Weeks 22 to 26 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Fetus in uterus, with detail of development at 24 weeks pregnant

Overview

As you enter your 7th month of pregnancy at week 26, your baby's lungs are growing stronger and getting ready to breathe. You may notice that your baby responds to the sound of your voice. You may also notice that your baby does less turning and twisting and more squirming, kicking, or jerking. Jerking often means that your baby has hiccups. Hiccups are normal and are only temporary.

You may want to think about attending a childbirth preparation class. This is also a good time to start thinking about whether you want to have pain medicine during labor.

You may be tested for gestational diabetes between weeks 24 and 28. Gestational diabetes occurs when your blood sugar level gets too high when you're pregnant. The test is important, because you can have gestational diabetes and not know it. But the condition can cause problems for your baby.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Ease discomfort from your baby's kicking

  • Change your position. Sometimes this will cause your baby to change position too.
  • Take a deep breath while you raise your arm over your head. Then breathe out while you drop your arm.

Do Kegel exercises to prevent urine from leaking

  • You can do Kegel exercises while you stand or sit.
    • Squeeze the same muscles you would use to stop your urine. Your belly and thighs should not move.
    • Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds, and then relax for 3 seconds.
    • Start with 3 seconds. Then add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds.
    • Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times for each session. Do three or more sessions each day.

Ease or reduce swelling in your feet, ankles, hands, and fingers

  • If your fingers are puffy, take off your rings.
  • Do not eat high-salt foods, such as potato chips.
  • Prop up your feet on a stool or couch as much as possible. Sleep with pillows under your feet.
  • Do not stand for long periods of time or wear tight shoes.
  • Wear support stockings.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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