You’ve made it to week twenty-five! I think this week is one of the most important weeks of pregnancy! I know we keep saying every week of pregnancy is one of the most important, but this one really is not only for you, but especially for your baby. When I was pregnant with my little boy, I remember texting one of my best friends when I was twenty-five weeks and saying, “Guess what?! Even if he was born this week, my baby would most likely survive! He’s viable!” She responded saying, “That is such a random thing to say!” But, for someone who had previously struggled with a miscarriage, infertility and who was currently in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy, it was HUGE. It’s like I could relax and just take a big breath, except for the fact that my lungs were compressed by the little body taking over my body... and my heart. And right now, you too can breathe a sigh of relief. Because guess what, even if your baby had to be born today, the chances of him surviving and being healthy are VERY high. In fact, at 25 weeks, the chance of survival is now 80 percent. Did you hear that?! 80 PERCENT! And that percentage will continue to increase every day and every week of the rest of your pregnancy, as your baby continues to grow and develop, and become more capable of living outside the womb.
All of the growing and developing baby is doing (more on that later) is definitely affecting you, too! As I’m sure you’ve noticed, you seem to be growing every day and week. And I’m sure, by now, you’re really seeing those changes in your belly because your uterus is now the size of a soccer ball! But, your days as a soccer mom have just begun, because what used to be a tiny little bump will continue to grow. Right now, your baby is the size of a squash. And by 40 weeks, he will be the size of a pumpkin! By now, you might also be noticing something else growing. But this is definitely a much less welcome change than watching your cute baby belly grow. That’s right, I’m talking about the annoying and painful form of varicose veins called hemorrhoids. One of those not-so-lovely pregnancy symptoms most mamas don’t love to talk about, and definitely don’t love to experience. The best way to avoid hemorrhoids during pregnancy is to make sure to eat healthy, fiber-filled foods (to avoid constipation) and increase your water intake. Drinking extra water will also help you avoid edema, or swelling, as your pregnancy continues.
Your baby is now the size of a squash—more than a foot long and weighing in just shy of a pound-and-a-half. This week, your baby’s development is focused on making it possible for her to take a first breath when she is born. Even though your baby isn’t able to breathe outside of the womb yet, her lungs are starting to produce surfactant (which helps the lungs expand after birth), and blood vessels will develop in the lungs later this week. Now that we know about the changes happening in your baby’s lungs this week, let’s talk about the other changes that are crucial to your baby being able to breathe after she is born. While your nose is still hyper-sensitive to every smell (good or bad), your baby’s nose is just beginning to work. Or at least beginning to practice, as she breathes in amniotic fluid. These practice breaths will make sure your baby is prepared to breathe and smell at birth. And before you know it, you’ll be feeling those sweet, sweet baby breaths on your face.
Since your baby (and your belly) is growing bigger every week, you might be noticing a few stretch marks. Now would be a great time to splurge on yourself and buy a lotion created to prevent stretch marks and promote healing of any marks you already have.