Your Pregnancy at Week 26by Your Baby Club
Your baby's eyes are open!
your baby this week:
Your little one's working hard, developing their senses, intensifying their features, acquiring a less transparent skin tone, and growing hair. They are breathing in and swallowing amniotic fluid, preparing their lungs and digestive system for their quickly approaching life on the outside.
This week, your baby may be forming habits, such as sucking their thumb, dancing to music, or calming to the sound of your voice (or your partner's voice). And if your little head-of-kale-sized baby does, in fact, calm down to the sound of your voice, use this to your advantage and sing (or hum) a soft lullaby at night, when your exhaustion is prolonged by an onset of fetal energy. Because by the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy, the majority of babies-in-a-belly become more active at night, kicking and rolling all over mommy's late evening hours like proper party animals.
What's next? Soon, your little one will be ready to open and close their eyes. (Woot woot!)
By week 26, your pregnancy hormones have loosened up your joints and ligaments quite nicely. Add to this your still-getting-bigger belly, and heave in a dash of your fluctuating center of gravity, and what do you get? Well, it probably means your back feels a bit achy, at the very least. And your uterus may be pressing on your rib cage now, too, which could block your lungs from expanding fully; so don't worry too much if you feel short of breath this week. Of course, if you feel like your back ache, or your shortness of breath, is concerning, call your midwife or doctor and check!
In the meantime, some things you can do at home to get backpain relief include taking a warm bath, sleeping with a pregnancy pillow to better support your back and stomach, minding your posture, and convincing your partner to give you a massage. You can also schedule a massage at a local spa but call ahead to make sure they've matched you specifically with a trained massage therapist, certified in prenatal massages, because that's what you will need. Remember, if you experience any severe pain or numbness in your body, be sure to call your midwife or doctor.
Are you eating well? You should only need about 300 extra calories each day (680 if you're having twins). Make them count! And if you're still exercising regularly, kudos to you and keep it up because seasoned moms say it makes childbirth easier! Now is a great time to check in with your midwife or doctor to find out what level of exercise, and for a duration of how long, is considered safe as you head into your third trimester.
That's right, you're almost in your third trimester of pregnancy!
Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
your tips & to do's:
Have you picked a name yet? Picking a name can be quite a challenge, especially if you and your partner have different ideas about what makes the perfect name. If you need more inspiration, revisit your favorite movies and books, or do a little family history. Just remember to keep your little one’s initials in mind. Polly Olive Oleander is a great name, but her initials are poo.
At this point in your pregnancy, you'll know your baby's gender if you wanted to know. When born, if your little one comes with a dinglehopper, you'll be able to choose - or not choose - to circumcise in the first days after birth, before you leave the hospital. If your little man has any birth complications or health issues, his circumcision will likely be postponed. The procedure itself doesn't take long, but someone will need to care for and dress the wound as it heals (about two weeks).
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state, "current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks." Some parents-to-be have cultural or religious guidelines regarding circumcision, which will help or guide their decision. If you are not one to follow tradition, or if you have no tradition, a little bit of research can help you write out a list of the pros, versus the cons, of circumcision.
If you don't have a male partner, ask a male friend for their opinion.
This might sound looney toons, but you might try asking your dad and/or brother how they feel about circumcision. You might be surprised and enlightened by what a dinglehopper-carrying individual has to say about circumcision. You should also keep in mind that many insurance companies see circumcision as a cosmetic procedure. This means you'll be responsible for the financial cost, out-of-pocket.
Another subject worth consideration before your baby arrives is... vaccinations. (Yass!) Routine vaccinations are given to prevent what were, once upon a time, common childhood illnesses and diseases, some of which caused death. However, there are also arguments against vaccines and implications of problems caused by the vaccines themselves. For parents who are concerned and unsure, do your research. Talk to parents on both sides of this topic. Ask your midwife or doctor every question of which you can think. You can even request an alternative vaccination schedule, if it's offered by your pediatrician, selecting to delay specific vaccines or opt out of certain ones altogether. It is important to talk to your pediatrician, and not just your midwife or OBGYN, about the options, risks, and benefits involved.
Learning about your options before your baby is born will help you feel prepared, when the time comes. Make sure you include your partner along the way. And don't forget to take a side profile pregnancy picture this week!
The ups and downs of pregnancy are exhausting, but once you hold that little baby and stare into those perfect, trusting eyes, it will all be entirely worth it. Below is a list of symptoms you might experience this week.
- Swelling, or edema, in your ankles and/or feet
- Stretch marks and/or unwanted hair growth
- Thicker hair
- Stronger nails
- Braxton Hicks
- Tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands and wrists
- Bleeding and/or swollen gums
- Interrupted sleep
- Backaches and/or leg cramps
- Crazy dreams
- Fetal activity
- Fetal hiccups
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