The twenty-sixth week of pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant parents. As the baby (and the mother’s belly) grows, the pregnancy becomes more real and new parents begin to look forward to the upcoming birth. The baby is likely moving enough for both the mother and father to feel its movements and is growing at a rapid rate.
By the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy, an unborn baby is about 10 inches long and almost 2 lbs. The baby’s kicks get stronger as he grows and by this point in pregnancy, most people can feel the movements of the baby by putting their hand over the mother’s stomach.
Fetal Brain Development
The brain of an unborn baby begins to develop the ability to process visual and auditory cues during the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy. As the ears develop, the unborn baby begins to respond to noise outside the uterus. Some light can be seen inside the womb and as the brain develops, the unborn baby develops the ability to process the difference between light and dark.
Fetal Ear Development
By the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy the nerves in an unborn baby’s ears are beginning to develop and allow a baby to hear noises outside the womb. An unborn baby begins to respond to familiar voices. Many expectant parents enjoy talking, singing and playing music for their unborn baby.
Fetal Lung Development
The lung sacs begin to form during the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy. Surfactant, a lubricating substance that coats the inside of the lungs and allows them to expand for breathing after the baby is born, begins to coat the inside of the lungs. The unborn baby is breathing in the amniotic fluid to help the lungs develop.
Fetal Gender Development
By the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy, gender is clearly visible on an ultrasound. The testicles of baby boys begin to descend into the scrotum, although having one or both testicles fail to descend until later is not uncommon.