26 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby, Your Body, and Tips

When you are 26 weeks pregnant, your baby is already a big part of your life. You can feel his movements, and these can even keep you up at night. You may also be experiencing backaches, vivid dreams, and Braxton Hicks contractions. You’re nearing the end of the second trimester, and soon you will be entering the last leg of this journey. Read on to learn what’s happening inside your body, how your baby is developing, and get tips on what to do during the 26th week of your pregnancy.

Pregnancy week 26

You are steadily gaining weight now, and your tummy is getting bigger. By now, you can anticipate when your baby will be active and when he will be quiet. Your baby’s eyelids are no longer fused and are starting to open. Soon he will learn to blink.

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Now that you’re close to the end of the second trimester, you may also be feeling a bit anxious about labor and childbirth. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor. Mental wellbeing during pregnancy is as important as your physical health during pregnancy.

Symptoms

1. Gestational diabetes

Pregnant women are usually tested for gestational diabetes between weeks 24 to 28. Gestational diabetes is linked to complications such as large birth weight babies and increased risk for cesarean delivery. If caught early, gestational diabetes can be managed well, enabling you to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

2. Preeclampsia

A slight increase in blood pressure is normal during pregnancy.  However, you must be vigilant about a condition called preeclampsia. You will be routinely tested for high blood pressure and protein in urine during your doctor’s visits. Some of the other symptoms of preeclampsia include severe headaches, heartburn, vision problems, and swollen hands. Call your health care provider if you notice these symptoms (1).

3. Braxton Hicks contractions

If you feel tightening in your abdomen during pregnancy, you may be having Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are not painful, and they come at irregular intervals. These contractions tone the muscles in the uterus and also help to prepare the cervix for birth (2).

4. Pregnancy brain

Forgetfulness, fogginess, and mental inattention are common complaints during pregnancy. This decrease in memory and concentration is temporary.

5. Gas and bloating

As your uterus expands, it puts pressure on your stomach and intestines, which may lead to gas and bloating. To reduce bloating you must drink plenty of water, eat slowly and eat small meals.

6. Trouble sleeping

There are many reasons why you have trouble sleeping these days. These include pre-birth anxiety, hormonal changes, leg cramps, and frequent trips to the bathroom. Avoid caffeine later in the day, make a bedtime routine, and get some daily exercise.

7. Clumsiness

Many pregnant women are more uncoordinated and prone to dropping things. Your shifted center of gravity and loosened joints are a few of the causes of your clumsiness. You need to be more careful, even while performing routine activities.

8. Headaches

According to a study, almost 39% of pregnant and postpartum women have headaches. Hormonal fluctuations and stress can be blamed for these conditions. You can also get headaches if you are dehydrated, hungry, or haven’t had enough sleep. Try to sleep at regular timings, take a nap if you are too tired. Eat every few hours and sip on water throughout the day.

Your body at week 26 of pregnancy

You will have gained between 16 to 22 pounds in weight now, and the top of your uterus is now 2.5 inches above your belly button. Your belly will now grow half an inch per week for the rest of your pregnancy. You will not be able to see your knees when you stand up now. Your total blood volume has increased by 25 percent since the start of your pregnancy, leading to swelling in your fingers and ankles.

Your baby at week 26 of pregnancy

Your baby now weighs 2 pounds and is 13.38 inches long. If were to be born now, he has an excellent chance of survival with specialist care.

  • Your baby’s eyes are beginning to open. You may soon see him blinking.
  • He has also developed eyelashes.
  • Your baby has started making breathing movements. He is breathing in amniotic fluid now.
  • If you are having a baby boy, his testicles have started to descend into his scrotum.
  • The nerves in your baby’s ears and developing, and he can discern your voice from others.
  • Essential fats are developing under his skin now.

Tips to be followed when you are 26 weeks pregnant

1. Eat food rich in iron

Continue to eat nutritious meals. Anemia is common during pregnancy. Ensure that you eat food rich in iron like green leafy vegetables, eggs, meat, and good quality cereals.

2. Exercise

Even if you didn’t exercise before your pregnancy, it is time to start now. Walking is an excellent exercise to begin. Incorporate it into your daily routine, and you will stay fit.

3. Practice good posture

Your growing belly and aching back may make you thrust your hips forward. Your shoulders should be in a straight line with your hips. Back up against a wall to find the correct posture. While sitting, sit with a pillow behind your lower back.

4. Child care for older children

It’s time to start thinking of child care options for your older children. This will ease your anxiety, and you can peacefully focus on having your baby.

5. Declutter your home

This week is the perfect time to declutter your home. Your energy levels are high, and you can still move around fairly easily. You may not have the time or energy when your baby is born. Plus, you need the extra space for your baby’s stuff.

6. Consider taking more classes

You may have already registered for childbirth classes, so you can think of taking some more classes like breastfeeding and infant CPR. Your hospital may be offering these classes. If not, you can ask your health care provider.

Your pregnancy week 26 doctor’s visit

Early in our pregnancy, your doctor would have done a blood test to check your blood type. If you are Rh-negative (A-, B-, 0-OR AB-) and your baby Rh-positive, it can cause severe complications for the baby and future pregnancies.

Since the doctors can’t find the baby’s blood type till after he is born, if you are Rh-negative, you will be given an Anti-D injection at your 26 to 28 weeks and 34 to 36-week visits. After your baby is born, your doctor will give you another injection if your baby is Rh-positive. This process helps to reduce the risk to you and your baby.

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Tips for the partner

Make a genuine effort to bond with your baby before he is born. Mothers have intimate contact with their babies; you may feel that making a connection with your baby before he is born is not possible. Your baby’s hearing is developing well can he can now recognize sounds from the outside world. Talk or sing to your baby. When he is born, he will recognize your voice, as he has already formed an attachment to you.

Final thoughts

You are steadily gaining weight, and the top of your uterus is 2.5 inches above your belly button. Your baby is growing and now weighs 2 pounds. Now is the time to declutter your home and organize child care for your older children and start exercising.

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