Pregnancy Week 26: Fetal Development, Anemia, Lower Back Pain & Childbirth Classes by 30Seconds Pregnancy
Baby is nearing the 2-pound mark! Right now your baby weighs about 1 2/3 pounds and is 14 inches long, about the size of a bunch of kale. Baby’s eyes have been shut so the retina can develop, but now Baby’s lookin’ at you, kid. Well, at least at the inside of you. If you could peek at those now-open peepers, you’d see that the iris still lacks pigmentation. But soon enough he or she will have baby blues. If you are having a boy, his testicles are now descending into his scrotum, which will take two to three months.
Photo: Baby at 26 weeks of development
Your doctor is keeping an eye on you for anemia. Anemia is when the body doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. Anemia can be common during pregnancy. Here are the symptoms to watch for:
- feeling more tired than usual
- rapid heartbeat
- heart palpitations
- shortness of breath
- difficulty concentrating
- craving ice or non-food substances
- looking pale on your fingernails, on the underside of your eyelids and lips
Consult your doctor if you have any of these symptoms of anemia. Untreated anemia can have serious side effects for you and your baby.
Is your lower back killing you? Blame it on your uterus. When your uterus grows, it can weaken your abs, change your center of gravity and sometimes press on a nerve. Add to that the weight of your growing baby and you can have lower back pain. Here are some things to try to reduce it:
- Try not to stand for long periods of time.
- Take a warm bath.
- Use a heating pad.
- Make sure to use good posture (keep your back straight!).
- Try a pregnancy pillow at night to help you get comfortable. (Here are the top pregnancy pillows!)
You obviously already know where babies come from, so why do you need to take a class about it during your last few precious nights of freedom? Childbirth classes kind of serve as your opportunity to get your head in the game, to make it all finally feel real and to prepare for what could happen if your birth plan flies out the window (and fair warning, it likely will!). Here is a snapshot of what you might learn:
- The signs of early labor and what Baby is doing in those final days to prepare for their dramatic exit.
- Braxton hicks! No, it's not time to go to the hospital just yet, so when is it time? Write down your hospital's nurse hotline number! I used it.
- Breathing and relaxation techniques (the awkward, but helpful part). Just take it slow, trust your body and do what feels right. Don't worry about how you look or sound.
- Pain relief options and labor positions to try (take notes!).
- Possible complications and how to handle it without panicking.
- Medical intervention may be critical, but plenty of healthy babies are born with the aid of trained midwives too, so decide what's right for you.
- Basic newborn care and breastfeeding advice before you try to conquer a football hold or a pain-free latch. Study up!
It's also helpful to stop by the hospital where you'll be delivering. They will walk you through the check-in process, show you what the rooms will look like and give you peace of mind that you have a plan when in reality, baby is coming on their terms.
“Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life.” – Judy Ford
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The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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