You are 26 Weeks Exactly 98 days to go…

Dreaming is a natural and healthy part of your sleep cycle, but at this stage of pregnancy unsettling dreams can be common.

Your baby today

The space between the two frontal bones of the forehead (the dark line) has now nearly closed. The bones on the left and right sides come to lie very close to each other with a small gap to allow for further growth of the head and brain.

Vivid dreams are common among women in the third trimester. You may, in fact, not be dreaming more than usual, but difficulty in finding a comfortable sleeping position and waking often to go to the bathroom may mean that you remember your dreams more than usual (you normally would not wake during the dreaming phase of your sleep cycle, so often do not recall your dreams in the morning).

It is common to dream about babies and small children in distress or danger. It is not uncommon for women to feel anxious about such dreams, but you should know that they are in no way insights into what is in store for you. Dreaming is a way of filtering any negative emotions so that you do not have to experience them first hand. Rest assured that, although disturbing, these dreams will help you cope with your natural concern for your baby’s welfare.

Going on a hospital tour

As part of the build up to your baby’s birth, you may be offered a tour of the hospital. Not only will you be able to see first hand where you’ll be delivering your baby and what the units are like, but you can also figure out the practical details, such as parking, admission procedures, what you’ll need to bring, and what facilities there are, such as cafés and shops for visiting friends and family.

Ultimately, a hospital tour offers you a reassuring chance for you and your partner to prepare yourself mentally for the big day and what will follow your baby’s birth.

Use the opportunity as a fact-finding mission. Ask how the hospital uses birth plans (see Making a birth plan), and when and why they might have to be adapted. Ask how many other moms there will be in the unit, and, if you want, how you can arrange a private room. There is usually a fee for this. Find out what support you’ll have in the first 24 hours. Most hospitals now expect the mother to keep the baby with her during the night. Ask about visiting hours, and the number of visitors you can have at any one time. You could also ask how many babies are born at the hospital each year, and how many of these are born by cesarean (emergency or otherwise). Request information about how long the shifts are and what nurses and doctors do to provide continuity of care during labor and birth. Ask to see a delivery room and the nursery.

Are there birthing pools or baths available? Do they have TENS machines or any other form of pain relief you may be considering? What support is there for breast-feeding, and are there breast pumps available?

Finally, although you probably won’t need to use it, you may want to see the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). If your baby needs this type of care, it can help to have seen the equipment and gained a basic understanding of what it’s used for.

Your 27th Week

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 belly—you’ll be amazed and amused at how it pops up and down and moves around.


You may find it difficult to sleep due to your Baby’s activities

You are 26 Weeks and 1 Day 97 days to go…

When you settle down for a nap it can be frustrating if your baby starts exercising, but take this as a sign that all is well.

Your baby today

The coiling umbilical cord is very clearly seen in this image. The umbilical cord grows as your baby grows and will be about the same length as your baby at this stage of your pregnancy: about 13.6 in (34.6 cm).

You may have noticed that your baby is more active at some times than at others, often when you’re trying to relax or sleep! This is likely to be because when you’re busy or distracted, you’re less aware of your baby moving because you’re not paying much attention to him as at other times. The moment you stop and sit down to put your feet up or go to bed will be the time your baby starts to do his somersaults.

Remember that, like newborns, babies still in the uterus spend a lot of time sleeping, so there will be periods when you don’t feel your baby being very active—it’s fine for him not to be moving all the time. Every baby has a different cycle of waking and sleeping, and there are no rules as to when your baby should be kicking and when he should be still.

If you’re familiar with your baby’s pattern of movements and are concerned that you haven’t felt him move, try lying down on your side and relaxing or playing music to see if your baby responds. If, however, you’re concerned, then call your doctor. She may want you to come in to examine you and listen for the baby’s heartbeat.

Some women count their baby’s kicks using a chart, noting down when they feel the baby move. Kick charts are not often used now, unless recommended by a doctor because they are thought to cause unnecessary concern. Babies have an individual pattern of movements, and it is this, rather than the number of kicks, that’s important.

… Mom
Q: I’ve never taken care of a baby and I don’t even know how to put a diaper on one! What can I do?
A: You’re not alone: I had never been around babies much and was full of questions. How do diapers work? What do babies do all day? What if I drop my baby? Luckily a friend had a three-month-old who we “borrowed.” As you’ll soon realize, there are plenty of weary moms and dads out there, and almost certainly someone among your family and friends will be only too happy to take a break. But before you remove the baby from his comfort zone, spend time with him and his parent(s). Feed him and change diapers under his mother’s watchful eye. If she’s confident that you’re up to the job, offer to take charge, perhaps just for a few hours at first.

If all goes well, you could build up to a day—or even overnight. It’ll work wonders for your confidence and eliminate any fears you have about baby care. When it comes to taking care of your newborn, you’ll have some idea of what to expect and feel more sure about what you’re doing.

During pregnancy your total volume of blood is 50 percent higher than normal.

The amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat increases by about 40 percent and you make around 20 per-cent more red blood cells than normal.

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