What’s happening with your baby?
Your baby is now a full two pounds and is over fourteen inches! They are about the size of a shallot from head to toe. The nerves in your baby’s ears are developing even more this week so the sound of your voice and your partner’s voice will be much clearer. Not only are the ears developing, but your baby’s brain waves are kicking in and registering higher function. Now your baby can not only hear sounds better but respond to them during pregnancy at week 26!
Last week your baby started taking small practice breaths and this week those breaths of amniotic fluid will only increase and grow stronger. This is important work to prepare them for taking that first big breath of air! Your baby’s eyes are make important developmental leaps this week too. They will soon start to open! Your baby’s eyelashes are growing in this week. Pretty soon that little one will be batting their big eyes and you’ll be wrapped around their tiny finger!
If you’re having a boy your child’s testicles have begun descending into his scrotum. This epic journey takes two to three months so he has to get started as early as pregnancy at week 26!
What’s happening with your body?
This week you might have noticed your baby bump growing tighter. That’s a contraction. Don’t panic! It’s not a real labor contraction. It’s something called a Braxton Hicks contraction. Some people refer to them as practice contractions. Your body is getting ready for the hard work of labor and every contraction helps. Instead of dreading them or fearing them, celebrate them! Every contraction (braxton hicks or not!) is one contraction closer to your baby!
At week 26 of pregnancy you are now officially 2/3rds through your pregnancy. Only 1/3 left to go! Your uterus is now about 2 1/2 inches above your belly button. At round this point in your pregnancy your uterus has grown so large that your abdomen is being pushed forward. Like it or not, this might cause your once inconspicuous belly button to become a front and center outtie! It might not be your favorite look to have your belly button popping through all of your tight fitting pregnancy clothes, but it comes with the territory! Another unfortunate side-effect of your growing uterus is increased pressure on your intestinal tract. All of this pressure can cause bloating and gas. Try eating five smaller meals instead of three big ones to avoid over loading your digestive system.
Another common pregnancy symptom around this time is insomnia. Trouble sleeping is only to be expected with a beach ball under your nightgown! Plus leg cramps, frequent trips to the bathroom and heart burn. Sleep is not your friend right now. Try getting some exercise during the day, taking a Tums and avoiding liquids in the hours leading up to bedtime. That might help to reduce the causes of sleep troubles. As for the cramps-nothing helps more than a massage. Enlist your partner for some help during pregnancy at week 26. You deserve it (you’ve been doing all the heavy lifting.)
What to do this week
If you haven’t started thinking about or planning your baby’s nursery, you should start now! Your child might not need an elaborate, fancy ultra-hip bedroom but there is still plenty to read up on and think about. Decide what you really want. Will you really use that wipe warm that everyone swears by? Will you give cloth diapers a shot? And if so, what extra materials will you need to make that a successful attempt? Reading about the safety features of cribs, changing tables, boppies and more is very important. There are many things (like drop-side cribs) that might be tempting to buy on clearance, but always buy what is the safest choice for your baby.
Educate yourself about safe crib practices for your future newborn. Know where you plan to have the baby sleep and what supplies you will need to make yourself comfortable where ever you will be caring for the baby most. You won’t need to begin purchasing or gathering these things necessarily, but beginning to consider where and how you picture your baby fitting into your home is an important part of the process.
If you haven’t started a baby registry yet, now is a good time to do so! There are many different stores you could go to, or you could simply start an amazon wishlist to start complying what you think you and the baby will need. And remember-it’s okay to put a few items on there for yourself. Maybe a nice new robe? Or some fancy nursing tank tops that you would never buy for yourself? You can even add some luxury lavender bubble bath. Your friends and family want to spoil you during this time of transition too-let them. Trust me-once the baby comes, it will be all about them. That’s a good thing! But you’ll still want a cozy flowery robe to call your own!
Featured photo credit: Phalinn Ooi via flickr.com