25 Weeks Pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development
Read time: 4 minutes
25 weeks pregnant is how many months?
Month 6 (Trimester 2)
Baby development at 25 weeks
In week 25 of pregnancy, your baby measures about 22cm long from head to bottom, and weighs roughly 700g1. He or she is now about the size of a cauliflower.
With improving coordination, your baby can now make a fist and reach for their feet1. You may feel them move in response when you touch the outside of your bump2 - and you could even notice when your baby has a case of the hiccups3.
Your baby is starting to turn pink, as capillaries form under the skin and fill with blood4. Internally, their lungs are preparing to take their first breath, and they’re continuing to produce surfactant which will help support normal lung function once they’re born3. Meanwhile, nerves around their mouth are developing1. These will help guide your baby towards your nipple through their sense of touch in the early stages of breastfeeding1.
Your baby’s hearing has advanced, and they may now be able to recognise your partner’s voice. You may even notice your baby has a preference for certain types of music.
Your baby, this week
Discover the science behind your baby's developments, week-by-week
What’s happening in my body?
The umbilical cord that joins you and your baby is now thick and strong, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to your baby, and removing waste via your own body5.
You may notice some swelling in your hands, feet and face. It’s likely caused by water retention, which is normal at this stage of pregnancy. However, if you do experience any swelling, it’s important that you mention it to your midwife or doctor. It could be a sign of pre-eclampsia6, a serious condition which usually strikes in the second half of pregnancy, or just after your baby is born.
Along with swelling, pre-eclampsia symptoms include splitting headaches, blurring vision or flashing lights, and pain just below your ribs6. Contact your GP, midwife or call 111 if you experience any of these symptoms.
Your baby is also continuing to grow into the space where your stomach occupies. This may make you burp a lot more. It’s not all your baby’s fault though: hormones and loosening muscles also contribute to indigestion and heartburn7.
Pregnancy symptoms in week 25
Braxton-Hicks contractions, also known as ‘false labour pains’ happen when the womb contracts and relaxes. It’s your body’s way of ‘rehearsing’ for birth and not something to worry about. Some women don’t even notice them8.
As your bump grows, it can make sleeping trickier. Try falling asleep on your left side as it’s better for blood flow to your baby, your uterus and kidneys9. Try to avoid lying on your back for extended periods, and think about investing in a “pregnancy” pillow to help improve your sleep.
It usually strikes at night, so make sure you turn a light on if you stand up to help clear it. You don’t want to trip and fall. Gentle exercise for your legs, ankles and feet may help prevent cramp.
As your belly grows, you may see the appearance of stretch marks on your stomach or breasts. They usually become much less noticeable after birth. Don’t waste money on ‘miracle creams’ - gently massage them with un-perfumed moisturiser or body oil10.
You may experience pains on the side of your belly. These are caused by your expanding womb (known as ‘round ligament pains’)11.
The bad news is that your hormones make you more vulnerable to picking up gum disease. The good news is that you’re entitled to free dental care throughout your pregnancy, and for 12 months after your baby is born12.
On one hand, you have a baby growing into the area occupied by your stomach. On the other, you have a need to take in more calories, especially in the third trimester. The Department of Health and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) both recommend women should eat around 200 calories extra each day in your final trimester13.
How to pack more into less space? One way is to ‘graze’. Instead of eating three large meals a day, eat five or six smaller meals so you don’t feel as full. This will reduce your instances of indigestion and heartburn too.
However, because everyone is different, your precise calorie intake will depend on your metabolism, how active you are, and if you’re carrying more than one child. We’ve created a range of delicious, balanced pregnancy recipes to help you enjoy a healthier pregnancy, and shape a healthier future for your baby.
Food: what’s in and what’s out for your final trimester
- Smaller, more frequent meals that won’t leave you feeling stuffed.
- Avoid rich, spicy and fatty foods.
- Pack lots of vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamine (vitamin B1), and fibre into your diet14.
- Keep your caffeine intake low and avoid high caffeine, sugary energy drinks.
- Sitting up straight when you eat can help with digestion15.
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There’s a common myth that pregnant women need to ‘eat for two’16. It’s not true: your baby will get all the nutrients they need from you during the first six months - without you having to increase the amount you eat16.
In fact, research has shown that women who are overweight during pregnancy have an increased risk of miscarriage, and developing conditions like gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and high blood pressure17.
Ensure you continue to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet that will help your baby with its final growth spurt before birth.
- Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 43.
- Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 261.
- NHS UK. You and your baby at 25 weeks pregnancy. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/25-weeks-pregnant/ [Accessed December 2019]
- Mother & Baby. 25 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect. [Online] Available at: https://www.motherandbaby.co.uk/pregnancy-and-birth/pregnancy/pregnancy-week-by-week/week-25-twenty-five-weeks-pregnant [Accessed December 2019]
- NHS UK. What is the umbilical cord? [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/what-is-the-umbilical-cord/ [Accessed December 2019]
- NHS UK. Overview: Pre-eclampsia. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pre-eclampsia/ Page last reviewed: 7 June 2018. Next review due: 7 June 2021
- NHS UK. Indigestion and heartburn in pregnancy. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/indigestion-heartburn-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: November 2017. Next review due: November 2020
- Tommy’s. Braxton Hicks. [Online] Available at: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/labour-birth/braxton-hicks Last reviewed: July 2019. Next review due July 2022.
- National Sleep Foundation (USA). Sleeping By the Trimesters: 3rd Trimester. [Online] Available at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleeping-trimesters-3rd-trimester [Accessed December 2019]
- NHS UK. Stretch marks in pregnancy. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/stretch-marks-pregnant/ [Accessed December 2019]
- NHS UK. Start4life. Week 15 - your second trimester. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-15/
- NHS UK. Week 13 – your second trimester. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-13/#anchor-tabs [Accessed December 2019]
- BBC NEWS UK. Women 'unsure how much to eat while pregnant' - survey. [Online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40698876 [Accessed December 2019]
- Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: TSO, 1991.
- BabyCentre. Healthy foods for your third trimester: photos. [Online] Available at: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/l25007449/healthy-foods-for-your-third-trimester-photos [Accessed December 2019]
- Everyday Health. The Best Moves to Aid Digestion. Madeline R. Vann, MPH. Medically Reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH. [Online] Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health-pictures/the-best-moves-to-aid-digestion.aspx [Accessed December 2019]
- Tommy’s. How much extra should I eat in pregnancy? [Online] Available at: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/nutrition-pregnancy/how-much-extra-should-i-eat-pregnancy
- NHS UK. How much weight will I put on during my pregnancy? [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/how-much-weight-will-i-put-on-during-my-pregnancy/ Page last reviewed: October 2018. Next review due: October 2021.
Last reviewed: 14th January 2020
Reviewed by Nutricia’s Medical and Scientific Affairs Team
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