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26 Weeks Pregnant

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Your Baby

Check out what happened with your baby's development last week.

Practice breaths. This week, your baby's nostrils are starting to open up, which gives him the chance to practice breathing using his muscles and lungs. There's no air to take in, of course, so instead he "inhales" and "exhales" amniotic fluid. By the time he's born, he'll be a pro.

What a sucker! Your baby is also flexing some of his feeding muscles— his lips and mouth. His sucking reflex is so strong that if his hand floats by his face, he'll suck on his thumb or fingers. Ultrasounds often show babies in utero sucking their thumbs. In fact, some babies are born with sucking blisters on their fingers, thumbs, lips, or hands. Sucking is just one of the 70-plus reflexes your baby will have when he's born.

Up for grabs. "Grasping something—like my umbilical cord—is my newest trick." Grasping is another of those many reflexes. If you hold out your finger to a newborn, you'll be amazed by the strength of his clutch. Your baby is practicing his killer grip right now. His favorite pull toy is his umbilical cord, which he likes to yank and tug. Don't worry; the cord is up to the challenge.

Measuring up. Your baby is about 13 inches long and weighs around 1.75 pounds.

Your Pregnancy

Snack attack. Remember, your baby is eating off your plate, so you need to continue to pay attention to what you eat and how often you eat. You also need to eat right for your own well being; low blood sugar can make you dizzy, shaky, and tired. Small, frequent meals will help keep your blood sugar even. When you're out and about, carry small, portable snacks like fruit or yogurt so you don't get stuck somewhere without something nutritious to munch on.

Some like it hot. Many women wonder if they should stay away from spicy food when they're pregnant. There is no simple answer to this question. If you like spicy food and tolerate it well, by all means continue to eat it. However, trying food you're not accustomed to can cause an upset stomach, whether you're pregnant or not, so proceed with caution when it comes to adventurous cuisine.

From the experts. "If your pregnancy is not high-risk, you can probably work up until your due date," says Margaret Comerford Freda, Ed.D., R.N. Even so, there are measures you should take each day to stay comfortable, like propping up your feet frequently to aid circulation and minimize swelling. Get more on-the-job comfort tips from Dr. Freda.


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