26 Weeks - Pregnancy
Your baby now weighs just about two pounds and is 14 inches in length, from head to heel. Her lungs are really starting to develop as she takes in amniotic fluid in small breaths, which is good practice for when she is born. The lungs also are secreting a greasy substance called surfactant. Surfactant lubricates the lungs so that they are able to expand, allowing your baby to breathe after she is born.
The nerves in her ears are developing well, which makes hearing sound a more consistent experience for her. She is getting familiar with your voice and is comforted when you read, talk, or sing to her. This week is an exciting development for your baby’s eyes as well. This week, her previously sealed eyes are beginning to open. She is starting to blink now and eye color is becoming apparent, as her retinas are beginning to form as well.
As she grows in length, her spine is getting consistently stronger. It is now about the span of the average adult’s hand and works to support her back. Your baby is growing more independent every week.
As your baby develops, she is also developing her sleeping schedule. She may even be more active on certain days. Just like us, our babies have good days and bad. Many times, their level of activity is dependant on us. If you are moving about all day, rather than sitting still, your baby will probably be less active. When you are walking, inside your baby is being rocked to sleep in her cushy pad. While you are sitting or unfortunately for you, sleeping, is when baby is wide-awake exploring her world. Many working moms-to-be experience a lot of activity when they are sitting in a long, boring meeting. It does make those meetings much more interesting, that’s for sure.
As you wind down your second trimester, it is also a good time for you to become aware of keeping your blood pressure level. Although preeclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, occurs in just 3 to 7 percent of all pregnancies, it can be a dangerous condition. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure throughout your pregnancy, but there are some early warning signs you should be on the lookout for as well. Be alert for signs such as sudden weight gain unrelated to food intake, severe swelling of the hands and face, unexplained headaches, esophagus or stomach pain/itching, and/or vision disturbances such as blurry vision or seeing spots. Early detection of preeclampsia is vital for the health of you and your baby.
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This should be used as a general guideline and is for general information and educational purposes only. Please remember that all pregnancies develop at different rates. If you have questions about your baby's development, please contact your doctor or midwife.