27 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your second trimester

    Updated 10 August 2023 |
    Published 24 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Angela Jones, Obstetrician and gynecologist, attending physician, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey, US
    Written by Kate Hollowood
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    From birth plans to belly button changes, here’s the lowdown on being 27 weeks pregnant.

    You’ve officially reached the end of your second trimester — congratulations! At 27 weeks pregnant, this can feel like an exciting turning point. If you decided to keep your baby’s sex as a surprise, you may still be wondering if there are any signs you’re having a boy or girl. Keep reading to discover which “signs” are no more than old wives’ tales and learn about the common symptoms you may experience this week with advice from a Flo expert.

    Your baby at 27 weeks pregnant

    Developing smooth skin

    At 27 weeks pregnant, your baby is busy putting on weight. As they get all cute and plump, the new fat fills out their folds of skin. Their skin previously looked like a wrinkled prune — picture your skin after a hot bubble bath — but it is now becoming soft and smooth. 

    Your baby has a naturally slowing heart rate

    During pregnancy, your baby’s heart rate changes. It accelerates rapidly during early pregnancy before slowing down as your pregnancy progresses. By 27 weeks pregnant, your baby’s heart rate will have slowed down to 110 to 160 beats per minute. That may sound alarming, but rest assured — it is totally normal. It’s also still way speedier than your own heart rate, which, during pregnancy, is likely around 90 beats per minute

    But why does this happen? Well, your baby’s heart rate will naturally slow down thanks to their maturing parasympathetic nervous system. This is the network of nerves that helps to control your body’s response during times of rest

    How big is a baby at 27 weeks?

    Length (crown to heel): 36.6 cm or 14.4 in. 

    Weight: 1 kg or 2.3 lb. 

    Size: Equivalent to a cauliflower

    All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.

    Your body at 27 weeks pregnant

    Changes to your digestion

    Have you been feeling a bit bloated lately? This is a classic symptom at this stage. Bloating can be caused partly by your growing baby pressing against your stomach but also by your increased levels of progesterone. This hormone causes the digestive system to relax and slow down, which can lead to bloating and a buildup of gas. 

    As annoying (and sometimes embarrassing) as this symptom can be, it’s important to remember that it’s harmless. Some things that may help with your digestion include:

    • Having six small meals a day instead of three regular-sized meals 
    • Avoiding eating late at night
    • Eating slowly 
    • Sipping fluids 
    • Taking a walk after meals 
    • Avoiding coffee, as well as rich, spicy, and fatty foods
    • Eating certain foods can also help, such as:
    • High-fiber foods, like whole grain bread 
    • Fresh fruit and vegetables

    While you might be affected by bloating, gas, and digestive problems this week, they can happen at any time during pregnancy, as your progesterone levels will rise throughout your pregnancy. In fact, one study found that 49% of women experienced bloating in the first trimester, so if this was your experience, rest assured it’s completely normal. It’s also perfectly normal not to experience this symptom, so don’t worry if your digestion feels great. 

    Your belly button sticks out

    Surprised to see your innie turn into an outie? It’s not a cause for alarm but actually one of the normal changes that can happen in pregnancy at this stage. “This can happen throughout the second and third trimesters,” says Dr. Cynthia DeTata, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, California, US. “At 20 weeks, the top of the uterus is about the level of the maternal umbilicus (belly button) and continues to grow. As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the inside of the belly button. The abdominal wall is a bit thinner there and more prone to changes from the pressure of abdominal expansion. It is common in the late second and third trimesters to see a belly button bulge.”

    Your questions answered

    Are you 7 months pregnant at 27 weeks?

    Wondering how to calculate 27 weeks in months? Health care providers usually count a pregnancy by weeks, so it can be confusing to work this out in months. We’ve done the math for you: at 27 weeks pregnant, you are in your seventh month of pregnancy. This is the month when your baby will rapidly gain body fat and start responding to sound and light

    As you feel your baby wriggling around inside of you, you might be wondering what sex they are (if you haven’t found that out yet, of course!). You may have heard that carrying the baby low or craving salty foods are signs of a baby boy or that carrying the baby high or craving sweet foods are signs of a baby girl. However, these are just myths. As fun as it can be to wonder about these things, the best way to identify your unborn baby’s sex is through a second-trimester ultrasound or earlier if you had noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

    Is your baby fully developed at 27 weeks?

    Although they’re gaining weight and their organs are maturing, your baby is not fully developed at 27 weeks pregnant, says Dr. DeTata. “However, with each passing week, the fetus has a better and better chance of surviving if born and given the proper medical support,” she says. “The complications of prematurity become less and less as time goes on.” 

    Remember, extreme preterm births (when babies are born before 28 weeks of pregnancy) occur in just two to five of every 1,000 pregnancies, so they are very rare. Do speak to your doctor if you have any concerns or just need a little reassurance. 

    Are you in your third trimester at 27 weeks pregnant?

    The third trimester kicks off at 28 weeks pregnant. As your baby gets bigger and prepares for delivery, the third trimester can often be physically and emotionally challenging. It’s natural to feel nervous about this final phase of pregnancy or even about what life will be like on the other side. If you find yourself feeling a bit more anxious than usual, remember that many — if not all — pregnant people feel this way at some stage. Reading community forums and chats on an app like Flo can be a great reminder that we’re all in it together.  

    It’s also a good idea to speak to your health care provider about any concerns you have. No matter how small or even silly your worries might seem to you, your doctor will be happy to help put your mind at rest. The chances are they’ll have heard it all before! They will also want to schedule more frequent prenatal appointments with you, which, depending on your pregnancy needs and where you live, may happen as often as every two weeks from 28 weeks and weekly from 36 weeks onward

    Want to know more?

    Download the Flo app for tailored insights throughout your pregnancy

    27 weeks pregnant checklist

    Eat foods with EPA

    Here comes your science lesson for the day: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is one of the omega-3 fatty acids and an essential structural component of every cell in the body. Seafood is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but as you may already be aware, when you’re pregnant, it’s important to limit your intake of seafood that may contain mercury

    This means that you may need more EPA when pregnant compared to usual. Fish oil supplements can be a good alternative to seafood, as they are a mercury-safe way of getting more EPA in your diet. But remember, just to be on the safe side, it’s always worth speaking to your doctor before starting to take new supplements or medication. 

    Create a birth plan

    Now can be a great time to think about your birth plan if it’s something you’re considering making. A birth plan is when you think through your options for labor and delivery and create a record of how you’d ideally like to give birth. Making a birth plan doesn’t mean that anything becomes set in stone, as you can change your mind about how you’d like things to go at any time. 

    The questions to ask yourself when it comes to making a birth plan include: 

    • Would I prefer to give birth at home, in a maternity unit, or at a hospital? 
    • Who would I like to have with me, such as a partner or family member?
    • Would I prefer to be given pain medication or not? 
    • Would I like to have any special equipment to help me stay comfortable during labor, like mats, beanbags, or wall bars?
    • Would I like to use any special facilities, like a birthing pool or a dedicated LDRP room (a labor, delivery, recovery, postnatal room)?

    Remember that you can also discuss all of these questions with your health care provider. It’s important to be prepared to be flexible about how things go on the day, as your plans may need to change if there are any complications. Whatever happens, your doctor will be there to advise you on the best route forward. 

    When to consult a doctor at 27 weeks pregnant

    Throughout your second trimester, you may have prenatal appointments as often as every four weeks with your doctor, depending on where you live and the needs of your pregnancy. These visits are the perfect opportunity to discuss any general questions you have. 

    You don’t need to wait until your appointment if you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy. However, at 27 weeks pregnant, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience: 

    This isn’t an exhaustive list but some examples of changes you should look for. Some of these can be a sign of health complications, so it’s essential that you speak to your doctor about the best next step for you. And if you’re worried about any other symptoms you experience during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider. 

    27 weeks pregnant: The takeaway 

    The end of your second trimester can bring all kinds of different emotions. Whether you feel afraid of what labor will feel like, excited about seeing your baby face to face, overwhelmed by all the things on your to-do list, or all of the above — remember that you’re not alone. And, of course, it’ll all be worth it in just a few months’ time.

    References

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    History of updates

    Current version (10 August 2023)

    Medically reviewed by Dr. Angela Jones, Obstetrician and gynecologist, attending physician, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey, US
    Written by Kate Hollowood

    Published (24 February 2019)

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