25 weeks pregnant: baby's development, stomach pain and planning the birth

Your baby can respond to light, touch and sound now. You might even notice them jumping or kicking in response to a loud noise.

Your baby’s development this week 

Your baby is busy practising their breathing movements. Sometimes they may get hiccups and you might be able to feel the jerk of each hiccup.

Remember that baby hiccups don’t count as baby movements. Your baby moving is a sign that they are well, so it’s important to get to know your baby’s normal kicks and movements. 

DO NOT WAIT until the next day to seek advice if you are worried about your baby’s movements. Contact your midwife or maternity unit immediately if you think your baby’s movements have slowed down, stopped or changed. There are staff on the hospital maternity unit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 25

Bump watch

You may be putting on weight quickly now and feeling bigger as your baby fills out. Don’t worry, this is due to your growing baby, womb, breasts and increased blood volume, as well as some fat. Don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy because this can harm the baby.

Instead, try to focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet, which will help you and baby stay healthy. 

Find out more about managing your weight in pregnancy.

Stomach pain

Your stomach is growing all the time to accommodate your growing baby. It’s natural to feel some twinges in your stomach as the womb expands and the muscles and ligaments in your tummy stretch. 

Stomach pains are usually nothing to worry about, but it’s important to listen to your own instincts. Contact your midwife if you have any concerns. Call your midwife or maternity unit straight away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • bleeding or spotting
  • regular cramping or tightenings
  • vaginal discharge that's unusual for you
  • lower back pain
  • pain or burning when you pee
  • severe pain or pain that does not go away after you've rested for 30 to 60 minutes.

Bleeding gums

Pregnancy hormones can cause sore and bleeding gums. To manage this, you can try the following:

  • Book yourself a dentist appointment (it’s free through the NHS during pregnancy and for 12 months afterwards).
  • Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes.
  • Ask your dentist about getting a professional clean.
  • Avoid sugary and acidic drinks and foods (particularly in between meals). 

Piles (haemorrhoids)

Piles (also known as haemorrhoids) are swellings containing enlarged blood vessels inside or around the bottom. They may be itchy or sore and are often worse if you’re constipated.

Piles are common in pregnancy. They can be uncomfortable and bleed a little when you have a bowel movement.

Try to eat plenty of fibre-rich foods such as fruit, vegetables and wholemeal bread. It’s important to drink plenty of water too.

If you think you may have piles, talk to your midwife or pharmacist about treatments that might help. Don’t use a cream or medicine without talking to a healthcare professional first.

Sleep problems

Trouble sleeping can make you feel exhausted and irritable. Some women find that supporting their bump with pillows can help them feel more comfortable in bed.

It is important to go to sleep on your side from 28 weeks as going to sleep on your back has been linked to a higher risk of stillbirth. Go to sleep on your side, but don’t worry if you wake up on your back, just roll back onto your side.

Read more about sleeping safely in late pregnancy.

What to do in week 25

Start planning the birth

If you haven’t already, it’s a good time to start thinking about labour and birth, including:

Talk to your midwife or doctor or midwife about your options. You can change your mind about your birth plan later, if you want to.

Your options may be slightly different if you are having more than 1 baby

Your next midwife appointment

If this is your first baby, you’re likely to have a routine antenatal appointment at around 25 weeks. 

Your midwife will check your blood pressure and take a urine sample to check for protein and glucose. These are normal checks to make sure you don't have signs of pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes. The midwife will also measure your bump. 

This is a great opportunity to talk to your midwife about anything on your mind. Remember that they are not there to judge you and there are no silly questions. You can ask them about anything you need.

Your midwife will call you back for further tests if they have any concerns after your routine checks.

Read our guide to your antenatal appointment schedule.

Getting help with your mental wellbeing

It’s natural to have periods of feeling worried or low when you’re pregnant or after birth. But it’s important to ask for help if you’re having more bad days than good or you feel you can’t cope. You can try our pregnancy and post-birth wellbeing tool to help you think about how you are feeling.

Here are tips to help you stay stress-free in pregnancy.

1. NHS. You AND your baby at 25 weeks pregnant. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/week-by-week/13-to-27/25-weeks/ (Page last updated: 13 October 2021 Next review due: 13 October 2024)

2. Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. (2015) https://kingstonhospital.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/fetal-movements-leaflet-webiste-version-pdf.pdf

3. Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week, Penguin Random House, London

4. NICE (2010). Weight management before, during and after pregnancy. National Institute for health and care excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph27

5. NHS. Stomach pain. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/stomach-pain/ (Page last updated: 20 June 2021 Next update due: 20 June 2024)

6. NHS. Bleeding gums. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/bleeding-gums/ (Page last updated: 19 August 2019 Next review due: 2022)

7. NHS. Piles in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/piles/ (Page last reviewed: 17 February 2021 17 February 2024)

8. Heazell AEP, Li M, Budd J, Thompson JMD, Stacey T, Cronin RS, Martin B, Roberts D, Mitchell EA, McCowan LME. Association between maternal sleep practices and late stillbirth – findings from a stillbirth case-control study. BJOG2017; https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.14967.

Review dates
Reviewed: 11 July 2022
Next review: 11 July 2025