Your 26th Week

You’re in the last lap and, although your belly is probably big, you’ve still got a lot more expanding to do. Your baby will be moving around quite vigorously and may even respond to loud noises and music. Nerve cells in her brain are beginning to connect and her coordination is improving. Keep your own brain stimulated by going to prenatal classes for fun, company, and information.


You’ve reached the third and final trimester and will be heavily pregnant by now

You are 25 Weeks and 1 Day 104 days to go…

Your prenatal classes will give you a chance to learn about labor, birth, and life with a newborn, and make new friends.

Your baby today

Here the baby is looking directly upward. The profile is nicely detailed with the nose, lips, and chin clearly outlined. The neck is still quite short so, as this image shows, the head is still held quite close to the chest.

If you arranged them earlier in your pregnancy , You may be starting prenatal classes, also called childbirth education classes, about now. The Lamaze Method and The Bradley Method are common classes. Ask your health-care provider, friends, and staff at the hospital where you’re giving birth about where to find a class near you. In the class, you may be taught, for example, relaxation or breathing techniques, or be told about the different types of pain relief available. Some hospitals also offer newborn care classes, where you’ll learn all the basics: How to diaper, dress, feed, carry, and generally take care of your baby when she is brought home from the hospital. It’s common to feel excited about the classes and eager to learn about what’s going to happen and to meet other people going through the same experience. But prenatal classes are not just about gathering information, they’re also about meeting others, which is difficult for some people. However, since you’re all parents-to-be, you’re likely to find things to talk about. Just talking with others about your symptoms or worries can help, especially if they’re going through the same emotions as you. It can be reassuring to know that you’re not the only person to feel a certain way.

If you do make friends in your prenatal class, this support group can also be very helpful after you all have your babies.

… Your body
Rib pain

As the uterus expands, the rib cage is pushed outward to make room for it, and this can lead to rib pain or discomfort. This is not inevitable, but it is more likely if you have a smaller than average body frame or you’re carrying twins or more. It can be worse if your baby kicks a lot or if she spends a lot of time in the breech position since her head will push against your diaphragm and rib cage.

Sitting down may make the pain worse since being seated compresses your internal organs more. If you have a sedentary job, get up and move around as often as you can, and if you’re forced to sit for long periods, keep adjusting your position until you find one that’s comfortable.

… Doctor
Q: I think I have a vaginal infection. Will this harm my baby?
A: A vaginal infection is very unlikely to harm your baby since the mucus plug around the cervix stops infection from reaching her. The symptoms of an infection—itching, irritation, and a discharge with an unpleasant odor—are uncomfortable. Your doctor will prescribe medication to clear it up.
You are 25 Weeks and 2 Days 103 days to go…

Two tiny glands control your baby’s growth and development now, and give her the ability to face life’s stresses later.

Your baby today

This image shows the baby in profile, this time in 3D. The coils of the umbilical cord are just seen in the background passing behind the baby’s head. The eyelids can be seen, still firmly closed. Fat reserves are now giving the face a much more rounded contour.

Relative to body size, your baby’s adrenal glands are 20 times larger than your own. The adrenal glands are roughly triangular in shape, with their base wrapped over the top of each kidney. They have an outer layer, or cortex, which releases steroid hormones such as cortisol, and an inner layer, or medulla. Adrenaline and the related hormone noradrenaline are secreted from the medulla in response to stress.

Adrenaline prepares the body for a “fight or flight” response, increasing the availability of glucose, speeding up the heart rate, and maintaining or raising blood pressure. These are vital adaptive responses for your baby that will help to maintain a stable environment within the uterus and prepare her for the stresses of life later on in the outside world.

It is the outer cortex, however, that needs to work hard, producing many hormones that help to coordinate your baby’s growth and development. The cortex produces three types of hormones: mineralocorticoids that regulate salt balance; glucocorticoids that help to control the availability of sugars, fat, and amino acids in the bloodstream; and androgens, male-type sex hormones, such as testosterone. It is the cortex that accounts for the large size of your baby’s adrenal glands. After birth, in the first couple of weeks, the adrenal glands rapidly reduce in size.

… Doctor
Q: I’ve noticed lumps in both my breasts. Should I be worried?
A: Breast lumps can be normal in pregnancy, especially in the third trimester as the breasts get ready for breast-feeding. These lumps are generally soft and may move around; they may also be tender. However, breast lumps should never be ignored, so always see your doctor who will be able to confirm that they are pregnancy related.
… Twins
How identical are identical twins?

Twins from the same egg have the same DNA. In a way, they’re natural clones, so you might expect them to be identical in every way. They will certainly look very alike, and have the same hair color, eye color, and skin color. They will also have the same blood group and tissue type.

However, the environment isn’t the same for each baby, even pre-birth. Small differences in blood flow, and in location in the uterus, can have far-reaching effects.

  • There may be recognizable differences in the weight, height, and head shape of identical twins.

  • Each twin has unique fingerprints and iris patterns.

  • Identical twins can have different personalities too, partly because of subtle dissimilarities in their very early environment.

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