What does my baby look like?
Your baby is weeing frequently, and this urine passes into the amniotic fluid. Their brain, digestive system and lungs are developed but they’re not what they call ‘mature’ yet - they will continue to develop as your pregnancy progresses.
Your symptoms - what to expect
You may be putting on weight quickly now and feeling bigger as your baby fills out. Eat a balanced diet to avoid gaining more than you need to.
Find out more about managing your weight in pregnancy.
You may crave certain foods. No one knows why pregnant women get cravings but there’s no harm in eating a little bit of the food you crave - just don’t overdo it!
If you crave something that isn’t edible, such as soap or earth, or foods that you should avoid in pregnancy, such as pâté or certain cheeses, don’t eat them! Talk to your midwife or doctor instead.
As your bump grows, it’s natural to adjust your posture when standing and moving to cope with your changing shape.
This, together with the hormonal changes that make your ligaments soften, can cause problems for your back. These tips should help:
- Avoid heavy lifting if possible
- You may find that a firm mattress or a massage helps
- Exercising in water, having a pregnancy massage or back care classes may help ease the pain
- If it’s very painful, ask your doctor or midwife to refer you to a physiotherapist.
Sore, itchy bum?
This could be piles, or haemorrhoids - swollen veins around your anus that feel like lumps. They may be itchy or sore and are often worse if you’re constipated.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone - they’re quite common in pregnancy. They can be uncomfortable and bleed a little when you have a bowel movement.
To avoid these or reduce the discomfort, eat plenty of fibre-rich foods such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. 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.
Are you suffering from heartburn, indigestion, headaches or cramps? Here’s our guide to 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them).
If you have trouble sleeping, it can make you feel exhausted and irritable. Some women find that supporting their bump with pillows can help them feel more comfortable in bed.
Try to keep your bedroom cool - about 18˚C is perfect. It also helps to have a relaxing bedtime routine, such as a warm bath or a milky drink.
Avoid lying flat on your back from now, as the weight of your womb can restrict your blood flow. If you don’t like to sleep on your side or front, then a slight tilt to the side is fine.
Having said that, don't panic about going onto your back in your sleep, it is unlikely to happen as it's not a naturally comfortable position when your bump has grown.
“SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP and more SLEEP - when you’re pregnant it's guilt-free and you never get to do it again lol!” Claire, mum of one
Here are tips to help you stay stress-free in pregnancy.
Actions to take
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 or doctor will feel your bump gently with their hands to work out the height of your womb. They will also use a tape measure.
Your blood pressure will be checked and they’ll also take a urine sample to check for protein. These are normal checks to make sure you don't have signs of pre-eclampsia.
Read our guide to your antenatal appointment schedule.
You can continue to exercise and stay active right to the end of your pregnancy.
If you’re a keen runner, or doing other kinds of high-impact aerobic exercise, you might be more comfortable switching to something that puts less stress on your joints, like a stationary bike in the gym or swimming.
When to be careful when exercising during pregnancy.
1. NHS Choices (2013). You and your baby at 25-28 weeks pregnant. NHS Choices 2013; accessed online at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-25-26-27-28.aspx on 22.05.2015
2. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ Midwifery, 14th edition, London, Ballière Tindall, pp. 370–2.
3. Piles in pregnancy, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/piles-haemorrhoids-pregnant.aspx [accessed 10 February 2015] (last reviewed: 16 February 2015; next review due: 16 February 2017).
4. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008) Antenatal Care, NICE Clinical Guidelines 62: http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-care-cg62[accessed 12 March 2015].
5. RCOG (2006) Recreational Exercise and Pregnancy: Information for you, London, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/recreational-exercise-and-pregnancy.pdf[accessed 12 March 2015].Hide details
ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 Apr 2017 - 23:44
I was on my way to my 24 week prenatal appointment. As I exit the freeway i began feeling really hot and dizzy. Before I knew it my vision went white and I no longer could see. I put my car in park and put my emergency lights on in the middle of traffic. I turned the ac on cold and laid back in my seat. After about 15mins. My vision retured and I was able to get to my appointment. The baby is fine and my blood pressure was fine. WHAT COULD HAVE CAUSE THIS VERY SCARY INCIDENT?
By Midwife @Tommys on 7 Apr 2017 - 13:22
Hi, it is reassuring that you had an antenatal appointment following this event and no concerns were found and your blood pressure was normal. Some dizzy spells can occur during pregnancy, this can be due to dehydration or low blood sugars so eating healthy and drinking regularly is important. It can also be due to low iron levels, so again eating iron rich foods and if this happens again see your midwife or GP for a blood test to check your iron levels are not low. If you have another episode then do call your maternity unit to be reviewed.
By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Feb 2017 - 13:41
Hi, thanks for posting obviously in the middle of the night and in awful pain. Please don't suffer on your own. In view of the whooping cough I would call your hospital Day Assessment Unit (DAU) in advance explain your history and explain that you are in pain due to gall stones as well as a result of coughing. You need stronger analgesia and a review now.
Please keep in touch.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Feb 2017 - 03:30
Hi I was diagnosed with gallstones at 21 weeks pregnant in which I was hospilised for a week I've been on bed rest since then. I'm now 35 weeks pregnant pain is back with advengence and I also have the whopping cough I feel miserable can't sleep barely can walk with pains and tightens in my chest left side and bum please help I need advice shud I go back into hospital where my baby can be monitored properly or hold out.