25 weeks pregnant
How is your baby growing at 25 weeks?
Your baby should now be about 34cm long from head to heel and weigh about 690g. As he or she now has some baby fat, the skin will appear smoother with fewer wrinkles. The brain, heart and lungs are fully formed by now, but they will still continue to mature for the rest of the pregnancy in preparation for the outside world.
The structures that make up the spine are developing and the brain will still be growing rapidly. Your baby's senses continue to develop and complex reactions to stimuli are possible. If a torch is shown on your tummy, the optic nerve in your baby's eyes may be developed enough for your baby to see the light and then turn towards it.
As the lungs continue to grow blood vessels, the nostrils begin to open – they had been plugged up beforehand. With greater nerve development for the mouth and lip region, swallowing reflexes are getting a workout.
Your baby's heart will still be beating at a faster pace than yours, but it should be slowing down to about 140 beats per minute.
Nerve connections to the hands are also improving, giving your baby better dexterity. Your baby will have plenty to grasp: the other hand, a foot, the umbilical cord, even his or her face. If you have twins, they will be exploring each other too. You may pick up on your baby's sleep cycles – he or she may sleep 12–14 hours at a time. If you have twins, their sleep cycles won't necessarily be the same.
How are you changing in week 25?
Your womb should be about the size of a football and you'll be feeling the part of a pregnant woman, with your bump expanding on either side of your abdomen. Many of the tissues in your body will be swollen as it copes with the extra demands on the circulatory system during pregnancy. Sometimes the swelling can involve carpal tunnel syndrome, when a passageway in the wrist for nerves and tendons to a hand swells and becomes narrower, making the fingers and wrist feel numb and achy. Your doctor or midwife may suggest wearing a brace.
Mild itching is common in pregnancy and not usually a cause for concern. You may have experienced it earlier on with the increase in blood supply to the skin, but at this stage mild itching often occurs as the skin stretches to make room for the growing baby. However, if itchiness continues for more than a few days, or it is intense, contact your doctor or midwife.
Severe itching, especially on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, and that is more intense at night, can be a sign of obstetric cholestasis (OC), which is also known as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). This is a rare liver condition and it occurs more often in women of Indian or Pakistani origin. OC occurs when bile created by the liver doesn't flow properly into the intestines, possibly due to hormonal changes. However, viral infections of the liver can cause similar symptoms, so blood tests will be necessary, and possibly an ultrasound scan.