Can you believe that you’re already at week 27 of your pregnancy?! You’ve finally entered the beginning of the third trimester! Let’s discuss your baby’s position, development, and symptoms at week 27 pregnancy — now 25 weeks from conception.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Updated: October 26, 2021
Table of contents
- Week 27 Pregnancy: How big is your baby?
- Baby’s Development
- Week 27 Pregnancy: Baby’s Position
- Week 27 Pregnancy: Find Your Childbirth Class
- Week 27 Pregnancy: Symptoms
- Looking Ahead
Week 27 Pregnancy: How big is your baby?
At week 27, your baby now weighs a little more than 2 pounds and is a total length of about 14 1/3 inches from head to foot (1).
Your belly bump is also continuing to grow. Your uterus reaches about 2 3/4 inches above your belly button, or 10 1/2 inches from the pubic symphysis or pubic bone.
Baby is growing and developing quickly as you begin the third trimester! One exciting note is that baby’s eyes are now open. Just as puppies are born with their eyelids fused, your baby’s eyelids had been fused shut, but at around this point in pregnancy, they now open and close. Some of the other exciting developmental landmarks at week 27 include:
- Baby can form a smile now, especially during REM sleep
- Little one’s heart rate may decrease at the sound of familiar voices, suggesting that baby is calmed by your voice (2)
- Baby is able to sense bright light (1)
- His or her little hands have a strong grip
Week 27 Pregnancy: Baby’s Position
Your doctor or midwife won’t worry about baby’s position yet. There’s still a lot of time left in your pregnancy, and baby can still move around relatively easily compared to the last weeks when things get too cramped easily make large movements. But in the next few weeks, your baby will likely start to move toward the head-down position in which 97% of babies will be by the end of pregnancy.
Before 26 weeks, it’s normal for baby to be in a sideways position, known as a transverse lie. This is when the baby’s spine lies perpendicular to mom’s spine, with his head at one side of mom’s abdomen and his feet on the other side (5).
The Major Issue at 27 Weeks Pregnant: Baby’s Position
Head Down or Breech?
After about week 27 of your pregnancy, the weight of the baby’s head increases and gravity gently starts to move the head downward. By 29-30 weeks, we expect baby’s spinal in either a head down or a breech position (4).
By around 32 weeks, the majority of breech babies will flip into the head down position. In fact, babies are head down in 97% of term births (5). This is good news because the head down position is most likely to result in a safe, uncomplicated vaginal birth.
If at 27 weeks pregnant the baby’s position is not head downward already, it is important to call for medical intervention procedures at the birth. Calling for assistance early if you think the baby may not turn in time will help you make backup plans, have someone available, and be prepared mentally for extra labor proceedings.
There are a few different types of breech positions, as well as several different possible causes for a breech position situation. It’s not known for sure what causes the breech position, however (6).
Many people opt for a caesarean operation at birth if they are having a breech baby. At 27 weeks, the birthing professionals and parents start to keep an eye on the position of the baby. If the baby doesn’t flip into a regular position by around 36 weeks, the medical professionals often schedule the caesarean surgery.
However, you can opt for a more natural route. A caesarean surgery may provide a bit more ease for the baby getting out. It is still a surgery during a very stressful time physically. You can get help from a professional trained in birthing breech babies naturally as well.
There are several types of professionals who can help in this situation.
In addition, you can call at around 27 weeks for medical help in attempting to turn the baby to the right position in the uterus.
Read More: How to Tell If Baby Is Head Down
Turning Baby to a Head Down Position
If your baby is still transverse or breech after 32-34 weeks, discuss the situation with your doctor or midwife. Consider contacting a prenatal chiropractor skilled in the Webster’s Technique, which helps align your pelvis to aid in baby getting into an optimal position. Ask your provider about the option of an external cephalic version procedure, where the provider attempts to manually turn the baby to a heads-down position. And learn about ways you can encourage baby to move on your own, such as the forward-leaning version or breech tilt.
Week 27 Pregnancy: Find Your Childbirth Class
Week 27 is an ideal time to begin taking your childbirth classes, or to find one if you haven’t already! The goal is to finish your natural childbirth class at least one full month before your due date. Two months before is even better if you’re able to swing it with your schedule.
Leave Enough Time To Prepare
Most natural childbirth classes will take at least 4 weeks to complete, although this will vary depending on the class or method of instruction. If you start at around 27 or 28 weeks, you’ll finish the class at around 32 weeks. This will leave you 2 months to practice your breathing techniques, relaxation, and other labor coping tools. You’ve also built some wiggle room into your prep time, just in case baby comes early.
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Week 27 Pregnancy: Symptoms
Stomach Muscles Separating
As baby grows, you might notice that your stomach muscles are being stretched or feel a separation between the right and left abs that run down your stomach. You may even be able to see this separation down your midline when you lie down and lift up your head, as if you’re doing a crunch. This is a result of the rectus abdominal muscles thinning, weakening, and being stretched out.
Diastasis recti is an abdominal separation of 3 or more finger widths. This may heal on its own after pregnancy. If not, there are exercises you can do after baby is born to help mend these muscles back together.
Restless Legs Syndrome
In the third trimester, between 20 and 25% of women experience restless legs syndrome (6). This is a neuro-sensory condition in which a person feels strange sensations in their legs that are only relieved by moving the legs. People describe it differently (or perhaps experience it differently), but some of the words used by people who have experienced it are: restless, twitchy, tingling, itchy, creeping, crawling, pulling, throbbing, electric. What everyone seems to agree on is that they have an irresistible urge to move their legs. Whether their legs feel physically uncomfortable, or they experience it as just a strong mental urge, they can’t feel comfortable unless they’re moving their legs. This urge occurs most often in the evening while relaxing or trying to sleep (7). Sufferers of RLS may toss and turn, jiggle their legs, change positions frequently, or feel the need to get up and walk—motion seems to be the only thing that makes the urge go away.
As frustrating as it may be, the good news is that RLS usually resolves on its own after you deliver your baby. Learn more about what causes restless legs syndrome and some of the things you can do to help: Restless Legs Syndrome in Pregnancy: How to Help
Be sure to drop by next week to learn all about week 28 of your pregnancy! And if you’re ready to learn all about what to expect this trimester, check out Third Trimester Pregnancy & Symptoms: The Ultimate Guide.
Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for natural childbirth in the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class to learn more about preparing for natural childbirth.
- Glade, B.C., Schuler, J. (2011). Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition. First Da Capo Press.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2010). Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th edition.
- Retrieved at http://parentingpatch.com/how-big-is-your-baby-week-week-food-comparisons/
- Retrieved at http://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/other-fetal-positions/sidewaystransverse/
- Ladewig, P., London, M., & Davidson, M. (2006). Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care, 6th edition. Pearson Education Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ. p 390.
- Retrieved at https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/breech-baby#diagnosis