3rd December, 20217 min read

25-28 weeks pregnant: Symptoms, baby development and warning signs

Medical reviewer:Dr Ann Nainan
Author:Amelia Glean
Last reviewed: 03/12/2021
Medically reviewed

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Overview

At 25 weeks your baby measures approximately 22cm from crown to heel and is beginning to move more.

By 28 weeks, you’re 7 months into your pregnancy and 1 week into your third trimester, and you’ll have just 12 weeks to go.

Between 25 and 28 weeks pregnant, you’ll experience lots of changes from mood swings, to weight gain (including your breasts) and strange cravings. And as you approach your final trimester, some of the symptoms may be starting to make you feel uncomfortable.

Here we look at 25 of the most common symptoms you might experience now, as your third trimester approaches, and we explain how your baby is developing – and help you understand what signs to pay close attention to.

25 Common symptoms from weeks 25-28

  1. Braxton Hicks contractions – these are known as false labour pains and are thought to be the body’s way of preparing you for labour.
  2. Heart palpitations – you might feel a fluttering, pounding, or like your heart is skipping a beat. This is because your heart is pumping more blood around your body and at a faster rate.
  3. Rib pain – your baby is taking up more space in your tummy. It doesn’t happen for everyone, but you might start to feel some pressure in your ribs during this time. Other changes can also affect this, such as heartburn after eating, hormone levels and putting on weight. You may also experience pains on the side of your baby bump caused by your expanding womb.
  4. Stretch marks – They can appear on breasts, hips, thighs and tummy at any point in your life, but they’re common during pregnancy as the skin stretches.
  5. Swollen and bleeding gums – Pregnancy hormones can make your teeth more vulnerable to plaque.
  6. Early pregnancy symptoms return – changes in your mood, feeling sick in the morning, sore or leaking breasts, light spotting, cravings and a white milky discharge.
  7. Backache and general aches and pains – usually caused by weight gain but also down to the presence of the hormone relaxin, which can weaken ligaments.
  8. Puffiness from water retention – swelling in the hands and feet and face – and especially when it's hot.
  9. Breast growth and weight gain – If you have any concerns about your weight, talk to your midwife or doctor.
  10. Piles (haemorrhoids) or constipation – haemorrhoids affect between 25 and 35% of women in pregnancy.
  11. Skin changes – itchy rash or itchiness on your tummy or your breasts and darkened skin on your face or brown patches (chloasma); greasier, spotty skin.
  12. A protruding belly button – it can pop out a little bit as the muscles around it weaken.
  13. Leg cramps and varicose veins.
  14. Faster hair and nail growth – enjoy glossier hair.
  15. Heartburn and indigestion – more burping after eating or drinking, bloating and gas.
  16. Vision changes – due to hormonal imbalances you may experience blurred vision. But as this can also be a sign of a problem like pre-eclampsia, it’s best to have it checked by a doctor.
  17. Increased vaginal discharge – which helps prevent infections in the vagina and the womb.
  18. Nasal congestion and snoring – and nosebleeds.
  19. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are common.
  20. Sleep and energy – insomnia, and feeling very tired.
  21. Migraines.
  22. Brain fog – forgetfulness or clumsiness.
  23. Shortness of breath.
  24. Needing to pee more.
  25. Feeling hot and dizzy.

Stretch marks pregnancy

What is your baby doing from 25-28 weeks?

No wonder you’re experiencing so many symptoms. As you move from the second to the third trimester, there’s a lot going on for your baby.

At 25 weeks

Your bump is similar to the size of a football, and your baby is measuring around 33cm from crown to heel. The hair on its head, its lungs, brain and digestive system are forming, although more time is needed for each of these areas to develop fully.

Around week 25, your baby will be able to smell any odours in the amniotic fluid – this is the fluid that keeps your baby safe and healthy in your uterus.

You might start to notice kicks, jumps and sudden movements as your baby moves around more than before. Often this will be after a loud noise, but it could be your baby hiccuping.

At 26 weeks

Your baby is now around 35cm long from crown to heel. Its lungs are developing nicely, and they are able to breathe air. If you're carrying a boy, your baby’s testicles are continuing to develop. Your baby’s eyebrows and eyelashes may start to grow.

At 27 weeks

Your baby is about 36cm from head to foot at this point and lots of things are developing faster to prepare your baby for birth. Its brain is working overtime to mature and create all the connections it’ll need, and the little air sacs in its lungs (called alveoli) are getting bigger, which will help your baby to breathe properly.

At 28 weeks

Right now, your baby weighs around 1kg and is around 37cm from crown to heel. Your little one is putting on more weight by the day, and it’s possible that its heartbeat might be heard if someone puts their ear to your bump.

You might start to notice a bit of a pattern in your baby’s movements around this time too – such as when they’re sleeping and when they’re awake. Try to keep a note of this to help you notice if anything changes.

When to see a doctor

Many pregnancy symptoms are common and nothing to worry about, but others could be a sign that something’s not quite right.

Speak to your doctor as soon as you can if you notice:

  • any bleeding – this could be a sign of problems with your placenta, or a miscarriage
  • a racing heart that seems to last a long time, it happens a lot, or if you’re also experiencing shortness of breath or chest pains
  • putting on a lot of weight very quickly, which can be a sign of preeclampsia due to water retention. Excess weight can also increase the risk of gestational diabetes
  • bloody, cloudy or smelly urine, burning or pain when you pee, needing to go to the loo more often or a fever. This could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which, if left untreated, can lead to kidney infection and risk early labour, or the chances of you delivering a small baby
  • less bump movement over time, which could be a sign of infection or low amniotic fluid
  • swelling of the hands or feet, severe headaches or blurred vision – these could be a signs of preeclampsia
  • bad abdominal pains or painful tightenings

Your health questions answered

  • Can a baby at 25 weeks survive?

    As you get further into your pregnancy, your baby is developing and the chances of it being able to survive in the world increase by the day. But giving birth at 25 weeks means your baby would still be extremely premature and there are more risks that things can go wrong. In this case, if your baby is born alive it would need intensive care in hospital for several months, but even then, not all babies survive.

  • Can I hurt my baby by sleeping on my right side?

    Sleeping on your left or right side is the most bump-friendly position you can take, especially after 28 weeks. It’s not a problem if you wake up on your back during the night, just go back to sleep on your side as before.

Key takeaways

  • you’ll notice many changes to your body and your bump between week 25 and week 28 of your pregnancy
  • your baby’s crown to heel length goes from roughly 33 to 37cm during this time, and you may notice more baby movement
  • you might get many symptoms between week 25 and week 28, such as back pain, an itchy tummy and breasts, stretch marks and rib pain
  • it’s normal to notice symptoms associated with early pregnancy too, such as morning sickness, cravings and sore and leaky breasts
  • if you're worried about any symptoms you’re having, speak to a doctor or your midwife as soon as possible
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