Your baby this week
26 weeks pregnant

Ideas and Inspiration

Many medical professionals agree that the second trimester is the best time for travel -- and the end of this trimester is fast approaching! Perhaps you could take one last quiet vacation -- choose a relaxing destination, as now is not the time to rush along on a charted sightseeing tour or to visit a country known for food- and water-borne contaminants.

On vacation

And no matter where your journey takes you, and whatever your mode of travel, try not to sit still for more than two hours at a time and drink plenty of clean water. Discuss your travel plans with your doctor or midwife. If you're experiencing a high-risk pregnancy or your due date is fast approaching, your caregiver may want you to stay relatively close to home (e.g. within a three-hour drive) in case of complications or an early arrival.

Even if your caregiver gives you the go-ahead to venture a little farther afield, she may want you to take a copy of your prenatal record with you. That way, if you run into complications while you're traveling, the doctor on call at whatever hospital or clinic you end up visiting will have the lowdown on your medical and obstetrical history.

Find more travel tips and help here!

Too early?

pregnant woman question bikini bra

How will you know if you are experiencing premature labor? Without a doubt, the thought of experiencing preterm labor can be a little scary. Preterm labor (PTL) is defined as contractions that result in cervical dilation and/or effacement (thinning) prior to 37 completed weeks of pregnancy (259 days from the 1st day of the last menstrual period).

Occasional, irregularly-timed contractions, called Braxton-Hicks contractions, are very common, starting during the second trimester. The uterus is composed of muscle (smooth muscle), and when stretched, like any muscle, the reaction is to contract. These are essentially "warm-up" contractions and do not result in cervical change. Braxton-Hicks contractions tend to be very sporadic and unpredictable, as compared to contractions of labor.

In this article, Obstetrician/Gynecologist David Barrere helps us to better understand it and what signs to look for.

Looking ahead

The fact that we can create another thinking and feeling human being is a miracle. And the birthing process that brings that little person into the world is a miraculous event in itself. It is so special that we often ask members of our families to witness the birth.

But what about our older children? Should they be there too? When it comes to siblings attending the delivery, one of the most common questions parents have is: Are my kids old enough? A childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, doula trainer -- and the mother of six -- says age is not the most important factor in deciding whether your children should attend the birth, but rather their temperament and how much you have prepared them for this exciting time.

Click here for the rest of her insight on this subject!

"You, who were once simply human, have, by motherhood, been deified." - Pam Brown

Advice and support

A reader writes: "I'm pregnant and my husband and I find ourselves talking to our baby a lot. Sometimes we're sure he or she is responding to what we say. Are we imagining things?"Talk to baby

Mr Dad Armin Brott replies: Not at all. Although the very idea may sound a bit far fetched, fetuses are extremely responsive to sounds from the outside world. In one study, newborns whose mothers had regularly watched a popular soap opera while they were pregnant stopped crying when the show's theme song was played. Infants whose mothers hadn't watched the show had no reaction when they heard the music.

But why would mature grown-ups want to spend time trying to communicate with a fetus when he could be doing something else (in your husband's case, that could be out playing pool with his friends)? Simple: It's fun. Plus, it may be able to help you establish a bond with your baby even before he's born. It might work the other way too, helping the baby establish a bond with you. This could be particularly important to your husband.

Lots of fathers get jealous of the immediate connections their infants have with their mothers. But a good part of that connection might have more to do with the mother's voice (which the baby has heard every day for nine months) than anything else. If he spends some time "conversing" with your baby before she's born, she'll recognize and be more responsive to his voice.

Read more here about talking to your baby now, well before he or she is born!

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