Ask your midwife if you need an appointment for the antenatal appointment that’s usually offered at week 28, if you haven’t already. At this routine check-up your uterus will probably be measured and your blood pressure will be taken. You may also be asked to give a urine sample to test for protein. You might also be offered anti-D treatment if your blood is Rh-negative. This appointment is also a great chance to ask any questions you have, so consider writing a list and taking it in with you so that you feel you’ve clarified any of those niggly things you’ve had on your mind.

  • If there is going to be a baby shower thrown in your honour, whoever is organising it will want to share your gift registry with guests. If you haven’t already, put together a baby registry. A registry makes it easier for your loved ones to buy you a gift that they know you’ll love, and it will help ensure you have everything you need for when your baby is born.

  • Make sure any baby gear and furniture you plan to use, like the cot, changing table, and baby car seat, meet the latest safety standards. This is especially important if you’re thinking of borrowing baby equipment, accepting hand-me-downs, or reusing gear used by your older children. Safety standards are constantly evolving, and hazards that weren’t fully understood a few years ago may have been eliminated from newer products. Before deciding to use an item do some research to make sure that it meets current safety standards. Your midwife can give you advice on where to look for product safety and recall information. Trading standards authorities advise registering any products you buy via their manufacturer’s website. This way you can be notified of any recalls or safety alerts later on.

  • If you’re thinking about engaging a doula to assist with your labour, ask for recommendations from your midwife, from your friends and relatives who’ve already been through childbirth, or from the instructor at your antenatal classes. Arrange to meet up with any candidates so you can get to know them before settling on one. A doula isn’t usually medically trained, but can give you valuable emotional support during and after labour. If you’ve found someone you’re happy with, it’s a good idea to sit down together with your midwife and the doula to discuss how they can best work together to support you during labour and delivery.

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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.