Fetal development in pregnancy week 26:
Your baby now weighs about 2 pounds and is about 13 inches long. You’ve reached the end of your second trimester and now time may seem to crawl along as you wait through these final weeks. Just remember that soon you will have a new little one to hold and love!
This week the eyes are opening and beginning to blink. Before now, the eyes have been sealed shut so that they can continue to develop the retina. Baby’s eye color, depending on their coloring and ethnic background, may be dark or brown, or they could be grayish blue. Depending on your baby their eyes may change colors during the first few months after birth. Eyelashes are growing now, as is the hair on their head.
Taste buds are continuing to develop and they are improving their sucking and swallowing motions. Brain waves become stronger this week, which affects the vision and hearing. The smooth brain is now forming grooves and valleys.
The bronchial tract develops this week and the lungs are growing. If your baby were born now, it would have an 85% chance of survival, but the lungs are still very immature. Little boy’s testes have completely descended at this point and although your baby is rapidly putting fat on their body, the skin is still very thin and the veins are visible.
As you continue your pregnancy week by week from about 26 weeks pregnant on you might start to become less comfortable. Common symptoms women experience around this time include back pain or pressure and leg cramps. You can help alleviate some of this discomfort by stretching routinely and by eating a nutritious diet to help keep your body charged with the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow properly.
Every week your baby develops your body’s hormones also grow, change and adapt. Around this time your body’s hormones change and may impact the way your body responds to routine exercise. Keep this in mind because your body becomes more prone to injury after about pregnancy week 26.
Some women start experiencing more headaches again as they approach the third trimester. Fortunately Tylenol is often all that is needed to relieve headache pain around this time. If your headaches seem overly frequent or severe you should consult with your doctor. Your doctor might be able to recommend other treatment choices.
Still other women experience some rib pain around this time as the uterus or your baby’s feet even press against your ribs. It is quite normal in fact to feel some stabbing or sharp pains under your ribs when your baby moves about. Fortunately a simple change in position often helps alleviate this discomfort.
It isn’t uncommon for many women’s blood pressure to rise slightly after about 24 weeks pregnant. Most women’s blood pressure is lower in the weeks just before this then rises slightly. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure of course to ensure that your blood pressure stabilizes and does not rise too suddenly. A rapid increase in blood pressure accompanied by other symptoms including pain, swelling or blurry and spotted vision may be a sign that you are at risk for or developing pre-eclampsia. Most women will not develop this condition until the third trimester but it is never too early to be on the lookout for warning signs.
If you’re sleeping with a bunch of extra pillows in bed, you may notice that the amount of room available for you has decreased. Some dads choose to sleep elsewhere to avoid disturbances to their sleep, including the many trips to the bathroom she makes each night. This should be discussed together.
Most expectant mothers prefer maternity dresses over all other types of maternity wear. Why? Maternity dresses are the ultimate in comfortable maternity clothing. They expand, breathe, flow, and gently caress the body rather than cling, pinch, and squeeze llike regular clothes. Who doesn’t want to feel comfortable when pregnant?
Whether you are looking for something formal for a special event or something more casual to wear day-to-day, you can count on a variety of elegant and feminine styles from today’s leading retailer, Destination Maternity. Most women fall in love with their stylish maternity dresses so much they have a hard time not wearing them even after pregnancy!
Pregnancy Health Tips
For some women, thyroid problems can sometimes complicate pregnancy. Your thyroid gland is the area of the body that controls your metabolism. It makes and releases a hormone, which ensure that your metabolism stays at a steady pace.
In the first trimester, your thyroid plays a critical role in your baby’s brain and nervous system development. It is not until week 10 or week 12 of pregnancy that your baby’s thyroid begins to function on its own. Throughout your pregnancy, your little one gets his supply of iodine, which is produced by the thyroid gland, from your diet. If you have thyroid problems that are not controlled, your baby can face certain problems.
If your thyroid gland does not produce enough of hormone, you have hypothyroidism (or an underactive thyroid) and your metabolism will slow down. This condition is treated with medication that contains the thyroid hormone. Often, people with hypothyroidism have to take medication for the rest of their lives.
During pregnancy, hypothyroidism can increase your risk for miscarriage, preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, placental abruption (the placenta starts to separate from the inner wall of the uterus before the baby is born), and pre-term births (before week 37 of pregnancy). Your baby faces low birth weight and decreased mental ability, among other things.
If you have hypothyroidism, you should continue to take your medication throughout pregnancy and have your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) measured at least once a trimester. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns and the best treatment route.
Another common thyroid problem is called hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. With hyperthyroidism, your body’s metabolism speeds up. If not properly controlled, this condition can have devastating effects on pregnancy. This can include maternal heart failure, miscarriage, premature labor, low birth weight babies, stillbirth, and preeclampsia.
Some pregnant women do not experience any thyroid problems during pregnancy, but they develop problems after their baby is born. This condition is called postpartum thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid gland. It usually occurs within two to six months after delivery, and it is often short lasting. You are often treated with beta blockers to reduce your symptoms. Unfortunately, in some cases, women with postpartum thyroiditis can end up developing long term hypothyroidism and they will require long-term treatment.
Do you feel funny? Perhaps you think your belly feels tight. Anything even remotely like contractions should be reported to your practitioner. Preterm labor is much easier to stop in the early stages and every day your baby stays inside are days it’s not in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Your practitioner will probably have you go to the hospital for monitoring, you’ll probably get an IV to ensure you’re well hydrated and potentially you might be given medications to stop contractions if it is needed.