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Week 26
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 24 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
Sixth MonthYour baby could weigh about two pounds now and be around 9 inches long (crown of the head to the rump). As the blood vessels in the lungs began last week, the air sacs in the lungs begin this week. The lungs begin to secrete surfactant which covers the inner lining of the air sacs which then allows the lungs to expand normally during breathing.

Besides the active lung growth, the brain kicks in with brain wave activity for the visual and auditory systems.

Maternal Changes:
Your uterus is about 2 1/2 inches above your belly button. If you feel your uterus suddenly tighten and then relax, don't panic. You're experiencing "Braxton Hicks" Contractions. These are normal, usually painless or feel similar to menstrual cramps and happen at irregular intervals. They are your body's way of practicing for the real thing and help to tone up your uterus for the tough job of labor.

Are you eating well? You need about 300 extra calories now. Make them count!

Multiples: Women carrying multiples will have more Braxton Hicks contractions than singleton moms. If you have more than four in an hour, you should call your doctor.

Ideas for Partners:
How is the nursery coming? Not everyone prepares a nursery before the baby arrives. However, if you are planning to have everything ready, now is a good time to start. Paint the nursery (and keep Mom away from the fumes), put the crib together and have fun preparing for this new little family member with Mom. These are a few of the things you can do for your baby while Mom is gestating.

Inspirational Thoughts:
The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day. ~O. A. Battista

Reading:
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin PT, Janet Whalley RN BSN and Ann Keppler RN MN, published by Meadowbrook Press, 2001

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