At week 26 weeks, you are just two weeks away from the third trimester. Your baby’s body is doing its best to equip him for the outside world, but the pregnancy has started catching up on you. The nagging backaches and the swelling feet are giving you hard time.
Your baby’s getting bigger. He is heavier at 2 pounds and measures 14 inches from head to heel. He is also getting chubbier by the day. This week your baby’s not only developing his sense of hearing, but also sight. As the network of nerves in the ears continues to develop and spread, your little gymnast can easily pickup conversations that once were only muffled sounds. You are going to have to start censoring your conversations!
The next major development is the eyes. They have been squeezed close for months and now are all set to open and take in the world. At this stage, all babies have blue eyes as there isn’t much pigmentation; the color is still filling in. You will come to see the actual color of your baby’s eyes only a few months after birth. Once the eyes open, your little one will be able to take in the surrounding views although they are none too pleasant. Want to know if your baby can really see? Flash a torchlight on your stomach. You might get a kick for your discourteous gesture.
Your baby’s also learning the art of breathing, taking in and exhaling small quantities of amniotic fluid. It will prepare him for the first gasp of air he will take when he’s out. The baby’s brain is also maturing making it possible for him to respond to some activity outside the uterus. If it’s a baby boy, the testicles are in the process of developing; they descend into the scrotum.
Changes to Your Body
The backaches tend to get unbearable at this stage. It is because of the heavier load your lugging around that shifts the center of gravity and puts excess stress on the joints. The hormones also tend to loosen the joints and ligaments to accommodate the growing fetus. The one thing you can feel good about is your hair. The increase in estrogen and progesterone results in thicker and more luxurious hair.
Tips for the 26th Week
- Make sure you eat well. Get a good supply of iron as the fetus is feeding on your iron stores to support growth and development.
- Avoid doing any activity – sitting, standing and walking for prolonged periods of time. You can use a hot compress or warm bath to get relief from the pain. Do not twist or bend all of a sudden as you might lose balance.
- You should monitor your blood pressure as it might fluctuate during this period. Watch out for sudden and unexplained swelling on the face particularly around the eyes and one the hands.
- Sleep on your side with the knees slightly bent. Place a pillow between your legs to support the back and the abdomen.
- Do exercises that will strengthen the muscles in the lower body.
- At the end of the day, put your feet up. It will reduce swelling. You can also immerse your feet in lukewarm water.
- This is also an ideal time to write your birth plan and discuss it with your doctor. Enroll for childbirth classes. You might also want to get started decorating your baby’s nursery.