26 weeks pregnant
You may find it difficult to sleep due to your baby’s activities
Space is now getting tight in your uterus. The baby is likely to give you a few sharp jabs with his feet and fists as he stretches and turns. However uncomfortable the kicks may be, you’ll find them a welcome reassurance that the baby is thriving. Relax in bed or in the bath and watch your bump – you’ll be amazed and amused at how it pops up and down and moves around.
1.The baby is taking up a lot of space in the uterus and there is less amniotic fluid surrounding him.
2.A boy baby’s testes often descend fully into the scrotum round about now. However, in some babies, the testes remain in the pelvic cavity until after birth.
3.At 27 weeks the average crown to heel length is 36.6cm (14.4in) and the average weight is 875g (1.9lb).
4.The baby kicks often and a large kick against your ribs may take your breath away.
5.The eyelids are fully open this week. Your baby responds to bright light, although he cannot focus, and he can blink.
You are about to enter your last trimester this week. Did you know that the baby's heartbeat can now be heard through a stethoscope? Next time you visit your doctor or the radiologist for a scan, you could request them to help you listen to the heartbeat. Also, your baby should now weigh approximately 1 kg. Doesn’t it sound exciting?
What are you about to experience?
By this point in your pregnancy, you can feel your baby move a lot. Some of your baby’s movements could be due to hiccups, while others feel like your baby is dancing inside your womb. Some mothers find these movements comforting – they feel that it helps strengthen the bond between a mother and child.
Your baby’s development
Your baby can now respond to your touch and voice, or maybe your partner’s. He/she is still inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid (Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly yellowish liquid that surrounds the foetus 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 the baby’s lungs.
Although your baby's brain, lungs and digestive system are already formed, they'll spend the rest of your pregnancy developing further, so that they work optimally when your baby is born.
Changes in you
Have you started to feel tired? Do you think this baby’s taken a toll on your stamina? Don’t worry, it’s all normal. Pregnancy can lead to tiredness.
- Indigestion: You may experience frequent indigestion or heartburn, and it might be difficult to eat proper meals. This is because of all hormonal changes, reduced activity and also the enlarged uterus pressing against your stomach.
- Mood swings: You must be feeling emotionally worked up. The good news is that pregnancy mood swings usually settle down by the second trimester. You slowly feel more in control of how you feel and any change in mood occurs only closer to end of the pregnancy when you start to worry about labour.
As if a bloated belly, feet and fingers weren’t enough, now you may be dealing with swollen nasal passages. Although you’ll get relief when you deliver, but until then saline sprays or nasal drops can help clear up the stuffiness. Check with your doctor which ones to use.
Exercise can help you sleep better and feel more energized. Remember to always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine in pregnancy. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can also improve your energy levels.
Nutrition for you
Never skip breakfast. After all, when you start your day with the right kind and amount of nutrition! Also since you have enough fuel, you will be less likely to feel hungry later on.
- Craving candy? With your hormones at play and your moods in full swing, you might be tempted to reach out for that ice cream or cupcake. It’s best to deal with the temptation by munching on a healthier alternative such as a multi-grain cookie or tasting small portions of junk food. Portion control can help balance out craving.
- Opt for healthy recipes. When you plan your meals, make every meal exciting and delicious by experimenting with new recipes and flavours. When you enjoy your food and it completely satiates you, you will feel less hungry after.
Please remember to take your prenatal supplements of iron, calcium and folic acid.
If you’re worried that 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 – worry not. Mood swings are a huge part of all pregnant women’s journey forward.
- Weird dreams: If you're like most pregnant women, you will have an extremely dramatic nightlife, once you doze off. The dramatic dreams of pregnancy may be due to the extra hormones in your body. It’s nothing to worry.
- Navel issues: If you find your navel inverted – do not panic. Your navel will retain its normal shape after you give birth, although it might become a bit wider than before.
What do the experts suggest?
“We always tell our patients to rush to emergency if they face any of the following symptoms: extreme swelling in the ankles, fingers, and face, vaginal bleeding or a sudden change in vaginal discharge, severe pain or cramps in the abdomen or pelvis, difficulty in breathing and/or decreased fetal movement.”
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.
“When my doctor told me about Preeclampsia, initially I got scared. It causes the blood vessels to contract, thus resulting in high BP. This in turn results in a reduced blood flow that can affect my organs like liver, kidneys, and brain. I did a lot of research when I came home. I then found out that Kim Kardashian West too suffered from this condition. I just have to keep a tab on my swelling and hope it doesn’t become extreme,” shares Mehak Sharma, an expectant mother.
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Pregnancy requires care, despite any season, but sometimes you need extra attention.
Summer: Try to be indoors as much as possible with the air conditioning turned on. But if you have to go out, once you are back, put a cool, damp washcloth on the back of your neck, your forehead, or on top of your head to bring your body temperature down. Also, keep yourself well hydrated.
Monsoon: Avoid raw fruits and vegetables that have been chopped beforehand as it can be difficult to digest during this season. Also, raw food exposes you to bacteria. Instead, opt for warm soups and freshly cooked dishes.
Winter: Try not to have long, hot baths. Instead, shower with lukewarm water. Try to finish your shower within four to five minutes. This will help prevent dry skin and eczema, which are common in winter. One must also drink kesar (saffron) milk. Saffron is generally believed to boost immunity and body temperature.