September 12, 2010

26 Weeks

(Still the size of an eggplant)

Your baby's developed oil and sweat glands are now functioning. Her fingernails, toenails, eyebrows and eyelashes are now fully present and will continue to grow until birth. She can respond to sound and can hear you and those around you. Although we assume 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. Your baby is now about 14 inches and weighs a little less than two pounds.

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 an 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 80% babies born now survive (with intensive care services).

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