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26 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

95 days to go...

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ultrasound of human fetus as 26 weeks and 3 days

Your baby today

Your baby sticks his tongue out often especially before or after a particularly large gulp of amniotic fluid. Fluid doesn't enter the lungs but is swallowed into the stomach. Your baby would be completely unaware of the ultrasound scan, so is not reacting to the scanner.

It's a natural instinct that parents are fiercely protective of their children, and not unusual for this to start well before the birth.

You may be feeling very protective of your belly and baby. The belly almost acts as a beacon to other people, making them aware that you're pregnant. It's not unusual to feel quite vulnerable, for example in a jostling crowd or when you're out shopping. When this happens, make it clear to people that you're pregnant and, hopefully, they'll give you more space and give up their seat, if necessary.

When you're driving, you may find you're doing so even more carefully than normal, or becoming a very nervous or critical passenger. You may become more irritated than usual by people who you feel are driving without concern for your safety.

This protective instinct is a natural part of becoming a mother. It's the desire to protect and nurture your child, even before yourself. Rest assured, though, that your baby is in the safest possible environment inside your uterus. Your body is providing your baby with warmth, food, and oxygen. The baby is cushioned and protected by the amniotic fluid in which he floats, and this acts as a buffer to any shoving or bumping by crowds of people.

Ask A... Doctor

Why am I being told I need a glucose tolerance test?

In pregnancy some women develop a form of diabetes known as gestational diabetes, which disappears when the baby is born. It may be suspected if you have signs such as fatigue and thirst and is confirmed by testing urine for glucose. If it's found, you'll be advised to have an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) between 24 and 28 weeks. You'll be tested earlier if you have a BMI over 35, a close relative with diabetes, or had diabetes in a previous pregnancy.

The Lowdown

HypnoBirthing

The idea of hypnoBirthing – giving birth in such a relaxed state that you barely feel pain-sounds too good to be true. But the research extolling its benefits is impressive. Several studies have shown that self-hypnosis helps women feel less anxious about labor and birth. They also tend to require minimal pain relief and medical intervention: many women succeed in giving birth at home.

  • You learn a series of self-hypnosis, relaxation, visualization, and breathing techniques, which over time become second nature, enabling you to approach childbirth in a calm, positive frame of mind.
  • By practicing hypnoBirthing, you should feel in control of your body and able to manage the pain during labor and delivery.
  • The key is to practice frequently, and a supportive birth partner is invaluable for helping you perfect the techniques, and use them in labor.
  • Ask your doctor to recommend a course near you or visit HypnoBirthing.com.

pregnant woman relaxing with yoga

HypnoBirthing is a great idea but it's important that you are taught the various relaxation and visualization techniques and practice them regularly during pregnancy.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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