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25 weeks pregnant

Your baby at 25 weeks

Foetus at 25 weeks pregnant

Your baby is getting more capable all the time. By week 25, her brain is developing rapidly and becomes able to control some of the things we do all the time, such as beginning to breathe in a regular way.

  • She'll be able to open and close her eyelids and will be sensitive to bright light, especially if it's close to your body. This is because the retina - the part of the eye that responds to light - is developing.
  • Your baby's spine (which has 150 joints and is incredibly supple for a column of bones) is getting stronger as the joints, ligaments and bones that protect the spinal column with all its nerves are developing more fully.
  • Your baby will also be developing proper swallowing reflexes, for example, swallowing when something gets to the back of her throat rather than just swallowing because she can. She will be able to open her nostrils if she wants and get her fingers to make a fist.
  • Your baby's spleen is busy making white blood cells to fight infection.
  • Your baby will be getting more and more cuddly and less like a prune as she continues to store fat under her skin. At this stage, less than 4% of her body weight will be made up of fat. Her head will, more or less, be in proportion to her body.
  • You will feel her movements more strongly now. A well-aimed unexpected kick (and they are always unexpected) can make you jump.
  • She is developing a sense of balance and responds to your movements. She has a righting reflex, which means she knows where she should be. Her response to movement may explain why after she's born you can comfort her by rocking.

Your body at 25 weeks pregnant

If you're lucky you will be feeling well, be patting your bump fondly and not be too physically inconvenienced. But at some stage you will be inconvenienced by carrying a growing baby that kicks your bladder and bowels, and increasingly presses up against your ribcage and lungs.

Leg cramps You may never have had cramp in your calf before, but when you're pregnant you can suddenly feel as though your lower leg has been clamped in a vice. Leg cramps are painful spasms in your calf. It isn't clear what causes cramp although it's a good idea not to point your toes in bed, as this seems to bring it on.

Some people suggest reaching for milk (calcium) or a banana (potassium) can help, but it isn't clear if a shortage of these minerals is to blame. Once you have cramp you need to stretch the muscle by firmly bending up your ankle (flexing it). If you keep getting it a lot, see your doctor.

Overheating If you are heavily pregnant in summer you can be sure it will be a scorcher. Your metabolism has speeded up so you are expending more energy than usual and this makes you warm, too. Drink enough water (a little bit more than just responding to thirst but you don't need an extra litre), wear cotton, have showers (not freezing, just lukewarm) and go for a swim. Do not go out in hot sun.

Blooming If you haven't already, you should start to bloom as pregnancy hormones should make your skin plump and rosy and your hair thick and glossy. If you're lucky, pregnancy can give you the equivalent of a facelift for five months - if you ignore the black shadows under the eyes from interrupted sleep.

Pelvic girdle pain This used to be called symphysis pubis dysfunction but whatever name it goes by, it hurts. It can start any time in your pregnancy and usually causes pubic pain and tenderness, difficulty walking, especially upstairs or getting up from a chair or if you lift something (like a toddler). It can hurt when you roll over in bed, make you waddle when you walk and give you lower back pain and knee pain.

The symptoms are partly caused by the hormone relaxin softening the pelvic ligaments. There are other factors, such as your pelvic floor muscles are stretched and less effective at supporting your pelvis and the pelvic joint at the front of the pelvis widens in pregnancy - although the amount of widening is not directly related to pelvic pain.

If you have had lower back pain or pelvic pain before, you have an increased risk of pelvic girdle pain. Special exercises from a physiotherapist can help, as can a pelvic support belt.

This condition will not affect your ability to give birth. You can get more comfortable by moving within your pain limits and exercising gently in water - avoid breast stroke with its froggy leg movements. The pain should go a few weeks after birth. But it can be really miserable and overshadow your pregnancy, so make sure you get physiotherapy help and advice.



Pregnancy Encyclopedia book coverIllustrations taken from The Pregnancy Encyclopedia, £25, published by DK.

Disclaimer: The information in the pregnancy calendar is for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or antenatal team. Not all babies develop at the same time and in the same way, so this week-by-week guide may not always match your own experience. If you have any worries, consult your antenatal team or GP.

Last updated: 4 months ago