Week 27

We weren't joking about that growth spurt – your baby weighs around 2 pounds this week, double what he or she weighed just a month ago!
Movements continue to get stronger, and you might notice that loud noises make the baby jump or kick. Your baby's heart rate is starting to slow down a bit, though at 140 beats per minute, it's still a lot faster than an adult's.

Have you been to any antenatal classes?

If this is your first baby, it's worth considering an antenatal class. They help you to prepare for the birth, and they also give you an opportunity to meet other pregnant women in your area. You could make a new friend or two, and when your babies are small, it can be a real lifesaver to know some fellow mums who are in the same boat!

Planning a hospital birth?

If you are planning to have your baby in hospital, then this is a great time to take a tour of your local hospital's delivery suite and postnatal ward. (If you live in a large city, you may even have more than one to choose from!)

Knowing what facilities are available will be very useful if you're writing a birth plan, and you'll also probably feel more relaxed during labour if your surroundings are familiar.

Speaking of your birth plan...

If you like the idea of having a birth plan, now's a good time to get started on it. Your midwife will be able to help you, taking into account things like your medical history, your personal circumstances and the facilities at your local hospital. You may also want to discuss your plan with your partner, friends or family before putting your wishes in writing.

Stuck for ideas? Our handy birth plan template might help!

Once you have a draft you're happy with, it’s a good idea to keep a copy with you and one in your records.

It's also worth remembering that labour can be unpredictable, and even the best-laid plans sometimes need to change. The midwives and doctors will always try to take your birth plan into account, but you may need to keep your expectations flexible if complications arise for you or the baby.