Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com
This is the last week of your second trimester. At 27 weeks pregnant, the baby is now as big as a slice of pizza—about 37 centimetres (14.5 inches) long with her legs stretched out—and she weighs about 862 grams (1.9 pounds). Her brain is becoming more active, her eyes are opening and closing, and she is probably sucking her fingers from time to time, too.PeopleImages / Getty Images
Did you assume that sleep deprivation wouldn’t kick in until after your baby arrives? Nope. Chances are, by 27 weeks you’re already struggling to get enough shuteye. Between being restricted to sleeping on your side (your practitioner may recommend your left side, which keeps the weight of your uterus off your liver and improves circulation and blood flow to the baby), restless legs syndrome (RLS), instant heartburn when you lie down and leg cramps (see below), it can be hard to catch enough zzzs. When you finally do drift off, you might be having intense dreams, too.
Notably disturbing dreams are common at this stage of pregnancy. They’re likely triggered by anxiety about anything and everything, from juggling finances to caring for a newborn to imagining what delivery will be like. It can be easier said than done, but the best thing you can do is to relax before bed. Quiet your mind with meditation, a warm bath or whatever works for you. Making a maternity-leave budget, signing up for a prenatal class or packing your hospital bag can also help you address what’s worrying you in the wee hours.
If RLS (which can affect about 15 to 25 percent of pregnant women) is keeping you awake, it can be minimized by upping your iron and folate intake with a supplement or eating more leafy greens and fortified grains. Reduce nighttime heartburn by avoiding trigger foods, eating a smaller dinner several hours before bed and propping yourself up when you lie down. Lots of strategically placed pillows will make sleeping on your side more comfy, too. To get support in all the right places, put one pillow between your knees, another behind your back and a smaller one under the side of your belly for maximum comfort.Oscar Wong / Getty Images
At this stage, it’s common to start experiencing cramping in your legs. Cramps are more common at night, but they can happen at any time. You’re carrying a lot of extra weight now, and your ever-expanding uterus is putting increasing pressure on the veins and nerves that run to your legs. Dehydration is often the culprit, so be sure to drink lots of water. Unfortunately, this symptom is likely to get worse before it gets better. Until your baby arrives, stop and stretch whenever a cramp strikes: Sit or stand, holding a counter, a desk or the back of a chair to keep you steady. Extend your leg and flex your foot, pointing your toes back toward your shin, and hold for a few seconds until the cramped muscles relax.fizkes / Getty Images
Those little rhythmic bumps you’re feeling every so often are your baby’s first hiccups. Even though she isn’t breathing yet, her diaphragm is getting ready to work outside the womb, and stimulation or irritation can cause those sudden contractions. Don’t worry: They won’t last long, and they don’t bother baby one bit.Larry Williams / Getty Images
Keeping track of fetal movement is one way to determine if your baby is doing well, but counting kicks can be tricky—and stressful. As you’ve probably noticed, there may be some discernible patterns to your baby’s movement, but little ones aren’t totally predictable. She may be dancing up a storm one day, giving you jabs to the ribs and kicks to the bladder or cervix, and then nothing. Depending on how she is positioned, you just might not be able to feel them as much or she could be resting more one day than the next. During a time when your baby is typically active, prop yourself up with pillows behind you so that you’re at a 45-degree angle (and not lying totally flat) in a comfortable position. See how long it takes to log six to 10 movements or kicks—in general, you should feel about six to 10 movements over the course of two hours. (You can also try lying on your left side to encourage more activity because it allows for the best circulation.) If you’re concerned that fetal movement may have dropped off, keep track for a few days by writing down when you feel her and how many movements you count. If you notice a sharp decline, call your practitioner.Marko Geber / Getty Images
Once your baby arrives, one-on-one time with your better half will be scarce, so get some quality grownup time in now. Check out a new resto, go to the movies, hit up a gallery or do whatever you both enjoy doing. If you can, keep all talk of baby off limits and make it just about the two of you.YakobchukOlena / Getty Images
Feeling uninspired? Nine different parents share the stories behind how they named their babies here. Plus, click below to see how these celebrity parents came up with their baby names. Can you guess which musician took inspiration from Ellen Degeneres?Makidotvn / Getty Images
Not only is Harper the cutest kid sitting in the front row at her mother’s fashion shows but she also has a great name. “A lot goes into our children’s names, and Harper was a name we’ve loved for a long time for a couple of reasons,” explains David Beckham. “One reason is that it’s an old English name, and Victoria’s favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and the author is Harper Lee. It’s a very strong, passionate book. That’s where Harper came from.” Seven may seem like an odd name, but it’s actually Beckham’s number from when he played for Manchester United and England. Maybe Harper will inherit her dad’s football skills?Photo: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves chose their first son’s name, Levi, based on the Bible. “Our son was born at 6:22 p.m., and this particular time represents my favourite verse in the book of Matthew in the Bible: ‘If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light,’” says McConaughey.Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have given all three of their boys unique monikers—Kingston, Zuma and Apollo—but the story behind Zuma Nesta Rock is quite funny. When asked how she came up with the name, Stefani says the family lives near Zuma Beach in California. That led to the question: Was that where Zuma was conceived? “Yeah, we’re doing it on the public beach, dude,” says Stefani. “The paparazzi!” The name Nesta came up while Stefani was swapping baby names with fellow No Doubt member Tom Dumont, whose wife was also expecting. “I didn’t steal it,” she says. “I mean his wife didn’t want it. It was one of those things that just happened. I just wanted [Zuma] to have a little bit of a quirky name.”Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images
Fergie woke up from a dream to her son’s first kick—a big moment for a first-time mom. In her dream, she was at a festival enjoying the music, and Jim Morrison, Bob Marley and Axl Rose were on stage, singing. When her son kicked, she says, “It was as if he was getting into the music.” So, she woke up her husband (Josh Duhamel) and they began brainstorming names. “I told him the story and he was like, ‘Morrison? Marley? No. Axl Jack. That’s it!’ It just had this ring to it. It was very strong.”Photo: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Pandora Media Inc
When Zooey Deschanel was on The Ellen Show, she explained the sweet meaning behind her daughter’s name. “We thought Elsie is kind of a classic name,” she says. “A lot of people have grandmas and aunts name Elsie. And then we were like, the middle name can be a little bit…wild. I love animals so much. And we love otters because they’re so cute, playful and fun. And they’re really smart. We liked that otters have these particular attributes.”Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Adam Levine revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that he and his wife, Behati Prinsloo, were having a tough time finding the perfect baby name. Feeling pretty confident about one in particular, Levine shared it with DeGeneres, but she hated it. She graciously suggested a handful of names for the couple, including Dusty. “I saw a rose and thought of Rose and then I heard the name Dusty and was like, ‘That’s a beautiful name,’” she explains of how she came up with the moniker. “I sent it to you and you were like, ‘That’s the name.’” Um, Ellen, are you available to help the rest of us with baby names?Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Baby-name inspiration can come from anywhere—even the delivery room. Jessica Alba’s second daughter was delivered in the caul, which means that she was still in her amniotic sac when she was born. The experience helped the parents choose their daughter’s name. “Cash said, ‘She was born in her safe haven,’ so there we had it,” says Alba.Photo: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort
The rumour that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were going to name their daughter “North West” started as an Internet joke, but little did we know that the couple actually loved the name. Grandma Kris explained the symbolic meaning behind the name: “The way she explained it to me was that North means ‘highest power,’ and Kim says that North is [Kim] highest point together.”Photo: Rich Fury/Forum Photos via Getty Images
We absolutely love the romantic story behind Winnie’s name. The late-night host says his daughter, Winnie Rose, was named partially after the lake where he and his wife, Nancy Juvonen Fallon, vacationed together every summer and were engaged: New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. “We were talking about different names,” says Fallon. “You overthink names—you don’t want a name that’s been done, but then you don’t want something so weird that people are like, ‘What?!’ Also, she’s a ‘win’ for us.”
Read more: 19 baby names that mean lovePhoto: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
Dad gets all the credit for this name—sorry, Mom. “He heard it in a Paul Simon song called ‘Obvious Child,’” explains Whitney Port. “There’s a lyric in it about a little boy named Sonny. After hearing it, he came home and told me about it and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’” And that’s how baby Sonny got his name. “It was just the cutest little name, and now he’s such a Sonny,” says the former Hills star.Photo courtesy of whitneyport.com
Michael and Nicole Phelps didn’t want a “normal” name for their son, and they definitely got that with the name Boomer. While on The Tonight Show, Phelps told Jimmy Fallon that he heard the name and came home to tell his then-girlfriend, now-wife about it. “I brought it up to Nicole and she was like, ‘Oh, that sounds kinda cool,’” says Phelps. The couple liked the name so much, they didn’t even have any backup choices. “Boomer, like boom boom. We had no second option. Once we picked that, we were like, ‘Yeah.’ I mean, he’s definitely gonna be the cool kid.” I mean, how could he not?
Read more: 40 unique celebrity baby namesPhoto: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
When it came to deciding on a name for their daughter, Pink and her hubby, Carey Hart, found a beautifully meaningful moniker in Willow Sage. The singer’s favourite tree is the willow, and she also grew up near one. “It’s the most flexible tree, and nothing can break it—no wind or elements,” says Pink. “It can bend and withstand anything. I love that sentiment, and I want that for her.” As for sage, “It’s cleansing and sacred and it sounds great with Willow,” she says. “It doesn’t hurt that her last name is Hart—flexible, cleansed heart.”
Read more: 21 meaningful baby namesPhoto: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Sparrow, as in Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, you ask? Yes, that’s exactly where Nicole Richie and Joel Madden got inspiration for their baby name. The couple had a hard time finding a baby name they both liked for their son. “Sparrow was one we both liked,” says Richie. “I liked the way it sounded with Harlow [the], and there’s the Captain Jack Sparrow connection.” As for Madden, it reminded him of the Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue.”Photo: Charley Gallay/WireImage
Kelly Clarkson admits that she wasn’t too creative when it came to naming her daughter. “[My] were outside on our balcony and we both looked at each other and were like, ‘What about River? That’s kind of cool.’” The couple lives on a river, which is why Clarkson thinks their baby name lacks creativity. Rose is Kelly’s mom’s maiden name. We think River Rose is a lovely nature-inspired name.Photo courtesy of Kelly Clarkson via Twitter
Do you have a stack of pregnancy and labour books on your bedside table? Now is a good time to start reading all of those birthing and baby care books you’ve accumulated. Encourage your partner to dive in, too. If you’re planning to breastfeed your baby and you’re a first-time mom, consider taking a breastfeeding basics class ahead of time or research local lactation consultants who will do home visits in the first week or two postpartum. Ask your doctor or midwife for resources in your area or contact your local La Leche League.
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