You are 26 Weeks and 4 Days 94 days to go…

Your baby’s reproductive organs are now in place; a boy’s testes have descended and a girl’s ovaries have all their follicles.

Your baby today

On this 3D image each finger is held outstretched in front of the face. Holding the fingers in this way for any length of time is tiring so most of the time the hands are held with the wrists slightly flexed and the fingers bent, ready to grasp any object that floats into reach.

If your baby is a boy, it’s at about this time that the testes complete their descent into the scrotum. This is often associated with a small amount of fluid around each testis called a “hydrocele.” This fluid will disappear naturally either before or after birth.

The cremaster muscle, part of the spermatic cord, is able to raise the testes back into the groin. This helps to regulate the temperature within the testes after birth, relaxing when cooling is needed. If your baby is slightly cool when examined, the cremaster muscle retracts the testes giving the impression of an undescended testis in your newborn baby.

Temperature control is not required in the uterus and the testes slowly move down into the scrotum. It is by no means unusual for one testis (or both) not to have descended at birth. Your doctor will check for this as part of the routine baby development checkup and confirm that both testes can be brought down into the scrotum.

Unlike the ovary, which already contains all of the egg-producing follicles that it will ever make, the testes do not start to make sperm until puberty.

Differences in the speed of growth and weight gain become more apparent now, and boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls at birth.

… Mom
Q: Is it normal to argue all the time when we should be happily looking forward to our baby’s arrival?
A: Expecting a baby puts pressure on even the strongest of relationships. Concerns about having a healthy baby and adjusting to parenthood were at the heart of most of our arguments. And when we started to talk about it, we found we had conflicting opinions about big child-rearing issues. I was sensitive, irritable, and moody, and often snapped when I didn’t mean to.

We sat down and talked calmly and agreed not to “sweat the small stuff,” avoiding areas of contention, and compromising when it didn’t really matter. In the throes of a disagreement, I’d stop and think: I love this man, we’re having a baby together, is this really important in the long run? We also made time to do positive things together that we had enjoyed before I was pregnant, and tried to find opportunities to laugh, to reduce stress, and to put things into perspective. By the time the baby arrived, we were both much more relaxed.

Weight gain in the third trimester

In your third trimester gaining weight steadily is important. If you were a healthy weight before your pregnancy, you should gain 3–5 pounds in the first trimester and 1–2 pounds a week the rest of your pregnancy, for a total of 25–37 lb. Keep in mind that the largest contributing factor to your overall weight gain will be your baby, followed by extra fat, which you will need to sustain your pregnancy and when breast-feeding. Your doctor will monitor your weight gain to ensure it’s healthy.

Weight gain chart

You are 26 Weeks and 5 Days 93 days to go…

As each day passes, your baby is getting bigger and bigger and you will be more conscious of his body and movement.

Your baby today

This week, some babies open their eyes for the first time but this is a brief event, difficult to capture on ultrasound, so you may not see it on a scan. Some light is reaching your baby but he hasn’t developed a sleep–wake cycle that corresponds in any way with day and night.

As wonderful as it is to feel your baby move inside you, sometimes it can be uncomfortable. As your baby grows there is less and less room for him to move around, especially as he kicks or stretches against the walls of your uterus. These movements can vary from gentle paddling motions to feeling as though the baby has hiccups. Sometimes the baby will kick hard; if it’s under the ribs it can take your breath away and leave you feeling quite sore. The kicking can also wake you when you’re sleeping, and many women say that their babies are more active at night. If you’re sitting or lying in a position that the baby doesn’t like—for example, if you spend too much time on one side—your baby may well kick until you move.

Although sometimes these movements can be uncomfortable or take you by surprise, most of the time they’re just a gentle reminder of your growing baby and, as such, are something to look forward to feeling.

… Doctor
Q: If I went into labor now, would my baby survive?
A: Until relatively recently, babies born before 28 weeks’ gestation often did not survive. Today, with medical advances in neonatal intensive care units (NICU), babies of 22 weeks’ gestation have survived outside the uterus, although this is still very rare. At many hospitals, doctors won’t resuscitate a baby under 24 weeks, because there is little chance of survival.

Extremely premature babies have an increased risk of disability, even with the best medical care, and often the delivery itself can put an enormous strain on the baby. Very experienced doctors and nurses are involved in the care of extremely premature babies.

If possible, the delivery should take place in a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) . If this isn’t possible, babies are often transferred to a special center when they are stable enough to be moved. Very premature babies take a long time to “catch up” and meet developmental milestones.

Each day and week of pregnancy is a milestone, and the closer to full term (37–42 weeks) you deliver, the better it is for your baby.

… Safety
Buying bedding

Your baby doesn’t need a blanket or pillow—in fact, experts advise against them. To reduce your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), put a fitted sheet on a firm crib mattress (don’t use a second-hand mattress), and keep blankets, pillows and stuffed animals out of the crib. If your baby sleeps in a Moses basket or bassinet, you should buy sheets designed specifically for these. Keep the room at a temperature that feels good to you. If you’re concerned that your baby is chilly, consider a sleep sack. Many parents find them to be comfortable for their baby.

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