A quick snapshot
You are almost six months into your pregnancy. Your belly is rounded and you are looking more pregnant with every week which passes.
Your pregnancy hormones are urging you to get organised and create a "nest" for your little one but try not to go overboard when you start organising the nursery. Do your research and try to imagine what you'll need long term, rather than buying expensive items that look gorgeous but you'll only use for a few months. Ask other parents what they'd recommend and what they couldn't do without. Think about adding some extra baby toiletries, packets of nappies and wipes to your shopping each week, so your costs will be absorbed more gradually and it won't be such financial jolt all at once.
What’s changing in your body
- You may find your gums prone to bleeding, swelling or gingivitis. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss thoroughly at night. Bleeding gums are a warning sign to brush more, not less. Make an appointment to see your dentist at least twice during your pregnancy.
- Those ligaments and muscles supporting your expanding uterus are getting a work out. Warm baths, tummy massages or physiotherapy can be useful in alleviating discomfort.
- If you're finding it difficult to satisfy your appetite, then think about the foods you are eating. Biscuits and cakes may be calling your name but they're not doing you or your baby any favours. Your body will digest them quickly and before you know it, you'll be looking longingly into the fridge for inspiration again. Go for wholegrain bread, muffins, fruit, milk drinks and good quality cereals drenched in milk with some fruit on the top. Think quality, not quantity. There is no need to starve yourself but avoid empty nutrition that won't help your baby to grow.
How your emotions are affected
- As your pregnancy progresses, you are likely to find yourself thinking more about the birth. Every labour and delivery will take its own course and it is very difficult, if not impossible, to predict at 25 weeks of pregnancy how your labour will proceed.
- You'll probably be getting lots of interesting advice these days and not necessarily from sources you'd expect. Everyone's an expert when it comes to pregnancy and will have some gems of wisdom they'll want to share. If you're not interested, then politely excuse yourself or create some urgent task that requires your immediate attention.
- It's getting harder to remember when you weren't pregnant and you're wondering what on earth you used to find to think about. The baby has started to become a very important part of you and its becoming increasingly hard to just think of yourself as an individual, separate from the baby.
- You could start worrying that you may go into premature labour, especially if you've previously had a baby who was born early. Your doctor will have taken a thorough history from you at your first appointment but remind them if you are concerned about this happening again.
How your baby is growing
Second Trimester: Week 25
- Your baby's nostrils are patent, meaning they're not closed over like they were. Other changes are happening in your baby's lungs as well which will help them to breath independently at birth. That all important surfactant is coating their tiny alveoli, helping them to stay open and retain oxygen at birth.
- Your baby may be lying in a breech position, i.e. with its bottom pointing down and its head up under your ribs. Or it could be lying transverse; sideways or oblique; diagonally across your uterus. At this stage there is still plenty of room for the baby to move freely about in your uterus and to find its own comfortable positions.
- Think about investing in a baby calendar and follow the changes in your baby as you head towards your due date. Remember your baby is unique and although it may be similar in lots of ways to other babies, they are definitely their own little person.
Tips for the week
- Keep that seatbelt done up when you're in the car. Although it might be getting a little tight, your safest option is to still have your seatbelt secure at all times. Some pregnant women experience motion sickness especially on public transport where access to fresh air is limited. Sit on the aisle seat of buses if you need to and try to focus on the horizon. Sipping cold water can help, so can acupressure bands and eating small amounts of ginger flavoured foods.
- If someone around you is smoking, move away. Second hand smoke is almost as toxic as first hand smoking and your placenta will not filter all the carbon monoxide or other chemicals you are passively inhaling. If you are still smoking, do everything you can to try to stop. Consider hypnotherapy, acupuncture or a support group. All of these have proven benefits which will optimise your chances of successfully quitting.
- Get into the habit of lying on your left side, rather than flat on your back. Your heavy uterus may compress important blood vessels which supply the placenta and baby of oxygen. You may also feel lightheaded and faint if you lie prone for any period of time. Remember to invest in some good quality pillows and arrange them for optimal comfort in your bed. Don't forget to leave a little room for your partner though.
- Make sure you're aware of risky foods you need to avoid. Listeria is a rare but dangerous bacterium which is found in some foods. Soft cheeses, coleslaw, pate, unpasteurised milk, sliced cold meats, sushi and raw meat all pose a risk. Watch your kitchen hygiene and wash your hands well after handling raw meat.
- Any pain, bleeding or unusual symptoms you have need to be checked by your doctor. Some women are more prone to premature labour and its onset can be quite vague. Don't hesitate to have a check-up even if you feel you want reassurance.