What does my baby look like?
You’re coming to the end of the second trimester now, and your family might find it easier to feel your baby’s movements.
If your baby was able to stretch out fully, they could be as much as 37cm long. They’re a tangle of limbs, taking up lots of the space in your womb.
Your baby’s heart rate has slowed down a little, to about 140 beats per minute - although this is still super-speedy compared to your own.
Your symptoms - what's happening
Progesterone, a key pregnancy hormone, slows down your bowels, which can leave you feeling bloated and constipated.
Try drinking lots of water and eating fibre-rich foods. As long as you feel well and comfortable, gentle exercise is also good for reducing constipation.
If these don’t work and it’s causing you a lot of discomfort, there are gentle medicines you can try. Talk to your midwife first about what is safe to take in pregnancy.
“Drinking tonic water really helped with my leg cramps as it has quinine. No gin though!” Emma, mum of one
Suffering from cramps, constipation, heartburn, indigestion or headaches?
Here’s our guide to 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them).
When life gets on top of you
Life goes on when you’re pregnant, and you might have to go through stressful events - such as the death or illness of someone in your family, a major renovation or house move, or a break-up with your baby's father.
Your pregnancy hormones can also make it harder to deal with stressful situations. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your midwife or doctor about it - it might help relieve some of the anxiety and stress.
Actions to take
Book a hospital visit
Have you thought much about where you’d like to give birth? If you decide to have your baby at your local hospital, now’s the time to enquire about visiting the labour ward.
You might find it helpful to arrange a trip so it isn’t completely unfamiliar when you go in to have your baby.
Don’t forget your pelvic floor!
You’re probably sick of hearing this - but, trust us, toning up your pelvic floor muscles is worth it.
It can be helpful to link your pelvic floor exercises to something you do often, such as waiting for the train or waiting for the kettle to boil. This will make it easy to remember to do them.
Read our guide to dealing with your emotions in 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. Cullen G, O’Donoghue D (2007) Constipation and pregnancy, Best Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology 21(5): 807–18.
3. Preventing constipation, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Constipation/Pages/Prevention.aspx[accessed 12 March 2015] last reviewed: 8 January 2014; next review due: 8 January 2016).Hide details
ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 27 Sep 2017 - 04:40
hi.im 26 weeks and i hv a stamach and back pain.my tummy was much bigger bt now its shrinked. but the baby its playing well and strongly .what courses that? it is normal?
should i be worried?
By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Sep 2017 - 12:09
Hi, Thank you for your comment.
It is reassuring that your baby is moving well, however, with any abdominal pain in pregnancy we do advice that you get checked over at your local maternity unit. It could be that you may have a urine infection which can cause pain but you do need to be assessed in case this maybe premature labour. Please call and go to your local maternity hospital so that they can check you over. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x
By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Sep 2017 - 15:15
currently 27 weeks pregnant and starting to have really bad loew back pain that has been continuous for 15 -20 hour so far, paracetamol isnt helping what will help relieve a bit of pain ?
By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2017 - 10:01
Hi - congratulations on your pregnancy. Whilst most women experience some lower back pain in pregnancy, it is best to get all such pain checked by your doctor or midwife. Please contact your local maternity unit or GP and discuss your symptoms asap.
By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Mar 2017 - 12:03
Hi, thank you for your post. In view of your history and two episodes of bleeding in approximately 12 hours please call your maternity unit now and go and be seen.
By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Mar 2017 - 09:03
For most women, their milk will be ready for baby at birth from the mid to late stages of the 3rd trimester. For other women, they start to produce milk during their pregnancy. It is possible to produce milk from 14 weeks of pregnancy, but that is fairly rare. Some women choose to hand express this colostrum and store it in the fridge or freezer to give to baby once it is born.