Pregnancy Week by Week | Weeks 25-28

Weeks 25-28

Baby's Growth & Development

  • 11 to 14 inches long and weighs up to 1 1/2 pounds
  • Skin is wrinkled, red and covered by white creamy coating
  • Heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope
  • Eyes can now open and close; there are tiny eyelashes on the eyelids
  • Nails form on fingers and toes, and finger prints

Feeling dizzy

  • As the uterus gets bigger it presses on a large vein, this slows the blood flow to your heart. When you are flat on your back this may make you feel dizzy.

Changes in your skin from Hormones

  • Brown patches may appear on your face and neck.
  • Sunlight may make the brown patches darker. Use sunscreen before going outside.
  • A dark thin line from your belly button to your pelvis may appear. This will go away or fade after pregnancy.
  • Stretch marks are scars that are reddish lines on your skin.
     - In time they fade, but do not go away.
     - Skin creams may not stop them.
     - Can happen no matter how much weight you gain.

Hard Bowel Movements

  • May be caused by your growing uterus.
  • To help drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Eat vegetables, fruits, grains and be active.
  • Talk with your health care provider if this is a problem.

Work

Most women in good health may work until their delivery day. Problems that may limit work:

  • infection
  • vaginal bleeding
  • rupture of the bag of water
  • preterm labor
  • other health problems that your provider is worried about 

Problems that do not limit work:

  • upset stomach and throwing up
  • feeling dizzy
  • swollen feet and ankles
  • back pain and feeling tired

Note: If you are given an "off work order", expect to be checked at your next visit to return to work. Call your employer with questions and benefits.

If you work outside the home, we suggest:

  • Eat well-balanced meals choosing a variety of foods. Avoid "fast foods" with high fat and calories.
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand to eat during your breaks.
  • Start drinking plenty of fluids early in the day; at least 6 glasses by the end of the workday (limit coffee, tea, and drinks that contain caffeine).
  • Try to rest and relax during your break and at lunch time. In late pregnancy, try to put your feet up or lie down on your side if possible.
  • Share household chores with your family. Let people around you help when they can.

Travel limits

  • Take a break to stretch and walk around every 2 hours during travel. Breaks are important for any type of travel such as: car, bus, train or airplane.
  • Avoid travel in late pregnancy
  • Avoid travel to places where a hospital is not nearby

Note: Please let your health care provider know if you are planning a trip out of town.

Early birth

  • birth before 37 weeks
  • babies will have more problems breathing, eating and holding body temp
  • often need special care

Signs of early labor

  • labor between 20 and 37 weeks of gestation
  • your cervix softens and open earlier than normal and causes regular, often painful contractions
  • premature labor can occur in any pregnancy and may occur without you knowing that your uterus is contracting or tightening

You should know the warning signs of preterm labor. Notify your health care provider as soon as you have these warning signs:

  • Menstrual-like cramps in the lower abdomen that comes and goes in a regular pattern or is constant.
  • Low, dull pain in your back that you feel below your waist that comes and goes in a regular pattern or is constant.
  • Pelvic pressure or intermittent pains that come and go in the lower abdomen which may feel like heaviness in your pelvis.
  • Cramping in your gut (intestinal) without diarrhea
  • Increase or change in vaginal discharge that becomes thicker (mucous-like), watery, or blood tinged.
  • Contractions - A contraction is a tightening of the uterus, which may be painless. Although you may feel contractions on occasion during pregnancy, frequent contractions (every 10 minutes lasting 1 minute) before 37 weeks' gestation may be the start of preterm labor and should never be ignored.

Difference between a True Contraction and Braxton-Hicks Contraction

A Braxton-Hicks Contraction

  • an overall tightness or slight cramping in your abdomen
  • may be felt very high up, or you may feel them across the middle
  • often brought on by lots of motion or being active
  • may start out of nowhere, last a short time, and go away
  • no gradual increase or "peak" to them
  • do not cause pain, just tightness
  • tend to go away if you drink water or sit down for a while

A True Contraction

  • feels very low, either in front or back, and sometimes wraps around
  • a strong tightness that grows in strength, peaks, and drops off again
  • do not go away or change if you move around, sit down, or drink water

Feeling Contractions

  • when you feel for contractions, place your hands on your stomach, over your uterus
  • feel for tightening should be felt all over the uterus

If you are not sure if you are in the preterm labor, count contractions and follow these steps:

  • Empty your bladder by going to the bathroom
  • Drink 2 or 3 glasses of water (1 glass = 8 ounces)
  • Lie down, on your left side if you can
  • Place your fingers under the breast bone and feel the soft area of your upper abdomen; feel your way down until you come to the harder edge, the top of your uterus
  • Place both hands on top of your uterus, and with your palms and fingertips feel for tightening or hardening of the uterus
  • Contractions can be mild or strong.
     - The uterus may feel like the tip of your nose with a mild contraction.
     - The uterus may feel like your forehead with a stronger contraction.
  • Keep track of how much time is between the start of one contraction to the start of the
    next contraction.
     - Count and record how many contractions you have in one hour.

When to call the Phone Nurse

  • If you have contractions, pressure or cramping every 10 minutes or closer that continue for 2 hours, even though you have followed the previous directions
  • If you have other warning signs of preterm labor that do not go away after 1 hour of rest

What to expect next during weeks 28-32

  • Baby's growth
  • Fetal movements & how to monitor
  • Hints to reduce swelling
  • Stress and emotions