26-28 Weeks Gestation

What You Can Expect

By 27 weeks babies are no longer called micro-preemies but now are “very premature.” Your baby’s organs and senses are still very immature. The lungs are growing and getting stronger but your baby may need help to breath or to make breathing easier.

Very premature babyHis skin is fragile and sensitive to touch and covered in fine hair. Your baby can only handle a small amount of touching and can’t separate touch from pain. With little fat, your baby will have trouble keeping warm so the incubator will help him. The eyelids are now open and your baby can open his eyes briefly but can’t yet focus.

By 28 weeks, your baby can blink and respond to light, though bright light may be too much for him. Your baby needs a lot of sleep to grow and gain weight. You may notice brief periods when he may look awake and alert, but he gets tired easily. When active, his movements are mainly jerks, twitches, and startles and he will need help to stay in a comfortable position at rest and with care. Loud noises will startle your baby. Bones are fully formed by 28 weeks but are still soft.

You may see your baby start to suck on his tubes and fingers. His stomach and intestines are not yet ready for food. Over time, small amounts of breast milk or formula will be offered through a feeding tube to get your baby ready for food. In the meantime, your baby will get nutrition through his veins. Even at this young age, babies know their mother’s voice and smell, but their hearing and smell are very sensitive so loud sounds or strong smells may be too much for them.

Things You Can Do For Your Baby

  • Continue to do the things from less than 26 weeks gestation.
  • Get baby ready for touch by talking to him.
  • Don’t stroke or rub the skin. This may cause pain.
  • Drawing of a pacifier
  • Avoid pictures in the bed space, they may be too much for your baby.
  • Avoid loud sounds. Don’t tap or knock on the incubator. Open and close doors quietly.
  • Avoid strong smells like perfume, scented lotions or cigarette smoke.
  • Place a pad with the smell of mother’s milk in your baby’s bed with tube feedings.
  • Your baby may suck on a pacifier a few sucks at a time, but he will need your help to hold it in.
  • With care, you may be able to help the nurse by providing boundaries around your baby. Cradle your baby by placing hands around your baby’s head and bottom and/or feet.
  • If able, move your baby slowly and gently when changing his diaper or taking a temperature.
  • Avoid lifting the baby’s legs up with a diaper change.
  • Position baby curled up with hands close to their mouth or face.