|<<WEEK 26 WEEK 28>>|
Week 27 marks another huge landmark in pregnancy. This is the last week of the second trimester. The fetus is still growing fast and has plenty of room in the womb for even more growth. Measuring from the top of the head to the tip of the toe, baby could be 1 1/3 feet long or more. The brain is quickly developing and the lungs continue to prepare for breathing air once the fetus is born. Eyelids open and retinas develop this week as well.
The uterus measures about the height of the rib cage, which could pose the first uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms for women since morning sickness, began. As the uterus grows upward, the lungs have less room to expand. This can cause shortness of breath. When a pregnant woman feels short of breath, the baby is not affected. With the circulatory system working overtime, the fetus receives more than enough oxygen with each breath even when mom feels like she is not taking in enough oxygen.
Cravings start in the 27th week and they may not be on the same timeline as dad. Pregnant women typically wake up in the middle of the night craving some type of food that is not in the house. Dad, being the one without the big belly, is often given the task of running out for snacks and other food when he would rather be sleeping. Dad can try to put off the inevitable, but pregnant women can be very convincing.
Financial stress may be brought to the forefront again in the 27th week. As the second trimester closes, pregnant women who work outside the home must start thinking about maternity leave. Some women choose to work until labor begins while others choose to take off some weeks early to rest and prepare for baby. These choices will center on the current financial status of the couple.
Some time in the third trimester, the attending physician will start scheduling prenatal appointments every two weeks or even every week. Right now, though, pregnant women typically continue to see the physician just once a month. Women pregnant with multiples will be seen more often and could have additional ultrasound appointments as needed during the pregnancy. Preterm labor could also be a problem for some multiple pregnancies. There are medications that can be prescribed to stave off contractions if this is the case.