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Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 26-30

Week 26

Baby: Your baby's hearing is fully developed. As the baby reacts to sounds, its pulse increases.Your baby will even move in rhythm to music. Lungs are still growing but are not yet mature. Patterns of your baby's brain waves appear like a full-term newborn. He or she also has patterns of sleeping and waking.

Mom-to-be: The baby's constant movements should be reassuring. You'll be putting on weight at the rate of about 1 pound per week now. You may be feeling some rib pain as your baby grows and pushes upward on your rib cage. The pressure may also be causing indigestion and heartburn. You may also feel stitch-like pains down the sides of your abdomen as your uterine muscle stretches.

Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnant Belly
If you are newly pregnant, or trying to conceive, you have many questions about what to expect. How will your body change? What's happening inside you? Here's what to expect week by week.

Tip of the Week: If you're planning to return to work, you might want to begin checking out child care in your area. Nannies cost about $250 to $600 per week, group day care typically ranges from $125 to $200 per week, and home day care runs from about $75 to $125 per week. Stay open-minded about various child care arrangements.

Week 27

Baby:Your baby's hands are active. Thumb-sucking calms the baby and strengthens cheek and jaw muscles. Your baby can cry now.

Mom-to-be: You may see stretch marks as your uterus continues to expand. Most women have gained about 16 to 22 pounds by now. Your balance and mobility also may be changing as you grow larger.

Tip of the Week: During your last trimester, you should talk to your doctor or midwife about the delivery. They can let you know about signs to predict labor and how far apart the contractions should be before going to the hospital or birth center. It's also the time to begin interviewing pediatricians and to take care of other logistics, like pre-registration at the place where you'll give birth and a birthing plan (what you envision your labor and delivery will be like). This plan should be written in your patient record or attached to it in the form of a birth plan.

Week 28

Baby: Your baby measures about 10 inches from crown to rump, or a total length of about 15.75 inches from head to toe, and weighs about 2.4 pounds. Brain waves show rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means your baby may be dreaming. Eyelids are opening. Branches of lungs are developing.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus extends well above your navel. As the baby gets bigger and stronger this month, you may be experiencing leg cramps and mild swelling of ankles and feet, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, lower abdominal achiness, clumsiness, or scattered Braxton Hicks contractions (hardening and relaxing of the uterus, like a rehearsal for labor). You may also be urinating more frequently again as the uterus continues to push on your bladder.

Tip of the Week: Even if your partner is planning on being with you in the delivery room, you might want to consider hiring a doula -- a professional labor assistant who provides support, but not medical aid, for the mother and her partner. Studies show that doulas can shorten a woman's labor and reduce the likelihood of needing pain medication, forceps or vacuum deliveries, or a cesarean section.

WebMD Medical Reference

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