Thursday, August 17, 2006

Week 26

How your baby's growing: Your baby now weighs a little under 2 pounds and measures about 14 inches, from head to heel. The nerve pathways in her ears are developing, which means her response to sounds is growing more consistent. Her lungs are developing now, too, as she continues to take small breaths of amniotic fluid — good practice for when she's born and takes that first breath of air. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.
• Note: Experts say every baby develops differently — even in the womb. This developmental information is designed to give you a general idea of how your baby is growing.How your life's changing: Around this time, your blood pressure may be increasing slightly as it returns to its normal pre-pregnancy range. (It was at a low from 22 to 24 weeks.) Though preeclampsia most often occurs in the last trimester, this is a good time to be aware of the warning signs of this dangerous condition that occurs in about 3 to 7 percent of all pregnancies. Signs you should be alert for include swelling of the hands and face, sudden weight gain (due to water retention), blurry vision, seeing spots before your eyes, sudden severe or persistent headaches, or upper abdominal pain. By checking for high blood pressure and protein in your urine, your caregiver will monitor you for preeclampsia at your routine prenatal visits, but call her immediately if you have any of these symptoms before your next appointment. Early identification of preeclampsia is essential for the health of you and your baby.If your back seems a little achy lately, you can thank pregnancy hormones (which are loosening up your joints and ligaments) and your shifting center of gravity. Walking, standing, or sitting for long periods, bending and lifting can all put a strain on your back. A warm bath — or cool compress — might bring relief. Or you may want to schedule a prenatal massage by a trained therapist. Use a pregnancy wedge when sleeping, to support your back and abdomen. Try to maintain good posture, which will help reduce the strain on your back, and always take care when bending and lifting. If you experience severe pain or numbness in any area of your body, call your practitioner.Pregnancy Tip: Soothing sore feet "To help yourself relax, immerse your feet in a basin filled with warm water. Add a few drops of scented oil and enjoy." — Anonymous

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