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You and your baby at 25-28 weeks pregnant

Your baby

By the time you are 25 or 26 weeks pregnant the baby is moving about vigorously and responds to touch and sound. A very loud noise may make her or him jump and kick. Your baby is also swallowing small amounts of the amniotic fluid in which it is floating and passing tiny amounts of urine back into the fluid. Sometimes the baby may get hiccups and you can feel the jerk of each hiccup.

When you are around 26 weeks pregnant the baby’s eyelids open for the first time. The eyes are almost always blue or dark blue, although some babies do have brown eyes at birth. It’s not until some weeks after the birth that your baby’s eyes become the colour that they will stay. You can find out more about your baby after the birth.

When you are 28 weeks pregnant, the baby will be perfectly formed but still quite small. The baby may also begin to follow a pattern for waking and sleeping. Very often this is a different pattern from yours, so when you go to bed at night, the baby may wake up and start kicking. The baby’s heartbeat can now be heard through a stethoscope. Your partner may even be able to hear it by putting an ear to your abdomen, but it can be difficult to find the right place.

The baby is now covered in a white, greasy substance called vernix. It is thought that this protects the baby’s skin as it floats in the amniotic fluid. The vernix mostly disappears before the birth.


You may get indigestion or heartburn, and it might be hard to eat large meals as your baby grows and takes up some of the space where your stomach normally is. You may also find you are quite often getting tired.

You may have swollen face, hands or feet. This might be caused by water retention, which is normal (try resting and lifting up your swollen feet to ease it). Be sure to mention any swelling to your midwife or GP so that they can take your blood pressure and rule out a condition called pre-eclampsia, which can cause swelling.

Things to think about

Maternity leave

If you are taking maternity leave from work, you need to tell your employer in writing at least 15 weeks before your baby is due. This is when you are 25 weeks pregnant. If your partner plans to take paternity leave (female partners can take paternity leave too) they also need to inform their employer at this time.

Maternity Allowance

If you’re entitled to Maternity Allowance, you can claim from when you are 26 weeks pregnant. Directgov has information about benefits when you're expecting or bringing up children.

Starting your birth plan

Think about your preferences for labour and birth, for example pain relief, and the positions you would like to be in. You can save your birth plan online, and also print out a blank version to fill in and discuss with your midwife.

You can save a to-do list online, to keep track of all the essentials for your pregnancy.

Warning signs during pregnancy

High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia

High blood pressure in pregnancy can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, which can be life-threatening if untreated.

Severe itching

Severe itching can be a sign of the rare liver disorder obstetric cholestasis.

When pregnancy goes wrong

If your baby dies, there is support available from your care team and other organisations. Find out more about when pregnancy goes wrong.

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