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Week 26

Week 26

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Your baby is becoming more prepared for life on the outside the lungs are starting to secrete a lining for the air sacs, which will allow the lungs to expand during breathing. The brain is now producing brain wave activity for the baby's hearing and vision. Your baby is about 12 inches long and weights about two pounds.

From this point onward, you may suddenly feel a tightening and relaxing of your uterus throughout the day. While many first time moms panic, this is a regular symptom of pregnancy. These are Braxton Hicks contractions, and are just your body's way of practicing for the real thing. If you are carrying multiples they are even more common. These contractions shouldn't be painful, but if you're unsure contact your caregiver. Your doctor or midwife will be able to tell you if you should head to the hospital.

You will probably notice you're gaining approximately one pound a week now, and the baby weight may be getting more uncomfortable. Your ribs might be tender as the baby pushes upwards, and the constant pressure can also cause heartburn and indigestion. The aches and pains you felt earlier in pregnancy may be worse now, or you might feel shooting pains in your back and legs. Your baby is constantly moving around, and your sleep can suffer as a result. If you're uncomfortable, try putting a pillow between your legs while you stretch out on your side, and take naps as often as you can when baby's movement slows down.

Emotionally, some women feel fine while others are riding a roller coaster of pregnancy hormones. Also, physical symptoms and a cumbersome belly can be frustrating for many women, so know that you're not alone if you're feeling less than chipper throughout the day. Talking to your partner, or a friend or family member, can help alleviate some of the fears you may have, and there are many pregnancy groups that can provide the support you need.

Keep in mind that preterm labor is a risk every woman faces, and know the warning signs: painful cramping, contractions that occur more often than once every ten minutes, and dull low backaches. Ask your physician about preterm labor warning signs, and never hesitate to call the doctor if you're unsure.


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