The human foetus shown here at 6 months. At 27 weeks they are now spending 10 - 20% of the time taking practise breaths (of amniotic fluid), an important exercise to strengthen the lungs.

Week 27

Mum

Ever wondered about that dipstick with colourful squares on it? The typical one has two squares, one for testing glucose, and one for testing protein. The more complex dipstick also tests for nitrates, white cells and ketones. Your LMC will be able to tell you the result immediately.

Having protein in your urine when pregnant is normal, because your kidneys are working harder. However, it may also mean that you’re fighting a minor infection. It may also be an early sign of pre-eclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that needs immediate attention. Symptoms of pre-eclampsia include headaches, blurring or flashing vision, sudden swelling of your face, hands and feet.

Nitrates and white cells may also be a sign of an infection. Sugar in your urine can indicate gestational diabetes, and if your LMC has any concerns, you will be referred for further tests.

Ketones are produced when the body starts breaking down fat for energy. This can happen when you’re not getting enough carbohydrates and are losing weight. If ketones are present in combination with sugar, it could be a sign of diabetes.

Dad

If you notice a dark vertical line going from her belly button down, that’s the linea nigra. It was always there, but now it’s painted darker by the pregnancy hormones, the same ones that may have darkened her areolas. The pigmentation will disappear after the baby is born.

Baby

Hopefully you like all kinds of vegetables, because this week you’re a cauliflower, or at least the size of a cauliflower head. You can now open and close your eyes, and you sleep and wake up at regular intervals.

Photos in the bumpandbaby.co.nz/week-by-week/ are by Lenart Nilsson. Lenart's series was bought to fame when his photo, considered the greatest photo of the 20th century, appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1965. “Everyone interprets images differently, depending on their social, cultural and religious background. In the digital era, I believe it is more important than ever to go back and take a look inside ourselves. What better way of doing that than with these photos?” ~ Jane Stene, art gallery director and curator of Lenart's definitive black and white series, told the The Guardian in 2019. It is Lenart Nilsson's wish that his images are never used for political debate about pro-life.

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