At 27 weeks pregnant, you are getting larger which means your pelvic muscles are strained. To keep them strengthened, which will assist tremendously in the birth process, practice Kegel exercises. They also strengthen the bladder muscles, which can help alleviate incontinence.
To help identify the muscles involved, think about the muscles that you would use to stop your urine stream. Practice slowly squeezing the same muscle throughout the day. Work up to 50 repetitions and hold the muscle tight for 8 to 10 seconds.
Your uterus continues to grow and develop; now reaching roughly 2.8 inches above your navel. You may start noticing around this time your energy starts dropping. Your body is working hard to create a new life; this is the period of time your baby is growing quite a lot. Because your uterus is moving closer to your rib cage, it can be difficult for your lungs to fully expand. This does not mean your baby is being deprived of oxygen. The pregnancy hormones have helped you out -- they are causing your circulatory system to work more efficiently, pumping more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to you and your baby. To help alleviate shortness of breath, slow down, reduce stress, and decrease your activity.
You probably weigh 16 to 22 pounds more than your pre-pregnancy weight. You may feel off balance as you get bigger, which is normal. Remember to take it slow. Stretch marks may become visible as your uterus continues to expand. The placenta is producing more hormones, including progesterone, which is vital in helping your uterine muscles relax. While these hormones do wonderful things for your baby and your body, they may have an effect on your moods. If you experience mood swings, try to relax and ride them out. Don't take them too seriously; most are caused by hormonal shifts.
Some women are candidates for home uterine monitoring after 27 weeks pregnant. These include women who have a history of premature labor or those at risk for premature labor. High-risk complications can often place a woman at risk for premature labor. In these cases it helps to monitor the uterus for contractions to help prevent a delivery that is too early. Your care provider will discuss this with you if they feel it is necessary.
Your baby is over 2 pounds and is almost 15 inches long. Your baby is now perfectly formed, though she still has a lot of growing to do in the upcoming weeks. The internal organs and systems continue to grow, mature and develop. Around this time your baby's eyelids will open (up until this point in time they were fused together). Sometime around weeks 27 to 28 they finally open. During this time the retina of the eye also starts maturing, allowing your baby's eyes to finally receive light and translate images.
The forebrain grows to cover the rest of the brain, resulting in some important brain development. Your baby's muscle coordination will allow him or her to start thumb sucking. This activity calms your baby and strengthens cheek and jaw muscles for nursing. Your baby will be taking some breaths, and although breathing in, it is good practice for the lungs. Your baby may be able to recognize your voice and your partner's voice.
If you have a high risk pregnancy, you may be prescribed a Fetal Doppler to use at home. They are only available via prescription and are monitored by the FDA. However, a woman with a routine low risk pregnancy may want to listen to her baby in utero.
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