Women's Healthcare Topics

Medically reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

25 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnant Belly Changes

At 25 weeks pregnant, your belly is positively growing and you are in the prime of your pregnancy. You'll be measuring bigger, but you're not yet bulky. Your friends and family are probably showering you with plenty of attention. Embrace and love each minute of attention that's being poured on you.

If you have small children at home, they are probably just as eagerly anticipating the arrival of the newest member of the family as you are. Unfortunately, you still have several more weeks to wait, thus many women prefer to hold off having serious conversations with their children until closer to delivery. This is particularly the case with very young children, who may expect the baby to pop right out.

Learn about your body changes during the 25th week of pregnancy.

Make sure that you continue to talk to your baby on a regular basis. Your little bundle of joy can hear your voice, and the more that you speak to him or her, the more familiar your voice will be.

Have you started thinking about your labor and delivery? Although you still have 15 weeks to go before your estimated due date, it's never too soon to plan how you want your childbirth to proceed. Begin writing and planning your birth plan. Creating a birth plan can help you feel more prepared for your delivery, and it will nail down specifics on how you want your child's birth to go.

You have already passed the halfway mark of your pregnancy and it's time to start planning for maternity leave. Since your boss and your workplace already know that you're expecting (they can see by that round belly of yours), it's time to discuss the details of your upcoming maternity leave.

Although you are only in the second trimester of pregnancy, it's important to get these details fleshed out early. You want to be prepared for the event that your little one arrives a little early. You never know when you will go into labor in the third trimester. Only around five percent of babies actually arrive on their due dates.

Pregnancy Symptoms

Learn about your symptoms and changes during the 25th week of pregnancy.

At 25 weeks pregnant, your uterus continues to expand, and your center of gravity shifts upward and out. As a result, you may notice that you don't have the grace or balance that you used to have. Make sure that you're extra careful about where you step. You don't want to accidentally tumble or fall when you're pregnant.

Thicker hair is a common pregnancy experience. Many moms-to-be experience a fuller, thicker head of hair. While you're not actually growing more hair, you are not shedding the hairs you normally would. You can blame hormones for this change. Unfortunately, the same hormones that give you more voluminous hair also contribute to more body hair.

Shortness of breath is a normal sensation now. As your baby grows larger, the uterus places pressure on the wall between your abdomen and lungs. This can make it difficult for your lungs to fully expand, and consequently, you will be taking shallower and more frequent breaths. This is especially true for women carrying high or having twin babies. Feeling short of breath is typically harmless, but it can be a sign of a problem. For example, if your shortness of breath is sudden or severe, you'll want to get medical attention right away. This may be a sign of a serious complication.

Snoring might become a problem. Snoring can affect one-quarter of all pregnant women, especially in the late second and third trimesters. This pregnancy symptom is largely due to congestion (which is relatively common in expecting mothers). Although you can't completely prevent snoring, you may be able to reduce its severity by using a nasal breathe easy strip, sleeping on your left side and propping up your head with pillows.

Tingling and numbness in your hands are signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), which is a common problem. CTS is caused by swelling and inflammation of the carpal tunnel in your wrist. Symptoms typically begin or get worse in the second trimester, when you start retaining fluid. Carpal tunnel syndrome typically goes away after you have your baby, when the swelling you experienced in pregnancy disappears.

Pregnancy Weight Gain at 25 Weeks

You continue to grow larger this week, as your baby packs on the pounds. Although your baby puts on a bulk of his weight in the third trimester, you are steadily gaining about a pound a week. Your pregnancy weight gain may be around 17 or 18 pounds, if you are a normal-sized woman.

Pregnancy Health Section

Maternity Leave Guidelines

Different companies have different guidelines on maternity leave. Some companies allow their employees to take up to six weeks away from work after the arrival of a new baby. Your company may offer paid maternity leave, or it may offer unpaid leave. Talk to your human resources officer to discuss your individual company's policy.

The Family and Medical Leave Act, allows a pregnant mother or her partner to take up to 12 weeks of leave unpaid in the 12-month period following the birth of their baby. The law states that the employer must reinstate you to the same job or an equivalent job upon your return to work.

If your company doesn’t offer you maternity leave, you may be able to use a combination of short-term disability, personal days, vacation time, and sick leave to take care of your baby.

Learning about maternity leave now is a smart idea, because if your company does not completely cover your salary (most states only cover about 1/2 or 2/3rds of your salary), you can start some financial planning while you're still working.

Sciatica during Pregnancy

As your baby grows larger and the uterus expands to accommodate, you may start to experience pain, pressure, numbness, and/or tingling that starts in your buttocks and radiates down your leg. Sometimes the pain may feel very sharp and intense that it can feel unbearable. Doctors describe this pain as "sciatica."

For some women, sciatica during pregnancy is not a problem, because the pain is mild and doesn't last long. However, for other women, this pain can be excruciatingly painful.

What Causes Pregnancy Sciatica?
Sciatica in pregnancy may be caused by your baby's head resting on the sciatic nerve, located in the lower part of your spine. Once your baby changes position, the sciatica pain will disappear.

Hip Pain in Pregnancy
At 25 weeks pregnant, you may also experience general hip pain, due to the softening of your pelvic bones ligaments and the pressure of a rapidly expanding uterus.

Although hip pain and sciatica shouldn't cause you any concern, you may want to mention these symptoms at your next doctor's appointment.

Tips to Relieve Sciatica and Hip Pain
When sciatica or hip pain strikes, you may want to try the following techniques to help get some relief:

  • To reduce the pressure in your leg, sit back and prop your feet up. Try to prop your feet above your heart to reduce discomfort.

  • Use a heating pad to the affected muscles.

  • Sleep on a firm mattress.

  • Avoid rapid movements, or lots of bending, because these can place extra pressure on the nerves in your body.

  • When sleeping, make sure to side sleep and use a full body pillow, so that you can rest comfortably.

Though sciatica and hip pain are uncomfortable, these symptoms will subside shortly after your deliver your baby.

Gestational Diabetes

Between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant, you will undergo a routine glucose screening test for gestational diabetes - a high blood sugar condition that occurs during pregnancy. It's estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of pregnant women will develop this condition.

Complications from Gestational Diabetes
Doctors recommend that all pregnant women get screened for gestational diabetes so that you can reduce your risk of complications. Gestational diabetes puts you at increased risk of:

  • Delivering a large baby (a baby that weighs over 9 pounds)

  • Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine)

  • Physical trauma to mom or baby during delivery, due to the larger size of the baby

  • An increased risk of delivering via c-section

You may undergo a glucose screening test anytime between 24 and 28 weeks. However, in some cases, you may be screened earlier in your pregnancy if you are at risk of developing the condition.

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes
You may be at risk for getting gestational diabetes if you have a history of gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies, you are obese, you have levels of glucose (sugar) in your urine, or if you have a family history of diabetes.

Glucose Screening Tests
A glucose screening test will not diagnose you with gestational diabetes. It only identifies whether or not you may have a problem with your blood sugar levels. A positive result doesn't mean that you have the Diabetes. In fact, only about one-third of women who receive a positive result from the test actually have the Gestational Diabetes.

During a glucose screening test, you will be asked to drink 50 grams of a glucose solution, which often tastes like a special orange or cola drink. You must drink all of the solution within several minutes. Afterwards, you wait around for an hour. Then, your blood will be drawn to measure your blood sugar level. If your blood sugar levels are considered high (over 130 to 140 mg/dL), you will undergo further testing to see if you have gestational diabetes.

What Happens if You Get an Abnormal Result?
If you receive an abnormal result at your glucose screening test, you will have to take another test, called an oral glucose tolerance test. You will be required to fast (abstain from eating) for this test, which takes three hours to complete.

During an oral glucose tolerance test, you will drink 100 grams of a glucose solution, and your blood will be taken after one hour, two hours, and three hours. If your doctor diagnoses you with gestational diabetes, he or she will give you recommendations on how to manage your condition to avoid complications.

Gestational Diabetes Recurrence in Future Pregnancies
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes have a one-third to two-third risk of getting the condition again in future pregnancies. You are also at increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in your life.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that women with a history of gestational diabetes undergo testing for type 2 diabetes every three years after pregnancy.

Baby Section

Your Baby at 25 Weeks of Pregnancy

Intrauterine baby at 25 weeks of pregnancy

Fat continues to be laid down in your baby's body, and his arms and legs look more rounded than in previous weeks of your pregnancy! Your baby at 25 weeks is weighing in at one and half pounds and measures over 13 inches in length.

Be careful of loud noises this week. Your little one's hearing is acute now, and loud noises may startle him.

Your baby is often yawning now. Although researchers are not sure why babies yawn so much in utero, they hypothesize that yawning may help regulate the amount of fluid or blood flow in the baby's lungs.

Your baby's capillaries are also forming this week. Capillaries are the tiny blood vessels that move blood from the heart to tissues in the body. Also air sacs and blood vessels in your baby's lungs will develop, getting him or her ready for that first breath.

At this point in your pregnancy, your baby's temperature is well regulated by the blood flow through the umbilical cord and placenta.

So far in your pregnancy, your little one's nostrils have been plugged up, but they are now beginning to open.

With the advances in technology, if your baby were to be born early now, he or she has up to an 82 percent chance of survival with aggressive NICU treatment. The increase in survival rate for babies born at 25 weeks is related to the continued improvements in both your prenatal care and your baby’s neonatal care. [Reference]





Doctor's Corner

Can yelling during pregnancy harm your pregnancy?

How does Yelling Affect your Unborn Child?

Answer by James Brann, M.D.:

Pregnancy can be stressful, especially if you and your partner do not see eye-to-eye on things. If your relationship is in turmoil and your hormones are raging, it may be really difficult to control your emotions. Surprisingly enough, this happens in a lot of relationships! Even couples who had a good relationship before the pregnancy may find themselves dealing with a lot of new changes.

Getting into screaming and shouting matches with your partner is upsetting. Controlling your mood swings is hard when you are pregnant, because you may be frustrated enough by all of the things going on inside your body. You know you should be calm and composed, relaxed and comfortable during your pregnancy, but what can you do about the other person who is causing you distress?

Does stress or fighting affect a fetus?

This question is asked by many mothers-to-be, and some feel too ashamed to admit their personal problems outside of the household. It can even be embarrassing to come to terms with the fact that your relationship with the baby’s father is not what you wish it could be, or should be. You may even feel envious of couples you see who have a supportive, loving man who takes care of their pregnant wife as if she were a queen. These men are hard to find, so if you do not want to leave your partner but just wish that he would be more compassionate, you are not alone.

Depression, anxiety and stress are very common problems these days, and just because you are pregnant does not mean these issues will magically go away. The good news is that there is no evidence that yelling, shouting or fighting causes any brain damage to an unborn child. The bad news is that yelling, shouting or fighting CAN be detrimental for the mother. Stress of any kind can lead to other health issues. Some women report that after a fight with their partner, they may feel cramping, headaches, nauseous, and sleep apnea. These things can affect the baby’s heart rate, but it will not hurt the baby’s brain development. In extreme cases, stress may lead to premature labor.

The first thing you should do is talk to your doctor, and be honest. Explain that you and your spouse are in the midst of trying times and that you are having trouble controlling your emotions. Your doctor will explain the hormonal aspect of your pregnancy, and may be able to recommend treatments.

There are some additional things you can do for your own well-being. Joining a support group, such as a “Mommy Yoga” or even a meditation group, or a spiritual support group at your church, are positive things you can do to discuss your situation with other women. You will find that people are not judgmental, but rather compassionate towards your circumstances.

If you are a pregnant woman being abused, you should seek help immediately. Physical or mental abuse of any kind is unacceptable. Many married couples fight, however abuse is a totally separate matter and should be addressed. The unborn fetus is at risk if a mother is being hit, kicked, punched, and thrown or any type of physical altercations. Most married couples do have a fight, but this is where it crosses the line when violence becomes an issue.

Next time you do get into a screaming match, try to collect your thoughts. Just leave and come back when you both have a chance to cool off. For you and your baby’s sake, this is the best solution to having a peaceful pregnancy.

How Many Months Pregnant Am I at 25 Weeks?

Answer by James Brann, M.D.:

Conception is really when you first became pregnant, but obstetricians don't calculate the age of your pregnancy this way. Doctors use the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) to calculate your due date. This way of dating erroneously assumes pregnancy to have begun approximately 2 weeks before you actually were pregnant. It is no wonder why pregnant women are having difficulty with how many months pregnant they are.

You will hear your healthcare providers use the term “weeks pregnant” all the time. This is the easiest way to keep track of how far along you are. Thus at 25 weeks pregnant you are 25 weeks pregnant or 175 days from your LMP.

Now to calculate the number of months pregnant you are take 175 days (25 weeks) and divide the number of days by 30.41 days per month (average number of days for each month). The answer gives you the exact months that you are pregnant. So 25 weeks pregnant is 5.75 months or 5 months and 23 days.

Just think in weeks starting from your last menstrual period and you will be fine.

Recommended Reading


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What are the Risks to Babies Born to Mothers with Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational Diabetes affects your pregnancy the most during the second and third trimester. The high blood glucose will cause your baby to grow bigger than normal and increase your risks of complications at the time of delivery.
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What Can I do to Alleviate Hip Pain during Pregnancy?
Because hip pain is caused by the normal physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy, you cannot prevent this uncomfortable sensation. Not to worry – there are a number of things you can do to try to minimize your hip pain and discomfort.
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Symptoms of Sciatica Nerve Pain During Pregnancy
Sometimes persistent or chronic pressure to the sciatic nerve can result in weakness in the leg or surrounding areas, numbness or even tingling. Some women describe the sensation as similar to the feeling of pins and needles you get when your leg falls asleep.
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