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26 Weeks Pregnant – Baby’s Eyes Are Open!

26 weeks pregnantWhen you are 26 weeks pregnant, you are two-thirds through your pregnancy. The author of this article had a very scary experience during this week of pregnancy, almost losing her child. Read her story here.

Your baby’s chances of survival if being born are increasing rapidly. Read about premature survival rates here.

You, may start to notice contractions this week. Learn how to know if they are harmless Braxton-Hicks contractions or not below.

 

In this article:


Your Baby’s Development

26 weeks midwife visitThe fetal age of your baby is now 24 weeks. He or she now weighs about two pounds (900 gr) and measures around 14 inches (35.5 cm).

Major lung developments are still in progress during this time. Air sacs begin to develop and the lungs start to manufacture and secrete surfactants, which aids in lung expansion during breathing.

Active brain growth is also taking place during this week. The nerves in the ears become developed and are more sensitive to sounds. So this is the best time to let your baby listen to the music and to both you, your partner’s and any siblings’ voice. Letting my already born older child talk to the baby in my stomach was magical, I remember.

If you have a baby boy, this is the time that his testicles will descend down to the scrotum.

Another highlight in this week is your baby’s eyes. The eyes, which were once closed in order to allow the retina to develop, are now starting to open.

Talking about the eyes, I beat you are already thinking about the color. Well, the iris, which is the colored part of the eye, is still not very much pigmented. So this time, you still wouldn’t know the color of the eyes if you could take a sneak peak. Even after your baby’s birth, the color of the eyes is still not the final color and may still change for many months.


Mom’s Body

26-weeks-pregnantYour uterus is continuing to grow bigger and you may notice that it is already about 2.5 inches above your navel. And speaking of your navel, you may notice that it is growing bigger than usual, too. But don’t worry, for it will go back to its original appearance after the pregnancy, more or less at leat.

You may be starting to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These are uterine contractions that are usually painless and occur at irregular intervals.

Usually, you don’t have to worry since these contractions are just false contractions. Meaning to say, your uterus is just doing this as an exercise for it can aid the body in its preparation for childbirth.

But don’t be too sure. As early as being 26 weeks pregnant, you have to learn the difference between a true labor contraction and a Braxton Hicks contraction because preterm labor could possibly happen in the second trimester. It did to me; read my diary below!)

Braxton Hicks contractions or false contractions begin and remain irregular, they are felt first in the abdomen and remain confined in the abdomen and groin, disappear with ambulation and rest, and do not increase in frequency, duration, and interval.

True contractions in the other hand are the exact opposite. They would begin as irregular contractions and become regular and predictable, can be first felt in the lower back and travel to the abdomen like a wave, continue to contract even with rest and sleep, and achieve an increase in frequency, duration, and interval.

If you have even the slightest suspicion that your contractions may be real rather than false, contact your doctor immediately!

Your lower back will continue to give you a little ache from time to time due to your growing uterus. Activities like lifting, bending, walking, and standing and sitting for long period of time will just aggravate the condition. So you better take time to rest and enjoy the baby that is inside your womb.

Week 26 Video Gallery

Diary of a Daughter


What’s it really like being 26 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a 26 weeks pregnant mom (Me..!)

I visited the hospital because my Braxton-Hicks contractions wouldn’t go away. Or at least that was what I thought they were; I didn’t even turn off my computer at work before I left.

However, I was dilating! And I’m only 26 weeks pregnant!! I was taken in ambulance to a hospital with expert neonatal care for very premature babies. A complete shock!

I was given medication through IV to stop the contractions and corticosteroid medications to help mature the lungs of my baby.

My husband was home ill and with a high fever, so he couldn’t be with me. Instead mom came to support me.

After 1 day with IV, the contractions stopped. And like a miracle, the dilation stopped and actually reverted. The doctors say we should be grateful for every hour and day now that my baby stays inside the womb. I’ll remain in hospital for some time. I am so scared! :-(

Are you also 26 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!

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References:
MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Image: Image of 26 weeks belly by Graham and Sheila