At your last visit, your doctor told you that you had a biochemical pregnancy? Have you ever heard this term but didn’t really understand what it means? SimplyTests helps you to find out about biochemical pregnancy.
A biochemical pregnancy is the medical term used when the embryo stops developing just a few days after implantation in the uterus. Yes, you were pregnant, but the pregnancy was so early that it would not have been possible to detect it on an ultrasound, so it is called a ‘biochemical pregnancy’. Spontaneous abortion is unfortunately not uncommon, and one in four pregnancies is terminated in the very early stages.
What is a Biochemical Pregnancy?
In the case of a conventional pregnancy, six days after fertilisation, while the egg is in the uterine cavity, the film-like membrane that still completely surrounds it breaks. The blastocyst emerges and the trophoblast cells on its surface come into contact with the lining of the uterus: the endometrium. For a few days, these trophoblast cells multiply and become deeply embedded in the endometrium in order to set up, with the maternal organism, the exchanges necessary for the development of the embryo.
In the case of a biochemical pregnancy, the fertilised egg manages to implant itself in the lining of the uterus but fails to develop properly. It naturally ceases its development, resulting in the termination of the pregnancy. This is a very early miscarriage, which does not require curettage or medication and resolves itself with the return of menstruation.
What are The Symptoms of a Biochemical Pregnancy?
Because a biochemical pregnancy occurs in the early days of pregnancy, some women do not realize that they are pregnant, and as such cannot know that they have experienced a biochemical pregnancy. For this reason, it is difficult to know the exact number of women suffering from this condition. In fact, if you are trying to conceive a child and your ovulation and menstruation follow each other, it is more likely that you have experienced a biochemical pregnancy.
However, some women complain of lower abdominal pain or light spotting bleeding, but few women feel pregnant before their normal menstrual cycle returns.
What Are The Causes of a Biochemical Pregnancy?
It is often not possible to determine the reason for a chemical pregnancy in women. Most miscarriages (including chemical pregnancies) are the result of chromosomal abnormalities. After the egg and sperm have combined their chromosomes, the resulting zygote divides rapidly. This is where chromosomal abnormalities can potentially occur. These abnormalities are random and can happen to anyone. Most of the time, nothing you could have done or not done could have prevented the miscarriage.
If you had a chemical pregnancy, the chances are very high that you will have a healthy pregnancy afterwards. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of a chemical pregnancy, such as a uterine abnormality, advanced age (after the age of 35), clotting disorders or thyroid problems. Other causes can be advanced such as genital herpes infections, chlamidya, syphilis….
What Treatment After a Biochemical Pregnancy?
There is no specific treatment required after a chemical pregnancy. The only consecutive and recommended examination is a blood test to ensure that the level of pregnancy hormone hCG has returned to undetectable levels, i.e. similar to those before fertilization.
Because biochemical pregnancy is a spontaneous termination of pregnancy, there is no impact on future pregnancies and the majority of women become pregnant and give birth without difficulty. The most difficult aspect of a biochemical pregnancy is the excitement of thinking you are pregnant and then the realization that you are experiencing an immediate failure, a miscarriage.
If you’ve had a biochemical pregnancy and want to make sure you have the best possible chance of getting pregnant, we recommend that you read our article on how to boost your fertility and how to prepare your body for pregnancy.
First Symptoms of Pregnancy
What are The First Signs of Pregnancy?
There are various signs that may indicate that you could be pregnant. These early signs of pregnancy differ from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you may notice one or more of these signs. Don’t worry, you are unlikely to have all of them at once. Similarly, don’t be concerned if you don’t see any of them. It is entirely possible to get pregnant without any of these signs of pregnancy.
Absent Menstrual Periods
If your menstrual cycle is regular, the absence of periods is often the first physical sign. Keep in mind that you may bleed a little or see some blood around the time of your period even if you are pregnant, and when the fertilized egg implants in your uterus. If your cycles are not regular, you may notice other symptoms of pregnancy before you notice that your period has stopped.
Some women find that after having had an extremely regular cycle for several years, their periods stop for a relatively long time. In this case, the first thing to do is to rule out pregnancy by taking a home pregnancy test. The medical term for the absence of menstruation for a period longer than six months is “amenorrhea”. There are many reasons for the sudden absence of menstruation, including rapid weight gain or loss, excessive physical activity or stress. If you experience hot flashes and a decreased interest in sex, you may be experiencing the first signs of menopause (peri-menopause). Whatever your symptoms, see your doctor if your periods change or stop.
Is it normal to still menstruate during pregnancy?
No, you should not menstruate while you are pregnant. It may be normal to have bleeding in early pregnancy, but it can also be a sign of a risk of miscarriage. You should consult your doctor if you are concerned about this.
Changes to Your Breasts
Your breasts may become larger and may be sore or extremely tender. The veins in your breasts may become more apparent and your areolas (nipples) may become darker.
During the first few weeks of pregnancy, you may feel unusually tired. This may be due to increased levels of progesterone in your body; this hormone maintains the lining of the uterus to help make pregnancy easier.
You may experience nausea, and even vomiting, between the second and eighth week of your pregnancy. This usually subsides by the 16th week. This is often called “morning sickness”, but it can occur at any time of the day or night, or even permanently.
Nearly one in 100 pregnant women can suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum. Usually lasting well into the first trimester (12 to 13 weeks), HGH causes vomiting so frequent and severe that you can’t keep any food or drink down. In general, this condition is treatable, and only very rare cases will lead to pregnancy complications; however, please consult a doctor if you suffer from severe nausea.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is an aggravated form of nausea and vomiting, and is potentially life-threatening.
If you are concerned, consult your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe antinausea medication, but this will only be recommended for women suffering from dehydration. Symptoms include a very dry mouth and highly concentrated (dark yellow) urine.
Need to Urinate More Often
At 6 to 8 weeks after conception, you may need to urinate more frequently. This is because your uterus grows and presses against your bladder. At the end of the first trimester, the uterus moves up into the abdomen, relieving some of the pressure on the bladder.
Hormonal changes can cause mood swings in the early stages of pregnancy: you may start to cry without really knowing why.
Taste (cravings) and odour sensitivity
You may no longer be able to tolerate certain foods and drinks such as tea, coffee or fatty foods, and begin to crave things that you were not a big fan of before. You may feel nauseous when you smell certain things like coffee, meat or alcohol.
You may have cramps in your legs or feet during the first trimester of pregnancy, and sometimes later. They are due to a change in the way the body processes calcium.
An ectopic pregnancy is when the pregnancy develops outside the uterus. 99% of pregnancies normally take place inside the uterus; however, ectopic pregnancies can affect any woman. You should be aware that an ectopic pregnancy can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms. Not all women have them.
The initial symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are pain (requiring much more than just a painkiller, such as paracetamol, to relieve you) and bleeding. In the case of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, you will experience generalized pain in the abdomen, usually radiating to the shoulder. Other symptoms have been reported, including pain when urinating or defecating, or pain when walking. If you experience these symptoms, please consult a doctor immediately.
If you have ever had an ectopic pregnancy, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommends referring you to a centre that specialises in the early weeks of pregnancy, where you can get expert advice and imaging procedures. You will need an ultrasound to confirm the location of the pregnancy.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum: When Nausea of Pregnancy is Severe
Princess Kate Middleton unintentionally brought hyperemesis gravidarum to public attention in 2013 when she was pregnant with her first child. A condition she suffers from every time she gets pregnant. But what is the cause of this uncontrollable vomiting? What are the risks for the pregnancy? And how is it treated? So many questions about hyperemesis gravidarum, which Professor Philippe Deruelle, gynaecologist-obstetrician at the Lille University Hospital and Secretary General of the CNGOF, has kindly agreed to answer.
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
About 30-50% of pregnant women suffer from nausea, especially in the morning, most often during the first trimester of pregnancy. Although nausea may be uncomfortable, it is not comparable to the nausea experienced by women with hyperemesis gravidarum. “The terms incoercible vomiting or hypermesis gravidarum are used when a pregnant woman has pregnancy-related vomiting or eating disorders with a weight loss of at least 5% compared to the initial weight,” explains Prof. Philippe Deruelle, gynaecologist-obstetrician at the Lille CHRU and Secretary General of the CNGOF.
This is in fact a rare phenomenon, which concerns about 1% of pregnancies today (it was more frequent in the past without being able to explain this decrease). This incoercible vomiting begins between 4 and 8 weeks of amenorrhea (AS), and in most cases disappears at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy (13-15 AS). Only a small number of women experience incoercible vomiting throughout their pregnancy. These symptoms can lead to dehydration and ionic disorders (loss of salt, chlorine, potassium…) in severely affected women.
In addition, women who do not gain enough weight during pregnancy (less than 7 kg) are exposed to various significant risks: gestational diabetes, induction of labour and caesarean section. “If the weight loss is significant, the baby may have a low birth weight,” adds Prof. Deruelle. This risk would be doubled, according to a French study, and the risk of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) would also be increased*. “However, in most cases, this disease is annoying but benign from the moment it is well taken care of,” reassures the doctor. And from the moment the incoercible vomiting stops, the pregnancy is no longer considered a high-risk pregnancy.
The Causes of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Several factors may explain this severe vomiting during pregnancy. First of all, there is a pathophysiological explanation. “The women concerned have a susceptibility to respond to higher levels of pregnancy hormones in their bodies, particularly beta-hCG (gonadotropic chorionic hormone),” says Prof. Deruelle. There are even rare family cases (women affected from mothers to daughters) in which beta-hCG receptor abnormalities have been shown.
Studies have also shown predispositions to the appearance of incoercible vomiting: ethnicity (black American women are more affected than Caucasian women), low weight before pregnancy, being nulliparous or having a history of hyperemesis gravidarum during a first pregnancy. “The sex of the baby plays a role when there is individual susceptibility. Thus, there are more cases of hypermesis gravidarum in pregnancies with a female fetus,” says the gynaecologist-obstetrician, who explains this phenomenon by a higher production of hormones when the fetus is a girl.
Finally, psychological components have been evoked to explain these incoercible vomits. “It doesn’t exist so much anymore in our country because unwanted pregnancies are rare, but it is a fact observed in countries where unwanted pregnancies are frequent,” explains Prof. Deruelle.
Pregnant Hyperemesis: What Treatment?
The treatment of incoercible vomiting relies first of all on hygieno-dietary rules similar to those indicated for “simple” nausea of pregnancy :
- Eat in small quantities, prefer liquid foods or foods that go well and do not taste too strong. “It is very important to try to break the fast by eating in the morning, because on an empty stomach you produce ketone bodies that promote vomiting”, explains Prof. Deruelle.
- It is thus advisable to eat some rusks in bed and then get up about fifteen minutes later.
- If nothing really happens, drink sweetened drinks because your body will always retain a little bit of it and it will bring a little glucose.
- Don’t forget to rest as much as possible as fatigue aggravates nausea and vomiting.
- Anti-emetic drugs (which prevent vomiting) may be prescribed when dietary advice is no longer sufficient. “The answer varies greatly from one woman to another: for some, basic antiemetics will suffice; for others, we have to use very powerful antiemetics used during chemotherapy,” says Prof. Deruelle. The ultimate solution for patients for whom this is not enough and who are hospitalized is the use of neuroleptics that stop vomiting by a central mechanism. “We are reaching the limits of what we can do because these drugs can be dangerous for the foetus,” stresses the gynaecologist-obstetrician.
When the weight loss is more than 10% of the initial weight, the mother-to-be must be hospitalized. Venous rehydration is then put in place and oral feeding is resumed when vomiting has stopped and the weight loss is halted.
- Interview with Prof. Deruelle, Tuesday 23 June 2015.
8 Advices For New Moms
8 tips for young moms: Surviving the first few weeks
The first few weeks at home with a newborn can be a real roller coaster, physically, emotionally and mentally. Here are our tips for young moms, without cuts and filters, to help you survive those first few weeks with a newborn.
During my pregnancy, I received tons of advice. Enjoy sleeping while you can. Say goodbye to restaurants. Go out every day for a few minutes. Choose foods you can eat with one hand! Reading real stories, fiction and the exaggerated torments of motherhood, I had no idea what to expect.
I’m sure, and I know, we’re in the same boat. Keep our advice for new moms in your favourites and I promise you: you’ll have no trouble surviving those first few weeks with your baby.
1.Asking For Help
When I used to visit my friends who had newborns, before I had children myself, I wish they had told me to get off my butt and wash the dishes or let them take a shower! I didn’t know that this would have been the real purpose of my visit. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. They want to help you, but they don’t always know what you need.
Also, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you want to take a breath, need breastfeeding or sleep advice! Therapists, baby nurses, nannies, lactation consultants and postpartum doulas can make your life easier, and using one of these people does not diminish your ability to be a mother.
2. Establish a routine
Babies develop their own habits very early on, so you need to pay attention to baby’s signals and cries to start establishing this routine. This way you’ll know what to expect, even if your baby doesn’t always follow the routine! Some moms like to adopt the “eat, sleep, play” routine, others “eat, play, sleep” routine.
You may want to create your own. A tip from a veteran for a new mom: Use an app! I recorded my son’s feeding and sleeping times on my phone and, as he got older, everything about his tummy and reading times. As soon as I saw patterns of repetition, it was like a revelation. Even if you only have a tiny bit of control over what may seem totally chaotic, it’s a huge victory.
Unlike celebrities, you won’t usually look like the person you were before the baby came, after you gave birth.
3. Take a Walk, Shower, Drink Coffee, Check Your Email…
Finding 40 minutes a day (10 for a walk, 10 for a shower, 10 for coffee and 10 for e-mail) will help you be yourself and not just a “mommy”. Of course, you can spend those minutes any way you want. Personally, I used to spend 10 minutes putting on makeup, even if I wasn’t going anywhere! If you’re alone, put baby on a pillow or in a jump seat, in plain sight, so you can shower.
4. Make Healthy Choices
You may feel a little depressed after returning home with your newborn baby. Your mood will be changeable and, unlike celebrities, you will not usually look like the person you were before your baby came after you gave birth. It’s tempting to eat whatever you feel like eating. I know, believe me! And it’s because you’re tired, because it’s faster to eat junk food, because you’re unhappy with your body. So why should I care what you eat at this point, am I right? In fact, you would feel much better if you ate healthy and nutritious food.
Try to eat things you can eat with one hand, as you’ll be holding, feeding, burping and rocking your baby for much of the day. For example, almonds, carrots, low-sugar granola or an energy bar and string cheese (that last weird combination was my favourite), with lots of water. Stock up a few weeks ahead of time so that these snacks are waiting for you when you get home.
I could run errands, sit down for lunch and eat with both hands, or my partner and I could go out to dinner.
5.Carrying a Baby
This advice for young mums is not for everyone, not all mums and not all babies, but carrying your newborn baby can be a great solution for you and your baby. I started carrying my son when he was just a few days old, and the skin-to-skin contact helped strengthen our bond and breastfeeding relationship.
It was also a guaranteed way to put him to sleep! Once he was snuggled up, I would go for a walk and stretch, and he was out in the fresh air. I could run errands, sit down for lunch and eat with both hands, or my partner and I could go out to dinner.
6.Take Care Of Your Breasts
You will probably try to breastfeed, even if it is only for the first few days or weeks at home. If your partner doesn’t believe you, tell him or her to put a clean finger in the baby’s mouth. If you have trouble getting a good hold, cracks, bleeding or even swelling of the nipples may result.
Be sure to wash them well after each meal and cover them with a cold washcloth. Then apply a balm to help them heal. Also massage your breasts and use warm compresses to unclog the ducts.
7. Focus on You And Your Family
My closest friend and I were pregnant at the same time and we constantly compared our observations. And, of course, we continued to do the same thing when our babies arrived. But sometimes comparing observations can make you feel like you’re failing. For example, if your baby doesn’t gain weight as quickly, or if your friend succeeds at breastfeeding and you don’t, or even if your friend’s husband changes more diapers than you do!
I guarantee you, whatever you do, you’ll be great. Every family’s journey is different, so focus on what’s best for your family.
8. Remember that Each Step is a Step and That it is Temporary.
Your newborn will not be a near-blind, wobbly-headed eating machine that needs to be fed every two hours forever. And you won’t be a moody woman who’s forbidden to exercise for the rest of her life. That’s the way I felt!
But a friend of mine gave me a good piece of advice for a new mom, which is valid everywhere: if I kept telling myself that every step would eventually pass, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it would help me get through each one of them. And it did.
6 Week Ultrasound
Can I have an ultrasound before my 10th week of amenorrhea?
Between 6 and 11 weeks of amenorrhea (AS), an ultrasound will only be performed if you have had a miscarriage, have had fertility treatment, are in pain or are bleeding. These ultrasounds are usually done in hospital.
Before six weeks of pregnancy, the only reason someone might want to do an ultrasound would be to rule out an ectopic pregnancy if you have severe abdominal pain on one side only. This would allow doctors to know whether the fetus is implanted inside or outside your uterus. Apart from this case, this examination is hardly performed at such an early stage. If you are anxious to have an ultrasound just to be reassured about the progress of your pregnancy, wait a little longer.
This ultrasound is usually performed vaginally, as the uterus is still deeply buried in the pelvis at this stage of pregnancy. Endovaginal ultrasound allows you to get closer to the uterus to better visualize the details and check that the fetus is developing properly. If the examination is done to look for the cause of pain or bleeding, the ultrasound doctor will be able to check whether you may have ovarian cysts or fibroids.
The more advanced the pregnancy is, the more things to look for:
- Around 5 AS (three weeks after conception), only a small empty gestational sac is visible.
- At 6 AS, the yolk sac and a heartbeat are sometimes visible.
- At 7 AS, the embryo measures an average of 1 cm and its heart rate is about 150 beats per minute.
- At 8 AS, the embryo is 16 mm long and the head, body and its movements can be seen.
- At 9 AS, the head, body and limbs are clearly visible. The embryo begins to look like a baby. It is almost completely formed and takes the name of fetus.
Multiple pregnancies are detectable on ultrasound at 6 AS. However, at such an early stage, one of the embryos may go unnoticed or a heartbeat may be perceived in one sac and not the other. Sometimes, one or two weeks later, the next ultrasound shows that only one of the sacks is developing while the other remains empty.
This development of a single embryo when two had been conceived is quite common. This phenomenon is known as the disappearance of one of the twins. Ultrasound can also determine whether or not the twins share the same placenta.
Ultrasound scans in the early stages of gestation sometimes reveal a concern. If this happens to you, keep in mind that most pregnancies go well, and if the results of that first ultrasound are uncertain, chances are that the next exam, one or two weeks later, will show that everything is fine. Of course, this will not stop you from being worried and the wait may seem very long.
Unfortunately, miscarriages are quite common in early pregnancy. If an embryo develops more slowly, if its heart rate is slower or if the yolk sac is small, you are more prone to miscarriage. Ultrasound can show an empty sac. This is called a clear egg. The sac may also contain a small embryo, but without a heartbeat. This is called an arrested pregnancy. In this case, you may have had some pain or bleeding, which may have prepared you in part for the sad news.
Because the results of an ultrasound are sometimes inconclusive and not all pregnancies are the same, very specific guidelines have been developed for ultrasounds in early pregnancy. If your ultrasound doctor follows these recommendations, he or she should be able to be certain of the results. If in doubt, the ultrasound should be done endovaginally and repeated one to two weeks later.
25 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
25 weeks of pregnancy / 27 SA
At 27 SA (weeks of amenorrhea), or 25 weeks of actual pregnancy, you are soon at the end of the sixth month. The baby’s growth slows down slightly and your body is gradually preparing for the birth. This is the time to take advantage of every free time to rest.
The sixth month is coming to an end soon and your body is preparing more and more for the birth of your baby. Your uterus continues to grow large and your breasts begin to produce the very first form of breast milk, colostrum. Baby continues to grow and his senses continue to develop, he can now perfectly catch his thumb and suck it. The approaching birth may begin to cause anxiety but rest assured, the preparation sessions will reassure you and give you confidence. You are still in your sixth month of pregnancy.
25 weeks of pregnancy or 27 SA (amenorrhoea weeks): your body, pregnant
It is often said that the second trimester is the most fulfilling part of pregnancy. Morning sickness is just a bad memory, the belly is finally getting round, baby is moving. But as the third trimester begins, fatigue begins to set in. This can be an indicator that it’s time to step up to the plate at work but also in the daily chores. Get as much rest as you can, get help with shopping and housework. And don’t hesitate to take naps if you feel you need them. You will soon need all your energy!
At this stage of pregnancy, it is quite normal to feel contractions. If they occur at the end of the day, are irregular and not painful, there is nothing to worry about. However, if they come at an unusual time, if they occur several times within the hour, if they are close enough together, and if you feel that your baby is lower than usual, do not hesitate to go to the maternity ward. The medical team will be able to carry out a follow-up monitoring and check the condition of your cervix. It is better to be too careful than not careful enough!
At 27 SA you should have gained about 7 kilos, but this is obviously an average. Some women can gain slightly more or much less without it affecting their health or that of their baby. Your baby draws on your reserves, so it is important that you eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Your uterus is still growing. As a result, it may press on the bladder and cause small amounts of urine to leak out. Do not hesitate to ask for a consultation with a physiotherapist. Also, if it feels burning when you urinate, talk to your doctor or midwife: it may be a urinary tract infection.
At this stage of pregnancy, your body is preparing more and more for the birth of your baby. In particular, your breasts begin to secrete a first form of breast milk, called colostrum. Some moms may have a small discharge of colostrum from their nipples, which is normal. If you don’t have any, don’t panic either! You should also know that from next week, 26 weeks of pregnancy, you will be past the stage of very premature birth. If your baby was born now, it would then be considered very premature.
25 weeks of pregnancy: the development of the foetus
Height and weight
By the end of the sixth month of pregnancy, your baby’s growth begins to regulate and slow down. It now measures a good cm for about 700 g. You have to, because at this rate, there would soon be no room left in your belly! His development continues, especially in the lungs, which are gaining in volume and are slowly preparing themselves for contact with the outside air. As for your baby, he is training to “breathe” the amniotic fluid regularly.
Is your baby moving around a lot?
Your baby moves a lot, any time of the day or night. He now alternates sleep phases, which are always the most frequent, with waking phases during which he’s active in your tummy. It is therefore perfectly normal not to feel it moving all the time. Sometimes it is enough to settle down in a quiet place for a few moments, to stimulate baby a little by talking to him or by gently pressing on his stomach to make him react.
Your baby likes to suck his thumb. This is essential because it strengthens his jaw and cheek muscles. This will enable him to have perfect control of the feed at birth. Every day, he will improve his sucking and swallowing techniques. In this 25th week of pregnancy, your baby can now cry. Studies have also shown that your baby can feel pain or can tell the difference between two voices, for example between his father’s and mother’s voices.
Once a month, when you are pregnant with twins, you will have an ultrasound scan to check that the babies are growing well. The difference in weight between the twins should not exceed 20 to 25%. This can happen in the case of a monochorionic pregnancy, when the babies share the same placenta, and requires particular vigilance.
25 weeks of pregnancy: advice and procedures
Apart from intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), a placental problem detected earlier in pregnancy or a simple check-up after the morphological ultrasound you should not normally have an ultrasound this week.
Taking care of yourself
The last trimester of pregnancy is often the most tiring for a mother-to-be, so it’s important to rest as soon as you can before starting. It’s best to build up your strength now, as you won’t have much opportunity to do so when your baby is born. Take naps in the early afternoon if you have the opportunity, avoid long car journeys and delegate tasks that are too tiring to the father-to-be (such as shopping or cleaning for example).
What beauty products should I use when I’m pregnant?
Dull complexion, stretch marks, dark circles… The signs of pregnancy are not deceiving, but this is no reason to let yourself go. Tips for choosing the right beauty products.
Fear of childbirth
D-day, the day your baby is born, is getting closer and closer. It is therefore normal that you may feel a little apprehensive, especially about the birth or your future role as a mother. Don’t worry: all expectant mothers have been through it and have done very well. If you’re taking a birth preparation course, either in a group or on your own, whatever method you choose, don’t hesitate to ask any questions that come to mind. The people who run these birth preparation courses are there to answer you. Learn more about the 26th week of pregnancy.
29 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
How’s the baby?
In this 29th week of pregnancy (31 SA), the baby measures 36 cm and weighs 1.3 kg. During this 7th month of pregnancy, he will gain 500 grams on average.
The subcutaneous adipose tissue develops little by little, tightening the skin and giving it a plump appearance.
His face has all the characteristics of a small man: his eyes are open, his hair, eyelashes and eyebrows have grown.
He alternates periods of sleep and wakefulness. During the latter he still moves a lot. In fact, it is during this 7th month that the mother-to-be perceives her baby’s movements the most. But as he grows and gets bigger, he begins to feel cramped. Some babies are already in position for birth, upside down; others will turn over later. However, 3 to 4% of babies remain in a breech position at birth (1).
The baby swallows a lot of amniotic fluid, which he treats with his now-functioning stomach, intestine and kidneys. It is also an opportunity for him to discover tastes and smells with his developing senses.
Thanks to the maturation of his nervous system, he is now able to regulate his internal temperature. This follows the maternal thermal variations, but remains about one degree higher than that of its mother.
In the little boy, the testicles have now descended into the scrotum. The little girl already has her ovarian reserve to become a mother later on.
What is the status of the mother’s body?
The uterus continues to develop, with all the little problems that this can cause: constipation, bloating, heartburn, shortness of breath, frequent urges to urinate, lumbo-pelvic pain.
During the last trimester of pregnancy, vision may change due to hormonal and hemodynamic changes. Thus, in some future mothers, myopisation is observed, with difficulty seeing at a distance or when the luminosity decreases. This is caused by a thickening and modification of the corneal curvature radii. There is also intolerance to contact lenses, which were previously well tolerated. Benign, these changes are reversible in the 6 weeks following childbirth (2).
Caution, however: in case of visual disturbances such as hypersensitivity to light, spots or brightness in front of the eyes like “flies”, it is important to consult without delay. This may be pre-eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure (greater than 14/9) and the presence of albumin (protein) in the urine. Approximately 5% of pregnancies are accompanied by pre-eclampsia, i.e. 40,000 women are affected each year in France. Responsible for one third of very premature births, preeclampsia is a major cause of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and remains the second leading cause of maternal death in France (approximately 20 deaths per year), after delivery haemorrhages (3). Violent headaches, tinnitus, abdominal pain, vomiting, decreased or stopped urination, and sudden onset oedema are other warning signs of preeclampsia.
Things to remember
Preparing for her maternity leave. For a first child, it starts 6 weeks before the CCA; for a third child or more, 8 weeks before the CCA. In the case of a pathological pregnancy, prenatal leave can be brought forward by two weeks: this is known as pathological leave or “two patho weeks” in maternity jargon. It should also be noted that the mother-to-be may, under certain conditions, change the dates of this leave:
- With two dependent children, she can bring forward the start of her prenatal leave by a maximum of 2 weeks. In the case of a twin pregnancy and regardless of the number of dependent children, this period increases to a maximum of 4 weeks. Postnatal leave will be shortened by the same amount;
- If the pregnancy goes well, it is possible to delay the start of antenatal leave by up to 3 weeks in order to lengthen postnatal leave by the same amount. A request for postponement of the maternity leave, accompanied by a medical certificate attesting to the possibility of continuing a professional activity, must be sent to the Health Insurance no later than the day before the prenatal leave.
Continue the pelvic tilt exercises as well as the perineal exercises. Also to be tested to relieve the back, the “cat” exercise: on all fours, legs slightly apart, hands flat, breathe in while keeping your back straight, without arching it. Then contract the belly and the buttocks and make a tilt of the pelvis towards the front to make the back round (like a cat). Exhale. Repeat several times.
To ensure his rapid growth during the last three months, the baby needs a lot of energy from his mother’s food, via the placenta. As the fetus nears term, the fetus uses 95 cal/kg/day, of which 40 are stored for growth and 55 oxidized to provide the energy needed for basic metabolism, activity and the cost of growth (4). Carbohydrates play a particularly important role as they are the main energy substrate of the foetus. Favour carbohydrates with a low or moderate glycemic index: whole or semi-complete cereal products, integral bread, oat flakes, legumes, etc. They provide better quality energy for both mother and baby and contribute to moderate weight gain.
26 Weeks Pregnant In Months
How’s the baby?
In the 26th week of pregnancy (28 weeks), the baby measures 33 cm and weighs 870 g. By the time he is born, he will multiply his weight by three. He will therefore put on a lot of weight over the next three months, and his skin, which is still wrinkled, will gradually tighten thanks to the fat that accumulates underneath.
The baby regularly swallows amniotic fluid, which he then expels in his urine and through his skin. The baby’s breathing movements are increasingly linked to the amniotic fluid, which fills the lungs and helps the lungs to mature. The baby therefore actively contributes to maintaining the volume of amniotic fluid, which is renewed every 3 hours.
The brain continues to mature. The neurons, which have reached their definitive number, differentiate and the complex network linking them is being set up.
Its bone marrow is now capable of producing white blood cells, small soldiers of its immune system, and red blood cells, blood cells carrying oxygen.
If he were born now, the baby would be a great preemie – not a very great preemie. It would be very fragile, especially in the lungs, and would require a great deal of care, but its chances of survival are real. According to the Epipage study2 (1), the percentage of survival is indeed 59% at 25 AS, 75% at 26 AS, 94% between 27-31 AS and 99% between 32 and 34 AS.
What is the status of the mother’s body?
At the end of the 6th month of pregnancy, it is common for weight gain to accelerate. After an average of 1 kg per month in the first and second trimesters, the mother-to-be gains 2 kg per month in the last trimester (2). But these are only averages: every pregnant woman is different and her weight gain will vary according to her diet of course, but also to her basic BMI.
The top of the uterus is about 6-8 cm above the navel; the belly appears higher and wider, and this impression will become more pronounced as the weeks go by. The rib cage “opens”; the stomach and intestines are pushed towards the diaphragm. This phenomenon, combined with hormonal changes that slow gastric emptying and transit, promotes constipation and acid reflux. Deep breathing also becomes difficult because the diaphragm has less room to move. At the bottom, it is on the bladder that the uterus rests, causing frequent urges to urinate.
The spine also has to adapt to this belly, which is getting rounder every day: it tends to curve, which can lead to lower back pain.
During pregnancy, the mother-to-be may frequently have a blocked nose or rhinorrhea (runny nose). This is probably a hormonal rhinitis, a condition that is said to affect 1/3 of pregnant women during their pregnancy (3). Hormonal, immunological or local changes: the exact cause of this rhinitis is not known. Benign, it will disappear spontaneously in the weeks following childbirth, but if it causes real discomfort on a daily basis, or even snoring that affects the quality of sleep, local corticosteroids can be prescribed. On the other hand, vasoconstrictors should be avoided, as they can cause contractions (4). In homeopathy, take Allium Cepa composed of 15 CH, 5 granules 3 times a day, spaced out according to improvement.
What you should not forget
- make an appointment for the 7th month visit;
- make an appointment for the third ultrasound, to be performed at 32 SA.
A good diet is more than ever necessary to avoid deficiencies, such as iron or magnesium deficiency, to relieve certain pregnancy ailments – constipation, acid reflux, cramps – but also to avoid excessive weight gain which could be harmful to the smooth running of the pregnancy. If weight is controlled at each prenatal visit (recommended by the HAS), it is indeed because excessive weight gain exposes to various risks:
- Hypertension, which is more frequent in expectant mothers who have gained more than 18 kg (5);
- An onset of labour, more frequent in pregnant women who have gained more than 18 kg during pregnancy (6);
- Longer labour: the second phase of labour (dilation of the cervix) is longer in women who have gained more than 18 kg (7);
- More frequent use of instrumental extraction (forceps, suction cups) or caesarean section (8);
- A macrosomy (“big baby”) which can lead to various complications during childbirth (shoulder dystocia in particular).
To relieve the back, continue pelvic rocking exercises. Wearing a pregnancy belt can also relieve the lumbar vertebrae. However, it is recommended that you ask your gynaecologist or midwife for advice on which type of belt to choose and how to use it. Some belts should not be worn continuously but only in an upright position.
27 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Congratulations, you are now in your last trimester of pregnancy! At 27 weeks of pregnancy, or 29 AS for those who are in amenorrhea weeks, remember to rest well and make an appointment with the anaesthetist. Courage, only a few weeks left before D-day!
You are now entering your seventh month of pregnancy. It’s also the beginning of the third trimester: remember to take care of yourself and rest as much as possible, because you’ll probably start to feel more tired than usual. It’s a good opportunity to take stock of everything at your fifth prenatal visit, and to think about the small “technical” details of giving birth. Your baby’s body is now in harmonious proportions. He has less and less room in your belly and may already have taken a position that he will keep until birth, upside down. You are now entering your seventh month of pregnancy.
27 weeks of pregnancy or 29 SA (weeks of amenorrhea): your body, pregnant
The last trimester of pregnancy is often quite tiring. It is therefore important to listen to you and rest as much as possible (because it is not after the birth that you will recover!). As a reminder, continue to take care of your diet, hydrate yourself sufficiently by drinking at least 1.5 litres of water a day, take naps or lie down as soon as you can. For long distances, also start to limit your car journeys: prefer the train or plane for example if you can, as these modes of transport are less tiring and cause fewer contractions.
Pregnant, how can you feel less tired?
Fatigue is an inevitable part of pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters. Our tips to avoid feeling exhausted during these nine months.
In the third trimester, the uterus triggers Braxton Hicks contractions, which are “false contractions” in the sense that they have no effect on the cervix and are not labour contractions. They prepare the uterus for childbirth, a bit like a dress rehearsal before the big day.
After 27 weeks of pregnancy, you may gain weight more quickly than in the previous months. Baby grows quickly and you gain about 400g per week. Be extra careful not to let the needle of the scale fly away. You still have 3 months to go before baby is born! In case of twin pregnancy, the weight gain is inevitably higher, around 15 to 20kg. At this stage of pregnancy your belly is already very imposing and the extra kilos can hinder you in your daily movements.
At this stage of pregnancy, it is not uncommon for mothers-to-be to suffer from hemorrhoids. This is because the uterus, which continues to grow, tends to compress the veins in the abdomen. As a result, the blood circulation becomes painful and this can lead to haemorrhoids but also varicose veins. If this is your case, talk to your doctor or midwife: there are effective local treatments that reduce pain and inflammation.
Your uterus continues to enlarge, your pelvis widens and your body produces a higher level of relaxin, which helps to loosen the ligaments. All these phenomena cause ligament pain, which can be severe in the stomach and legs. To relieve them, limit long walks and rest as much as possible.
27 weeks of pregnancy: the development of the foetus
Height and weight
Your baby, who is now 32 cm tall and weighs about 1 kg, is starting to get cramped in your tummy. His small body is now more harmoniously proportioned.
Baby is starting to run out of room, so you may feel a little less. But he can still turn around and won’t deprive himself of kicking you at any time of the day or night. These movements are also a good indicator of his vitality and health. If you notice any changes or if you don’t feel your baby moving for several hours, a follow-up monitoring can reassure you.
Baby’s position in the uterus
At the beginning of the seventh month of pregnancy, some children have already turned to adopt a cephalic position, i.e. upside down. Some will remain in this position until delivery, but others continue to turn around and settle comfortably in a breech position. Don’t worry: in these cases, there are techniques to encourage the baby to turn over.
Development of the nervous and respiratory systems
Your baby’s brain continues to develop very quickly. Myelination of the nerves begins. A layer of myelin, a kind of insulator, begins to cover the nerves. This will continue throughout the third trimester of pregnancy and even after birth, until the last stage of brain maturation, around age 18. His respiratory system is becoming more and more sophisticated.
27 Weeks of Pregnancy: Practices and Procedures
You are now entering the final stretch of your pregnancy: the third trimester. This is your chance to take stock of your pregnancy at your fifth prenatal visit, and to think about the “technical” details of childbirth.
If you undergo an ultrasound in the 27th week of pregnancy, you will no longer be able to see your entire baby, it is now too big! This ultrasound is not yet the ultrasound of the 3rd trimester, called “fetal well-being” which will be the last one before birth and will allow to measure the baby’s growth, but also to determine its position and to examine the placenta.
At your fifth prenatal visit, the midwife or doctor who sees you will probably talk about the appointment you need to make with the anaesthetist in the maternity ward. This appointment usually takes place in the eighth month. Whether or not you wish to give birth under an epidural, this appointment is mandatory for all future mothers. The anaesthetist will review your medical history and previous anaesthesia with you. He will also explain in a few words how the epidural works. Do not hesitate to ask him any questions you may have. If necessary, he may ask you to do some additional tests, especially on the cardiological level.
5th prenatal appointment
This month, you will have your fifth prenatal visit. This appointment is a little more important than the other four because it will allow you to detect certain pathologies specific to the third trimester of pregnancy, notably high blood pressure. It may also be your very first appointment with the maternity medical team if your pregnancy has been monitored by your usual gynaecologist or a liberal midwife.
Recognizing the signs of childbirth
At this stage of the pregnancy, it is normal that you will ask yourself more and more questions about giving birth. The first is how to recognise the signs that indicate that the birth is imminent. The most significant are obviously the occurrence of painful and regular contractions (which do not subside with an antispasmodic) or the rupture of the water pocket. We can also mention: genital heaviness, loss of the mucous plug or diarrhoea. If you have any doubts, it is better to go to the maternity ward anyway. Read more about the 28th week of pregnancy.
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