Only 24 weeks after conception, your baby’s eyes have now fully matured. Surrounded by eyebrows and eyelashes, in just two short weeks these little eyes will begin seeing his or her surroundings. Your baby’s very own distinctive facial characteristics and bodily traits are appearing. Tiny fingernails are in place. Under baby’s skin, vital fats continue to build up.
The immature lungs are preparing for a vigorous and healthy delivery day by manufacturing surfactant which enables them to fill with air and let the air out; this substance will also make sure that the lungs do not disintegrate or fuse together when your baby’s first breaths are taken on delivery day. Your baby will begin preparing for delivery day around this time by making attempts to take tiny breaths.
Your baby is now 9 inches long and 2 pounds, the size of a ripe pineapple.
By 26 weeks, make sure your health care team has scheduled you for a Glucose Challenge Screening (an adaptation of the Glucose Tolerance Test which tests for Type 2 Diabetes). This screening is for Gestational Diabetes, a type of diabetes present only when you are pregnant. This test is done between 26-28 weeks and will accurately measure the response of your body to glucose (sugar). If the test is positive, you will need to undergo further testing to confirm this pregnancy diagnosis.
Your health care team will help you decide on a wholesome eating plan and exercise regime to maintain a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes. If you are having trouble achieving your targeted pregnancy glucose levels, a medication called insulin, given by injection, may be needed, which will not harm your baby.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your blood sugar will need to be monitored closely and kept under control. This condition can lead to extremely serious complications if not managed well. When your blood sugar is not controlled and allowed to run high, there is an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preeclampsia, preterm delivery (before 37 weeks), and the possibility of a Caesarean section due to a large baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
For more information on gestational diabetes, how it can be managed and how it may impact your pregnancy, or to proactively pass this vital information via the CDC’s Health-e-Cards to other pregnant moms, please visit the CDC and the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC).