Till the 24th week, all you will notice is a lean structure whenever you go in for your ultrasound. This is because your baby had not started putting on weight and adding fat reserves. From this week onwards, your baby will start putting on weight at a rapid pace and if you happen to have an ultrasound in the coming few weeks, you will probably be able to note the difference. As your baby starts piling on the fat reserves, this is also the time when you will start putting on weight rapidly. If you have been struggling to gain weight and look pregnant, this week might very well be the game changer for you. There are a number of other significant changes happening this week and as you enter your third trimester, this is a reminder for an important week to start planning on birth, baby and more.
Your Baby At 25 Weeks
Your baby will finally start to look fuller this week. Measuring around 13 ½ inches and weighing around 1 ½ pounds, your baby is in the process of gaining some much-needed baby fat. His skin that was essentially wrinkled till now will start stretching out and will begin to look smoother. You would be amazed to know that this is the week in which your baby’s hair will start gaining pigmentation. If he has a head full of hair already, it is already decided who he takes the color after. With the skin stretching out proportionately and the hair gaining color, your baby resembles a newborn a lot more than it ever has. Her hair is not only gaining color but is also getting more voluminous by the day.
Talking about skin, your baby’s skin might start to look flushed. This is not because the temperature inside is not cool enough. The amniotic fluid1 regulates temperature automatically and if there has been no major difference to your lifestyle, the temperature is bound to remain stable. The pink skin of your baby can be attributed to the fact that more blood vessels and capillaries are now forming under her skin and there is increased blood circulation the surface of the skin.
Are the lungs matured enough? Since lungs form a significant part of the development process, a lot of expectant mothers keep asking their doctor if the lugs are developing properly or not. The 25th week will see your baby’s lungs developing blood vessels that will help them to mature a little more but there is a long way to go before they will be ready to breathe outside the womb. Although surfactant is being produced to ensure that the lungs can expand with oxygen after birth, the primary work of sending oxygen to the bloodstream and exhaling carbon dioxide out of the system still remains to be covered.
The respiratory system of your baby is also comprised of the nostrils that were plugged and closed till last week. In this week, your baby’s nostrils will open up and help your baby practice breathing. Although there is no oxygen involved in this process, your baby might very well be practicing inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid.
Your Body At 25 Weeks
At 25 weeks of pregnancy, your back might start complaining. With your uterus growing at a rapid pace and your belly bump getting bigger and rounder by the day, what suffers the most is your back. The most important thing to remember during this time is to keep the right posture. If you can maintain an ergonomic posture from early on till you deliver, more than half of your problems could be sorted. Your belly bump is already the size of a soccer ball and there is a good deal of activities to look forward to this week.
How would you take care of that aching back? If you work outside, chances are that your backache will be on the rise soon, especially if you have a desk job. What would help is to take frequent breaks and move around to loosen up stiff joints and muscles. The other significant aspect would be to sit in a proper posture. Always keep your back erect and consciously avoid slumping. If your backache disrupts your normal schedule, ask your doctor if you could invest in a supportive waistband that would hold the joints and tender muscles together. However, if your body tends to overheat easily, avoid any fabric that is not natural because you might get rashes or might react adversely to manmade fabric on skin.
Do I have Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction?
When the ligaments holding together your pelvic floor become relaxed and stretch out considerable well before birth, the pelvis might become unstable and cause uncomfortable sensations and pain. This phenomenon is called Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction.
What Are The Symptoms?
The primary symptom is a severe pain on and around your pubic area that could also spread out to your upper thighs. It might occur in one leg and might also plague both your legs. This depends on the kind of activity that has triggered the pain in your case.
Why Does It Happen?
Like every other symptom that is caused by the production of relaxin in your body, this is also because of the same hormone. Relaxin2 can make a number of ligaments stretch out and also helps significantly at birth but when the pelvis is relaxed and stretched out more than normal that is when the dysfunction sets in.
How Can You Help Yourself?
A proper pelvic support belt keeps all the significant joints in place are recommended to be worn all through pregnancy.
You can never have enough of Kegels and pelvic tilts. Keep practicing them for stronger pelvic floor because you would want to avoid urine incontinence as well.
Take it slow. There is nothing that an unnecessary hurry can’t spoil. Always have time on hand so that when you are ready, you can regulate your pace accordingly.
If your pain is so severe that you can’t move around without wincing in pain, it is time you should consult a doctor. He will check you and prescribe medications if you have a low-risk pregnancy.
Dealing With Constipation And Painful Hemorrhoids
Constipation is one of those pesky and annoying symptoms that pregnancy comes along with. While some women experience nothing at all, some others dread visiting the washroom first thing in the morning. Pregnancy hormones make your digestive system slow and sluggish and there is not much space in the overcrowded stomach cavity either. This is why you tend to get constipated but it is not limited to just irregular bowel movements. Piles and hemorrhoids also tag along with constipation.
In pregnancy, there is increased blood flow to the rectum and simultaneously the uterus is also weighing down on it which leads to swollen and itchy veins around that area. If you remember the annoying varicose veins that had affected you sometime back and could be continuing to haunt you till date, you would know what to expect from hemorrhoids. A similar symptom like varicose veins, hemorrhoids are not essentially harmful to the pregnancy but it can be so painful that you might want to resort to medication as soon as possible. It can be as severe as rectal bleeding, if not treated on time.
Dealing with constipation and hemorrhoids is not easy but not impossible either. Whole grains, fruits, green leafy vegetables and stocking up on fluids can prevent constipation and the other symptoms that follow. Apart from dietary changes, staying active also helps to a good deal. Kegels are known to miraculous sets of exercises that can solve a whole bunch of problems associated with pregnancy. There is nothing as effective as strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. Another way to keep yourself safe from rectal bleeding or soreness is to avoid straining while pooping. The more you strain, the higher are your chances of developing hemorrhoids.
Yet another important factor to consider is the kind of iron supplements you are taking. This is one of the primary reasons for women to constipate during pregnancy. However, you cannot really do away with the prenatal vitamins since your iron stores are being used up rapidly at this stage and you will end up depriving yourself of the essential nutrients if you decide to skip the pills. If you feel that this could be the reason, consult your doctor and ask for a different version of iron supplements that will not constipate you.
Voluminous And More Lustrous Hair
It is as if the compliments won’t stop pouring in and you couldn’t have asked for anything better. Yes, we are talking about your bouncy, lustrous and beautiful hair that shines more than ever before. With hormonal changes and more blood flowing to your scalp, your hair will grow thicker and normal hair fall will slow down.
You might want to opt for chemical treatments like hair straightening or streaking because your hair has never been fuller or stronger but it is a wise idea to postpone your plans till after delivery. Most of these chemical treatments involve the use of ammonia-based products that could cause allergic reactions. Your skin is extremely sensitive at the moment and so is your scalp. Moreover, inhaling the fumes of some of these products might not be a good idea, especially when your sense of smell is heightened.
Are You Feeling Exhausted Again?
You might as well be surprised at the fact that your body feels drained every often these days. After all that you had heard about the second trimester being the golden period of pregnancy, this exhaustion is certainly going to get on your nerves but before you start losing sleep over it, you will need to understand how your body is changing.
Never ignore or belittle the fact that your body is currently carrying out the most significant responsibility of the human body and you ought to respect its demands for this. Try your best to give in when your body demands rest. Avoid working late hours and try to switch job roles if you feel your work is taking away the fun from this pregnancy.
You might be more prone to accidents now because your baby bump is bigger than ever before. You are also feeling less graceful in your movements these days because you are still trying to figure out if you would fit into certain spaces or not. if you do feel dizziness, shortness of breath, sudden palpitation etc, lie down immediately and call for help. There is a probability of your blood sugar fluctuating and you must consult with your doctor to rule out other issues.
While exercising or walking, always carry a bottle of water and keep yourself hydrated. If you sense your body heating up and making you uncomfortable, stop right away and get rest. The idea behind working out in pregnancy is to help you feel fitter and not to exhaust yourself beyond your body’s capability.
Looking After Your Teeth
The importance of proper dental care during can never be emphasized enough. Oral hygiene and full term pregnancies are linked to each other. As far-fetched as that sounds, dental health actually decides whether you will be able to carry to full term or have a preterm baby.
Gingivitis is a common term that a lot of people are familiar with but did you know that periodontosis, an untreated version of gingivitis3 could enhance your chances of having preeclampsia? It could also lead to premature birth. It is advisable that all pregnant women must brush their teeth regularly and floss without fail so that your gums can be kept safe from infection and inflammation. Your gums might be sore and swollen because of the pregnancy hormones but this will also pass after delivery.
Do You Feel Unworthy?
If you have been feeling blue lately and all you could think of is how worthless you look and are, you could be having pregnancy blues. You might also worry too much about your baby and wonder if you a responsible parent. While all these doubts and feelings are common, you could also be secretly harboring depression.
Pregnancy Depression Is Very Common And The Most Likely Factors To Contribute To It Are:
- Your body is changing in a number of ways and you are finding it tough to come to terms with these changes.
- You are going through an emotional turmoil of sorts because you are apprehensive of how this pregnancy will go and whether you would be able to deliver as per your plans.
- Your work life could be getting affected and that irks you to no end.
- Although there are rules in place to not discriminate against pregnant women at work, there are indirect discriminations everywhere.
- A number of aches and pains might be plaguing you all the time.
If you feel that your mood swings are too severe to put a tab on, you could consider speaking to your doctor about it. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it might linger around and come back with a vengeance in the form of postpartum depression.
What Are The Tests Coming Up In The Next Few Weeks?
From 24 week onwards, your doctor might suggest a number of tests to keep a track of how the pregnancy is progressing. Listed below are the ones that you could expect in the coming weeks:
A general glucose screening test is recommended between 24 and 28 weeks. If your levels are seen as normal, you will not need to take further tests but if your blood glucose level is elevated, your doctor will ask you to take a glucose tolerance test.
It is generally recommended to take two hemoglobin tests in 40 weeks if the pregnancy is low-risk and is progressing normally. However, if you have had low levels of hemoglobin to begin with, you might need to test more than twice. You will be suggested iron supplements accordingly.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The first test in this order of series would be HIV. This is important to be tested at the beginning because if the mother does test positive for HIV, measures would need to be taken to ensure that the unborn baby is safe. Other tests to be taken are for gonorrhea, syphilis and Chlamydia. The earlier these tests are done, the better it is for both mother and baby.
Did you know that if you are RH-negative, you could pose a threat to your growing baby as well as to future babies? If your baby’s blood passes into your bloodstream, antibodies would develop and could be a source of potential risk to your future children. If this is the case, you will need an injection of RH immune globulin4 at 28 weeks for the best form of protection possible.
Is It Time To Speak To Your Employer?
The 25th week is a decent time to start your discussions regarding maternity leave. If you have already kept the documents ready, it is only a matter of time that the HR team will speak to you regarding the same. If you haven’t, start getting the basic documentation done. Maintain transparency from the beginning so that there is no confusion on the day you go on leave.
You will have a total number of casual leaves, sick leaves, vacation and personal leaves, disability leaves etc. This is the time to make up for all of them and utilize them in the best way possible. The human relations department in your office will be able to help you out in this regard and they will lay down the exact policies and protocol at both ends so that it is convenient for you to apply for maternity leave.
You will obviously not be sure of whether you would want to quit or go back to work after maternity leave is over. However, a lot of women these days are going back to work because of new regulations in place that allow them to balance home and office more efficiently.
What Can You Do For Your Pregnant Spouse This Week?
Your wife is starting to feel slightly uncomfortable with the baby bump getting in her way every time she tries to do something. She is bound to be more temperamental than ever before. It is time for you to take up her emotions more seriously than ever before. Ask her about the baby’s movements and let her know how thrilled you are. Communicate more often and there is nothing more that she would like to do at the moment.
However, she might have occasional headaches and it is better to stay away from long winding conversations when she is in the midst of one. Offer a relaxing massage and a long warm shower after that. You could also get her to go to a spa on a weekend and unwind by herself. Prenatal spa parlors are getting more popular by the day because of the level of comfort they offer.
If a birth plan has been on your wife’s mind, try and set it up together. Ask her for her opinion and feel free to suggest what you would want. You can help her in looking for a midwife is she hasn’t done that already. If you would rather have a hospital birth, you can always weigh in your options before coming to a conclusion. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of both the sides and pick whichever option suits you the most.
While you huff and puff your way out of this week, brace yourself for more breathlessness in the coming weeks as your baby grows at an incredible pace and prepares for birth. A number of exciting pregnancy milestones are in store for you and your spouse in the next few weeks. You can expect your body to continue to change in a number of ways and it is always wise to remember that these changes are happening for a viable cause and there is every reason to love your body even more now.