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27 weeks pregnant

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Week 27 marks the start of your third trimester, and your baby is getting plumper. Their senses are developing rapidly too, with their eyes now becoming more sensitive to light. Heartburn symptoms are a common problem around this stage. Find out how avoiding some foods and eating others may help.

Laying down fat in week 27

In week 27 of pregnancy your baby measures roughly 24cm from crown to rump and weighs just over 2lbs1. With more fat under their skin, they are starting to take on the plump look of a newborn1. This fat helps to regulate their body temperature and will help to keep them warm after birth2.

"Your baby’s development at 27 weeks"

Your baby’s senses are also developing, with the retinas in their eyes becoming more sensitive to light3. Their eyelashes are now in place too, and will help to protect their delicate eyes once they leave the safety of your womb.

Interestingly, your baby’s taste buds are so well developed1 that they may be able to taste subtle differences in your amniotic fluid, which can change with the different foods you eat4. You may even feel them becoming more active after certain foods, such as spicy curries.

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Heartburn in pregnancy

Increased levels of progesterone during pregnancy relax your muscles in preparation for birth. This also affects a valve at the entrance to your stomach, which can allow small amounts of stomach acid to leak into your oesophagus. This, along with your growing uterus putting pressure on your stomach, can lead to the burning sensation of heartburn5.

Some foods can be more likely to trigger the burning sensation of heartburn so you may want to pay extra attention to your diet. Once you’ve identified your problem foods, try eating them in moderation. It’s important not to exclude any food groups or important nutrients, so if you can’t tolerate a certain food, be sure to mention it to your healthcare professional.

“…pay attention to the problem foods in your healthy pregnancy diet that cause heartburn, and make small changes, like sitting up after meals or eating little and often…”

You can also reduce the symptoms by sitting upright after meals to give your body time to start digesting your food. Some mums find that eating little and often, and not too close to bedtime can help, and you may want to try sleeping with some extra pillows to elevate your head and shoulders.

Check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist before taking any heartburn remedies, as some may not be suitable during pregnancy.

Next Steps

Try the following suggestions to ease the burning sensation of heartburn5,6:

  • Avoid foods and drinks containing caffeine (e.g. tea, coffee, cola, chocolate)
  • Avoid acidic foods and drinks
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods
  • Try milk-based foods when you feel the symptoms coming on

View references

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1. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 43.

2. Regan, L. Your pregnancy week by week. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2013. p. 203.

3. Curtis GB, Schuler J. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th ed. Cambridge: Fisher books, 2011. p. 385.

4. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 262.

5. NHS UK. Indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy [Online]. 2014. Available at: [Accessed August 2016].

6. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. 2014. p. 90.

Last reviewed: 8th August 2016

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