Your baby is putting on weight, kicking harder than ever, and his eyes are about to to open. Your belly keeps growing. You may be feeling slightly off balance, your blood pressure may be increasing slightly, and lower back pain is getting worse.
26 Weeks Pregnant – Fetus
Your baby keeps putting on weight and accumulating fat. He is now measuring 13.6 inches/ 34.6 cm head to heel, the size of romaine lettuce, and weighing 1.6 of an ounce/ 725 grams.
Your baby’s eyes are still forming, and he is going to open them quite soon! The tiny ears are much more sensitive now, and the baby can hear much better than before.
The baby’s lungs are growing. He’s practicing breathing movements by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. He still has some space to move (mostly to kick you in the ribs and other sensitive spots), but he’s now quite large for his private pool. Unlike before, some particularly strong kicks might even be a bit painful – especially when baby aims for the bladder. When that happens, try to change your position, sit straighter or gently prod your belly to push the baby back, away from his target.
26 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms
Around this time your blood pressure may be increasing slightly, although it’s probably still lower than it was before you got pregnant, and your mood swings (still remember having these during your first trimester?) might be back full time. You can blame hormonal changes for that.. them, and the worsening back pain.
Have your noticed your hair grow thick and lustrous? If you have, you can thank the higher levels of estrogen during pregnancy for that. This prolongs the growth phase, which means less hair falls out while you’re pregnant. Estrogen levels will be back to normal after you give birth, so you will see more hair falling out. Don’t worry, you’ll have your hair back eventually.
Are you experiencing rib pain? Your baby is growing stronger, and his kicks are becoming harder and more coordinated. Some of these kicks – whether in the ribs or in the bladder – may be very unpleasant.
Feeling bloated, like your belly is about to explode? The growing baby puts increasing pressure on your inner organs, the digestive tract and lungs in particular. To make things easier, eat five or six smaller meals a day instead of three heavy ones and avoid fizzy drinks that might make the bloating worse.
Feeling out of balance? Be careful when stepping on wet surfaces. The growing belly has shifted your center of gravity – that, together with your increasing weight and loosened joints, is responsible for that uncomfortable feeling of clumsiness.
26 Weeks Pregnant – Questions
What can you do to prepare yourself and your home for the arrival of a new family member? Many parents choose to take childbirth classes to prepare for the baby, especially if it’s their first child. And let us not forget about the most exciting part – preparing the nursery!
1. Why Attend Childbirth Classes?
Attending childbirth classes is a good way to learn about the progress of labor and calm possible fears regarding the labor and birth process.
Depending on what you choose, you can either go for a one-day class or a course that offers weekly sessions and continues through your pregnancy and even the postpartum period. You can take classes from an independent organization/instructor or choose a hospital-led course.
Childbirth classes usually consist of lectures, exercises, a tour of the hospital where you intend to give birth, and discussions about labor and birth with other couples and your childbirth instructor. The classes will give you an opportunity to learn breathing and moving techniques that may help ease labor pains or help cope with them, and allow your partner to gather information about labor and birth that will enable him/her to support you during labor. It will also cover possible birthing outcomes, starting with a vaginal birth and ending with a c-section.
2. How to Prepare the Nursery?
It’s best to plan everything ahead instead of hurrying to the stores in the last few moments before delivery. And if you’d rather not spend a fortune on gear and furniture, start visiting garage sales, or asking friends and relatives for baby stuff they may no longer need. Second hand sales are great for stocking on baby clothes, too. You will often find clothes in perfect condition – after all, the little ones only wear them for a few months in their first year of life. You will probably get clothes and blankets as presents when the baby arrives, so don’t overstock, as much as these cute rompers are hard to resist!
The nursery should be a warm and quiet room, close enough to the parents that they can get there within a few seconds. When preparing a nursery, it’s hard to resist the temptation to create a fairy room for your little one. But remember that the baby really needs only a few items: a crib (parents who prefer co-sleeping with their baby for months after birth, don’t need even that), a flat, sturdy changing surface (if you don’t want to invest in a changing table you can change the baby on your bed, and even on top of the washing machine), a dresser, and maybe wall-to-wall carpeting for the baby to crawl in a safe and pleasant manner.
If you do buy a crib, make sure that the mattress fits well, and is flat and firm. Avoid placing soft, fluffy toys, pillows or blankets into the corners, to reduce the risk of Sudden Baby Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Make sure to prepare a stacking area that will hold everything you may need when changing your baby, such as diapers and ointments, and possibly a trash bin and/or a basket for dirty clothing.
If you hang a mobile, make sure it is out of baby’s reach and is securely fastened, and remove it by the time the baby is 4 months old to prevent him from entangling in the mobile parts or pulling it down and hurting himself.