26 Weeks

Monday, February 02, 2009

Your baby’s growth: Eyelashes!
Between now and week 29 your baby will have a growth spurt and gain another pound. As your baby grows, space gets tighter inside the womb. Your baby now measures about 12.8 inches tall and probably weighs almost 2 pounds.

Most of this weight is bone and tissue because she still doesn't have much body fat. In fact the main development of body fat doesn't really occur until late in the third trimester.

Developments that occur this week:

Eyelashes. These begin to grow as your baby begins to blink and open her eyes.
More hair. Hair continues to grow on her head.
Spine. To support her growing body, your baby’s spine is getting stronger and more flexible.
Plumping up. Although she hasn't put on much fat, she is beginning to look a little plumper.

Your baby's developed oil and sweat glands are now functioning. His fingernails, toenails, eyebrows and eyelashes are now fully present and will continue to grow until birth. He can respond to sound and can hear you and those around you. Although we assume that the uterus is a quiet place, the baby has been surrounded by noise for a long time. Things like your heartbeat, digestion, other body functions and external noises are heard by the baby. In fact, you may feel the baby jump at a sudden noise.

The uterus also allows some light to be seen so your baby is aware of light and dark. Your baby's skin is wrinkled and translucent and may have a reddish color due to the presence of dermal blood vessels. Veins are visible through your baby's skin, although it is quickly changing from transparent to opaque. The following months will see increase in body fat. The lungs continue to mature with the development of air sacs and also begin to secrete surfactant (a substance that will help your baby's lungs expand at birth). At this stage of development the various organs have formed. About 4 out of 10 babies born now may survive (with intensive care services).

Her veins are visible through her transparent skin, but soon, that will change as her skin begins to turn opaque.

The nerve pathways are becoming more and more developed, making her more responsive to sound. Don't be surprised if you feel her jump inside you if she is startled by a sudden noise.

If you're having a boy, his testicles are descending into his scrotum this week.

Your baby now acquires a special layer of fat which acts as an insulator, keeping baby warm in the weeks after birth. This fat known as 'brown fat' because of its color is found at the neck area, around the kidneys and behind the breastbone. It is a special kind of fat meant to keep baby warm and is found in both newborn babies and hibernating animals.
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