26 Weeks Pregnant
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Your baby at 26 weeks
Your baby is now about 36cm in length and weighs nearly 760g. This is the beginning of the rapid weight gain. You can expect your little one to weigh around 3.5 to 4 times that when he or she is born! Remember though, that birth weight even at full term varies significantly from baby to baby. Your baby's eyes are now preparing to open, until now they have been fused tightly shut while they have been developing. There is still no pigment in the iris, but once the eyes are open, the baby will be able to sense bright lights on the outside of your tummy.
How you are feeling
You may now be able to feel when the baby hiccups! You will recognise these as regular little movements, although as time goes on they will become more pronounced, and possibly quite uncomfortable. The movements should not be painful at this stage, but there may be times when you find that the direction of the assault on your insides is uncomfortable. Try changing your position as very often this causes the baby to change his or her position too, and they may even take a rest, or at least aim their feet and elbows somewhere new!
You may also be experiencing cramp in your legs quite regularly; often pregnant women find that this is a problem at night time. The jury is still out on the cause of these cramps but there are ways of reducing, or even preventing them. It has been suggested that these cramps can be due to a deficiency in calcium and/or magnesium, as well as dehydration, so make sure that your diet is still well balanced and that you are drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. Repeatedly flexing your feet towards your face, with your legs straightened, may reduce the pain or even prevent it. Do this before bed, or whenever it is that the cramps usually strike. Putting your feet up as regularly as you can is likely to help as well.
What you need to do
You still have quite a lot of time before the baby is due, but remember that during the last trimester you may find that you are more tired again. On top of fatigue, the size of your bump towards the end of pregnancy can make even day-to-day tasks quite tricky. So if you have grand plans for the new nursery which involve clearing out lots of old junk or getting rid of items of furniture then try to make sure that you get on top of these plans quite soon. It is very important that you engage the help of others where any heavy lifting is required, but in the event that a heavy object does have to be lifted by you then make sure that you do it slowly, stand with your feet wide apart to keep you stable and bend at the knees (not at the waist). It is more than likely that nursery plans involve decorating of some kind. Modern paints are not considered dangerous to pregnant women, however, that is not to say that you should get up the ladder with your brush tomorrow. The action of painting can be tough on your back, and climbing a ladder or anything else to reach the top spots is clearly a potential hazard. So by all means take the lead in directing operations, but if at all possible try to get someone else to do the hard graft.
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