Discover what's going on now that you're 25 weeks pregnant and so close to the end of your second trimester. Plus, find out about doing a tour of your labour ward in advance of your due date.
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What’s happening at 25 weeks?
Here are the key things you can expect from your pregnancy at this stage:
- Your baby should be somersaulting, kicking and jabbing you regularly.
- You'll have a 25-week antenatal appointment with your midwife (if this is your first baby).
- Dry eye syndrome may kick in.
- You may have a tour of the hospital around now if you want one.
How big is your baby?
This week your baby will be about the size of a tub of Kelly's ice cream, weighing around 660g and measuring around 34.6cm.
Your little one's hair is growing and, as they put on weight, they're filling out and that wrinkly skin is smoothing out, so it starts to look plumper.
You’ll probably be aware of more regular and vigorous movements now – jabs and kicks, as well as rolling over. You'll also get an idea of your baby's patterns of being awake or asleep and what kind of things you do that provoke a movement, for example, drinking a cold drink, eating something, lying down and relaxing.
Your baby's movement will continue to increase over the coming weeks, so let your midwife know if it slows down or you have any concerns. It's really important to contact your midwife straight away in this case, as decreased movement can be a sign that your baby needs medical help.
Your partner or friends may also be able to feel your baby kicking by now, too. You might even be able to get a response by shining a light on your belly or tapping or prodding your bump. Give it a try!
What's going on with your body?
If you've noticed your eyes feel sore or gritty then you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome – another one of those pesky pregnancy symptoms caused by hormonal changes. Luckily, it can be easily sorted with lubricating eye drops – just check with the pharmacist that they’re suitable for use in pregnancy.
As your bump expands, you may notice backache appearing or getting worse if it's already started. Make sure you follow the postural tips from week 24 to help with this. And stick to gentle exercise. As your body produces relaxin to help it stretch, it can be easy to overdo it and injure yourself.
If you fancy trying something gentle that will keep you supple without over-stretching, read our guide to pregnancy yoga .
You may find that all that exciting second-trimester energy is starting to taper off around now. Your baby is getting heavy in there, and your body is constantly adjusting to make room for that growing little person.
If you are suffering from fatigue or pregnancy aches and pains, it can be tempting to forgo exercise altogether. But keeping as fit as you can will really help with labour and birth, and after your baby is born. And studies show that exercising can often actually make you feel less tired, as it gets your endorphins going.
If you don't feel you can face formal exercise, even a quick walk in the fresh air can do wonders for your body and your mind.
What to expect this week: your 25-week antenatal appointment
If this is your first baby you'll have an antenatal appointment around now. You'll need to take your antenatal notes.
Your midwife will have a feel of your bump – as a rule of thumb, the measurement from the top of your uterus to your pubic bone will measure the same number of centimetres as the number of weeks pregnant you are. So this week you should measure around 25cm. Don’t worry if it’s a bit more or less, though – 2cm either way is perfectly normal.
If your midwife is worried that you're measuring small or large for this stage of your pregnancy, she may book you in for a growth scan, just to check what's going on in there.
At the 25-week antenatal appointment, your midwife should also check your blood pressure and take a urine sample; this is all to check for pre-eclampsia .
You may also have a chance to discuss your birth plan , though some midwives may be too busy and prefer to leave it till later. Bring yours along if you've already written one. Or, talk to her about putting one together.
Once your birth plan is done make two copies; one to staple into your antenatal notes and the other for your partner to read and be familiar with. Then you can pack it in your hospital bag nearer your due date.
If you don't feel like you're getting enough time with your midwife to ask all the questions you'd like, ask if you can book an extra appointment. Midwives in the UK tend to be very stretched, but your midwife should do their best to accommodate you. At the very least, they can point you to other resources such as charities, where you may be able to get answers to your personal questions.
What to do this week: hospital tour
Once you're around 25 weeks of pregnancy, you may be invited to tour the local maternity ward or birth centre. If not, and you'd like a tour, you can always ask your midwife what's available near you.
Tours are usually on set days and times and you’ll probably be joined by a group of other mums and dads-to-be. Some need you to book in advance and others say you can just turn up.
Lots of mums-to-be find it useful to do a tour in advance of arriving in labour. You'll get to see the rooms where you'll have your baby and you'll be able to see the difference between the labour and postnatal ward and the birthing centre. This may even help you decide where you want to give birth!
Not all hospitals offer a tour and if that's the case with yours, unfortunately there's nothing you can do.
To help put your mind at ease, ask your midwife any questions or concerns you have about who to call, where to go and what to expect when you go into labour. They'll be able to help with where to leave the car, too. Some hospitals have parking but if yours doesn't then plan your route as well as where you'll leave the car, in advance.
Your 25 week to-do list:
1 If someone offers you a spot of pregnancy pampering, take them up on it! Book yourself in for a pregnancy massage that's specifically tailored to relieving pregnancy aches and pains.
2 Do some more work on your birth plan. Find plenty of things to include here .
3 Talk to your midwife about booking in a hospital or birth centre tour if you've not already done so. Not all places offer them, but if available it can be helpful to get more of an idea of exactly what to expect when you go into labour.
4 Start gathering up some loose change for the hospital car park. Some now have parking apps that you can download on your phone and either pay or top it up from the labour ward.
5 If you'd like to try hypnobirthing to help you during labour, it'll work best if you start doing the exercises around now.
What to watch this week...
Get expert tips on what to expect at 25 weeks pregnant from our midwife.
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