The Inside Story: Your Baby in Week Twenty-Six

You may begin to feel stronger -- even painful -- kicks from your growing little one this week.

You loved feeling those delightful first kicks. Now, however, you're more likely to say "ouch" as your baby's length passes the 14-inch mark and his weight climbs to nearly 2 pounds. In fact his movements are so strong that your partner should be able to feel them easily. Your partner might even hear your baby's heartbeat if he puts his head on your belly. Your baby is probably still in the breech position (head up) at this point because your pear-shape uterus offers him more legroom that way.

Although he's still wrinkly, your baby is now at 25 percent of his expected birthweight, and he's going to really pile on the ounces in the next couple of months. His spine is getting stronger, and if he were born now, he would have an 80 percent chance of survival. He's now capable of inhaling, exhaling, and even crying. That lanugo hair that grew all over his body is rapidly disappearing, and it will probably be completely gone by the end of the 7th month except for some fuzz on his back and shoulders. Your baby's eyes are becoming more sensitive; if you were to shine a light on your belly, he would notice.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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