As your pregnancy reaches its 27th week, sleep patterns become a focus – while you’re struggling to get your beauty sleep, your baby is starting to enjoy his own sweet dreams.

Your baby’s development

This week your baby is the size of a… cauliflower.
Your baby’s body is becoming more complex with each week of his development in the womb – the tiny grain-of-sand sized bundle of cells has grown to become around 38cms in length from head to heel.

In week 27, his skin is filling out with fat and it’s clear that his brain is developing and forming new layers. Now that he wakes and sleeps, he might even be able to dream!

His eyes are also becoming more sensitive, as his retinas – the light-sensitive tissue inside the eye – grow stronger.

Your physical pregnancy changes

Pregnancy plays havoc with your sleep patterns; many women find that they experience a mix of discomfort in bed, an inability to quiet an overactive mind and a frustrating need to visit the bathroomwhat seems like every five minutes. If you are struggling to get enough rest try:
· Using pillows to create support for your body and help you get as comfortable as possible.
· Stretching muscles (especially legs) before bedtime to avoid cramp.
· Investing in a fan to keep you cool.
· To focus on something else – get out of bed, get a warm drink, read a book, take a shower. Relax before attempting to drift off again.
· Avoiding that afternoon nap and trying to go to bed earlier instead.
Your health and fitness during pregnancy

As your baby has grown in size you may have noticed yourself becoming breathless more easily. That’s because your baby is pressing up towards your lungs. If you’re walking or doing any form of exercise take your time – and try not to get frustrated if you can’t do as much as you used to be able to.

If you have a scan around this week, your midwife is likely to check for pregnancy anaemia – this red blood cell deficiency can occur due to the extreme changes that your body has to cope with during pregnancy. Try to keep your pregnancy diet rich in iron (cereals, red meat and green vegetables), which is essential for the extra blood pumping around your body.
Your week 27 pregnancy checklist

· Think about choosing black and white items and decorations for your baby’s nursery, rather than pastels – Baby’s eyesight will appreciate it!
· Stop napping if you’re struggling to sleep at night.
· Invest in a good book and a floor fan and keep them on hand for restless nights.
· If your early nights are affecting your social life, kick your partner out for an evening and get your girlfriends over for a pyjama party!
· Keep exercising, but adjust your pace if you’re more breathless than usual.
· Get lots of iron and other mineral-rich goodness into your diet by planning some lovely meals.
· If you’re at work and haven’t applied for maternity leave yet, it’s time to get planning. Speak to HR about your rights.