Your Pregnancy: Week 26
It’s important to continue with some type of exercise throughout the remainder of the pregnancy to control stress, manage weight gain and keep your muscles strong for the rigors of delivery. Half an hour of activity three or four times a week is plenty, but always check in with your doctor or midwife if you’re having trouble being active.
Your baby might be developing an adorable habit this week: thumb-sucking. While the baby’s hands remain clenched most of the day, he/she might unclench and stick out his/her thumb every now and then. If the baby likes the comfort from sucking, it might just be a well-established habit way before a pacifier is ever seen.
Your baby now has distinct sleeping and waking cycles, as well. You may find a pattern; at certain times of the day she’s very active, somersaulting and boxing, while at other times, she sleeps. In addition, all five senses are now fully developed.
- Pick the nursery’s color and have it painted so any fumes or odors are aired out in time for the baby.
- If you haven’t taken your “babymoon” vacation with your partner, the best time to do so is in the next week or two before the third trimester hits.
- Between now and the next couple of weeks, take the glucose-screening test for gestational diabetes.
- Hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the rectum) hurting? Try witch hazel pads, ice packs or a warm bath to ease the stinging. You could also buy a doughnut-shaped pillow if sitting is especially excruciating. It might come in handy after delivery as well.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
You should know that very few pregnancies are entirely problem-free. Perhaps you were planning on having the ‘perfect’ pregnancy – working right up until the zero hour, then delivering without any fetal monitoring or pain relief – but try not to be terribly disappointed if it doesn’t turn out exactly that way. There’s usually some sort of problem in a pregnancy, whether it’s a bit of minor spotting early on or elevated blood pressure or a sudden complication during delivery. It’s helpful to realize that obstetricians expect these glitches, and that we’re prepared for them. Complications can be frightening for pregnant women, but in virtually every case, we doctors have seen them before, and the majority of the time we know exactly how to treat them.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: Provider Anxiety
Pre-parenthood, both members of a couple generally contribute to the financial well-being of the family. The idea of the man as the sole breadwinner and head of the household is, for the most part, a relic. But when there’s a new baby on the way, serious questions about the roles of each partner come up. Who takes care of the kid? Is childcare more than our salaries can stand? How much are diapers anyway? Do we need dental insurance as soon as our kid gets teeth? Even though these questions can be troubling enough for both partners, men may feel particularly anxious that they won’t be able to pull their own weight.
For all of our progress, there is still a lingering sense in our culture that a man is not a “success” if he can’t provide his family with the best of everything. (In same-sex partnerships, one partner may adopt the provider role and feel the same pressures.) A dad may not be expected to change diapers, but he’s still expected to pay the bills. After all, the mother is carrying the baby; shouldn’t he at least be able to carry the rent? It’s apparent from the first time he tells friends the good news and is met with semi-jokes like, “You better get a second job.”
While it may be fine for a single man, or even a couple in love, to live in a tiny house with no real savings, is it OK for a family? As one new dad said to us, “Bringing a child into a world full of war and misery is one thing, but bringing that child into a studio apartment is another.” The solution to financial problems is not always clear or easy, but it is clear that unrealistic ideals don’t help. Like the idea of the perfect mother, the perfect father (who bears the burden of his family’s finances unfailingly and unquestioningly) is a fantasy that can undermine a father’s confidence about his real life role as a parent.
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.
Read more about Week 26 at BabyZone’s Pregnancy Guide!