After months of having his eyelids sealed shut, your baby opens his eyes this week. By this stage, your baby is also considered capable of reacting to pain. Meanwhile, he continues to swallow and urinate fluid into the amniotic space.
At 26 weeks pregnant, getting a good night’s sleep is possibly becoming a little more challenging – some have suggested it’s your body’s way of preparing you for the fatigue and sleepless nights ahead! The real reasons are more mundane: the size of your uterus and your lively baby. Catnapping whenever possible may help. You can also try various ways to relax before you go to bed – for example, have a warm bath or a massage, listen to some calming music, read, watch TV or carry out some simple relaxation exercises. Avoid lying down on a full stomach, to help stave off heartburn, and try to find a suitable sleeping position that is more comfortable. Many women find that lying on their sides, with pillows behind their backs, between their knees and under their bump, can help.
Many moms aren’t aware that breastfeeding after a C-section can take time, and then struggle to establish feeding or feel guilty for not continuing. After a C-section, feeding can be slow to establish for 24-48 hours as both you and your baby clear opiates from your systems. Baby’s suckling and rooting reflexes – which help baby search, find, latch and feed – will most probably be suppressed, however eumom breastfeeding expert Lisa Wilkinson offers advice to help you on your way to a happy, healthy breastfeeding journey.
At 26 weeks pregnant, when you still have lots energy in the First 1,000 Days, why not prepare and freeze some meals for the early days after the birth. Alternatively, prepare extra quantities of your usual meals and freeze half. You’ll be thankful in the first weeks with your new baby when you haven’t got the time or energy to cook but you will still need to be well nourished, particularly while breastfeeding.
Chat with other moms
At this stage you are undoubtedly thinking about labour – how to prepare, what to bring, your preferred pain relief options – and perhaps starting to feel a little nervous. Nerves are entirely understandable, however some moms-to-be are fearful. One mom in our forums is terrified of labour and doesn’t know where to turn for help. See what midwife and eumom pregnancy & birth expert Tracy Donegan advises.