You’ve reached the third and final trimester and will be heavily pregnant by now
You’re on the last lap and, although your bump is probably big, you’ve still got a lot more expanding to do. Your baby will be moving about quite vigorously and may even respond to loud noises and music. Nerve cells in her brain are beginning to join up and her co-ordination is improving. Keep your own brain stimulated by attending antenatal classes for fun, company, and information.
1.All the nerve cells that make up the outer surface of the brain are in place. They will gradually branch out to form neural connections.
2.Your baby’s body is very flexible and she can double herself up with ease. As she gets bigger, her movements become stronger.
3.At 26 weeks the average crown to heel length is 35.6cm (14in) and the average weight is 760g (1.7lb).
4.Hand co-ordination is improving and your baby often brings her hands to her face, and especially her mouth.
5.The toes are often grabbed by the baby's hand and may even be brought up to her mouth.
Congratulations! You’re now 2 weeks away from entering your third trimester! Whether time has been flying by or crawling, you’ll be happy to know that the last leg of this journey has almost begun. Your baby should now weigh approximately 900 grams.
What are you about to experience?
You may experience lower back pain by this week. For this you can thank both your growing uterus and hormonal changes, which stretches and weakens your abdominal muscles. The extra weight you're carrying, means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why you may feel exhausted at by evening. Walking, standing or sitting for long periods can also put a strain on your back.
Your baby’s development
Your baby is continuing to put on baby fat. Did you know that by now the network of nerves in your baby's ears are better developed and more sensitive than before? Your baby can now recognise your and your partner’s voice.
He's also inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid (Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly yellowish liquid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. It is contained in the amniotic sac. It is a protective layer and helps in bone growth and lung development), which is essential for the development of his lungs.
Changes in you
Apart from your belly you could experience a change in size of your breasts, feet and hands too. This is completely normal.
- Swollen hands and feet: Swelling is a common pregnancy issue. You should opt for comfortable shoes, preferably a size up. Also, it’s time to say goodbye to your engagement and wedding rings – let your fingers loose. If you experience sudden swelling, get yourself examined by the doctor.
- Braxton Hicks: If you feel irregular, painless, squeezing sensation in your abdomen, do not worry -- it is called Braxton Hicks and it’s a sign that your body is preparing for labour. This usually starts from your second trimester – prepping you for the coming days!
Your ever growing uterus tends to put pressure on your stomach and intestines which make you feel bloated most of the time. The best way would be to eat small and frequent meals throughout the day instead of three main meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Every week we stress on the fact that meditation is extremely good for you. Keeping yourself calm during pregnancy is best for your baby. Listen to soothing music, close your eyes and lie down or practice yoga.
Nutrition for you
Never skip breakfast. After all, when you start your day with the right kind and amount of nutrition, you have enough fuel and are less likely to feel hungry later on.
- Snack right. Remember, your baby is eating what you eat, so you need to continue to pay attention to what and how often you eat. You need to eat right for your own well-being too! Low blood sugar can make you dizzy and tired. Small, frequent meals will maintain your blood sugar. When you're out, carry small, portable snacks like fruit, nuts, dried fruits, home-made goodies such as cookies or muffins so you don't get stuck without something nutritious to munch on.
- Avoid spicy food. Many moms wonder if they should stay away from spicy food when they're pregnant. If you like spicy food and can tolerate it well, you may continue to eat it. Having said that, trying new foods you're not accustomed to can cause upset stomach, so be careful of what you eat.
You would think you’re pregnant and you’re supposed to be happy, but your mood seems to have a mind of its own. One minute you’re happy, the next you’re emotional; one minute you’re planning your child’s future, the very next you’re overcome with fear and insecurity. Mood swings are a huge part of all pregnant women’s journey – it is best to accept them and move forward.
- Forgetfulness: Has pregnancy caused you to forget some critical meetings or your friend’s birthday? While this decrease in memory is temporary and totally normal, try writing key things down on a notepad or on your phone.
- Blurred vision: Your eyes may feel irritated, that’s probably because pregnancy hormones decrease tear production, which leads to dry eyes. Consult your doctor for some eye drops.
What do the experts suggest?
“Very soon you’ll be entering your last trimester – pat yourself on the back for being so calm and patient. Lot of women complain to us about mood swings. I suggest you talk to your partner about your mood swings and ask for help. But unfortunately those closest to you will suffer the brunt of your moods, which usually includes your partner and parents. Try and spend as many happy hours with them.”
Dr Sangeeta Malhotra
CGHS Maternity and Gynea Hospital, Delhi
What do some of the moms say?
As mothers we tend to blame everything on hormones when we are in a bad mood. Let’s ask what other mothers have to say.
“My father- in-law underwent a major heart surgery soon after my son was born. I used to be moody even after I delivered –which affected my breastfeeding. I eventually had to consult a lactation consultant and was told that if am stressed, am passing that to my child. Imagine what our children would feel in the womb, when we are in a bad mood! I’d suggest you to keep calm and try to remain happy,” shares Kriti Gulati, a new mom.
Shivani Khanna, 27, shares her experience, “I have been going through a lot of mood swings lately. I find faults in every small thing – whether it is my maid who has not cleaned the utensils properly or my office boy who hasn’t made my tea the right way! It’s highly annoying. Hope my mood settles down soon.”
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Pregnancy requires care, despite any season, but sometimes you need extra attention.
Summer: Swim as often as you can. Not only does swimming cool you off, it helps to take some of the weight off your sciatic nerve. But go for swimming only if you are used to it. Starting a new form of exercise that your body is not accustomed to, during pregnancy, is not suggested.
Monsoon: Avoid undercooked eggs, meat and seafood during monsoons, especially when you are expecting.
Winter: Get frequent head, foot and back massages by a professional. They will not just relax you, but also improve blood circulation.
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