Your Baby in Week 27 of Pregnancy

This is a good week to take stock of just how far Baby has come as they begin yet another growth spurt. By Week 27 on average, a baby is about 0.9 kg (2 lbs) and is around 38 cms (15 inches) That is over triple the size they were just twelve weeks or so ago!

Another development this week is occurring in your babies senses as their tastebuds begin to function properly  in preparation for their debut in the big wide world. And yes, if you happen to have a rather spicy supper Baby will be, by now, be able to definitely taste the difference via the amniotic fluid. They may even react a little by hiccuping. Contrary to the old wives tale though spicy foods will not harm Baby one little bit, although your new heartburn prone digestive system may not take it so well!

Your Body in Week 27 of Pregnancy

Around this time many women really begin to puff up, literately. More than three quarters of expectant mothers experience significant edema in their extremities, especially the hands, ankles and feet but some find that they seem to be swelling up all over. It is a very uncomfortable feeling, especially if it is hot outside and for ladies who are already none too happy with their rapidly expanding bodies it can be more than a little disheartening to see their dainty ankles disappearing and turning into mini tree trunks! But fear not, its all temporary, caused by the extra volumes of blood that are building up to support baby. Everything will go ‘back down’ again after Baby has arrived and you may be able to find some relief by going for a nice, relaxing massage with a therapist who is trained to deal with edema and other issues in pregnancy.
Tips for the Twenty Seventh Week of Your Pregnancy – Cook Safe

You have been (hopefully) very good so far about following a nice healthy diet that is great for both you and Baby but have you been keeping an eye on your kitchen practices? At 27 weeks pregnant your immune system is somewhat weakened because the Baby’s growth spurt is sapping away at some of your natural resources, the reason why you seem to be catching someone else’s cold even by just listening to them sneeze these days.

This compromise in your body’s usual defenses means that you are more susceptible to food borne bacterial illnesses as well, so maintaining extra safe cooking practices is very important (and it is great practice for when you begin preparing solid foods for Baby in a year or so anyway.) Here are a few tips for safer cooking:

Wash up Well

Everything in your kitchen needs to be washed and washed again whenever it has been in use – that goes for kitchen counter tops, sponges, tea towels, utensils and certainly your hands.

Anything you going to prepare to eat, as well as anything that touches those ingredients , should be kept spick-and-span. You do need to be extra cautious when you are handling things like raw meat, raw fish and especially eggs. Wash your hands in nice soapy water before and after handling these foods Be extra vigilant about this when handling raw meats, eggs, poultry, or fish — wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after you touch these foods.

Keep Foods at the Correct Temperature

One of the easiest ways that food borne bacteria spreads is when foods are kept at the incorrect temperatures. Uncooked perishable items should be kept in the fridge at a temperature of no higher than 4.5 C (40 F) and any such item that has been sitting out of the fridge for longer than an hour should be something you personally do not eat.

Learn to Love Well Done

Even if you prefer your steak to be a lovely, tender medium rare under normal circumstances at the moment, to be on the safe side, opting for well done is a much better idea and that goes for many of the foods you may have prefer less than fully cooked in the past.

When cooking chicken if you pierce it an the juices do not run crystal clear put it back in the oven until they do and do not eat pork unless the flesh in the middle of the cut is gray. And even when it comes to fish instead of searing it as you might usually bake, broil or poach it to ensure that it to is fully cooked. None of this may really be to your taste, but grin and bear it and then make your hubby promise to take you out for a nice rare steak once Baby arrives! If you are not quite sure what well done should look like use the picture below as a guide:

The very best course of action is to buy a nice new meat thermometer and then use it to ensure that your favourite foods have at least the following internal temperatures before you eat them:

Whole chicken or turkey: 82C/180°F
Beef, veal, lamb, or pork, roasts, chops, or steaks: 76C/170°F
Chicken breasts: 76C/170°F
Ground chicken or turkey: 73C/165°F
Ground beef, veal, lamb, pork: 71C/160°F
Fish: 62C/145°F
Precooked ham: 60/140F

Be Eggstra Careful

Eggs can be rather risky for pregnant women if they are bad or not properly prepared and yet also very good for them so you really should not give them up. In order to be as safe as possible opt for free range or totally organic eggs and never leave them out of the fridge. If you find that an egg’s shell has even the tiniest crack it should go right in the bin. When preparing eggs cook them until the whites set and the yolks are thickened.

All of this may sound like it is being just a little too over cautious, but food poisoning, or even just an upset tummy, and pregnancy simply do not go well together at all. At best it is really nasty and at worst you could become malnourished and dehydrated if you get a really nasty case and put Baby at risk too.