26 Weeks Pregnant
You are now 26 weeks pregnant which brings you close to yet another pregnancy milestone. You are at the end of your sixth month and next week will be the last week of the second trimester. The due date calculator will show how many weeks pregnant you are and how many weeks you have left before your baby makes its grand appearance into this world.
A lot of small developments are taking place within the baby which are vital for his survival outside the womb. If the baby is born at this stage, there are 50% chances of its survival. Your little one is almost 760 grams this week and is growing at the rate of one inch each week. From head to toe, the length of your baby is 14 inches almost as much as a bottle gourd.
How Your Baby is Growing This Week?
A major development this week is the opening up of the baby’s eyelids which were fully formed but closed until now. The color of the iris is still not established and will happen in the coming weeks. The scope of vision within the uterus is limited and boring but soon the sights and sounds of the outside world will welcome your little one. The nerves of the ears of your 26 weeks pregnant fetus are also getting stronger and your little one can hear very well now. A loud sound or the morning prayer song with ringing bells will definitely get you a reaction in the form of a few punches and kicks.
As your baby grows bigger, the space within the uterus is getting all cramped up and the finer movements which you began to feel around 18 weeks pregnant are becoming less prominent. You will however feel the bigger movements like turning of head etc more prominently. At this stage, it is very important to keep a check on the number of kicks per day. If you see a significant drop in the count or if you feel the baby move less than 10 times a day, you should see your doctor immediately. A test called NST-Fetal Non Stress Test is performed for patients who report decreased fetal movements. In this test, small stimulations are given to the baby and the movements are recorded on a small graph and the patterns are studied. If there is a major drop in the movements, further ultrasound may be done to identify the cause which may be something causing fetal distress like a cord around the neck etc.
Changes in Your Body at 26 Weeks Pregnant
Your uterus is growing each day and is now between the belly button and the sternum. You have a pregnant belly that is easily visible to all. The abdominal muscles have stretched and stretch marks have made their appearance and are here to stay. They will fade away into silvery marks after the baby is born but they do not disappear completely.
There is also a slight increase in the blood pressure at this stage. Your doctor will keep measure of the blood pressure at every visit, to screen you for a condition called as preeclampsia which tends to show up in the final weeks of pregnancy and is characterized by swelling under eyes, swollen feet, high pressure and at times blurring of vision. This can cause distress to the baby and trigger pre-term labor.
With increasing weight around your belly and a changing center of gravity at 26 weeks pregnant, there may be a change in your gait. You may start waddling a little and by the end of the second trimester you will begin to feel some discomfort while changing your position, lying down etc.
Week 26 Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
By now the early signs of pregnancy like morning sickness are gone and as your tummy grows bigger, you begin to face more of pelvic discomfort symptoms like tailbone pain and stretching pains which occur due to the over stretching of the ligaments supporting the uterus.
- Pelvic pain
- False labor pains
- Round ligament pains
- Oedema of hands and feet
- Breathlessness on exertion
- Back pain
- Itchiness of skin over abdomen, breasts and back
- Acidity and indigestion
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Stretch marks
- Breast engorgement
- Discharge from the nipple
- Muscle cramps
- Chloasma pigmentation
- Linea Nigra
- Strange dreams
- Itchiness of the skin
- Frequent urination
- Mood changes
- Feeling baby’s movements
- Steady weight gain
- Visible baby bump
- Darkening of certain areas of skin like armpits
- Varicose veins
Diagnostic Tests and Ultrasound Results in Week 26 of Pregnancy
This week the ultrasound shows your little one a little bigger and taller than last time. Also the movements have become gradual and well coordinated as compared to the jerky movements that you first saw at 14 weeks pregnant or 15 weeks pregnant. This is due to the rapidly maturing nervous system with accurate hand eye coordination. The limbs are clearly visible now and the skin is now seen as a whitish line.
As your baby puts on fat beneath the skin, it has started looking plump and there’s still weight gain on the cards before the D-day arrives.
The heart rate will range between 140-160 beats per minute. The rhythm is checked and measured in each visit.
If you go for a 3D or 4D ultrasound around this time or upto 28 weeks pregnant, you will be able to see the baby’s face clearly more or less like it will be at the time of birth.
Pregnancy Health Tips
- It is very important to exercise during pregnancy. Follow a moderate to light exercise routine which does not cause too much overheating. Also ensure that you follow a cool down routine.
- Drink plenty of water as it will help to control symptoms like acidity, hot flushes, constipation etc
- Take a warm bath every night and listen to soft music. It will help you calm down
- Join an antenatal class where you can update yourself with small pregnancy tips and interact with other pregnant women.
- It is now the right time to start preparing the baby’s nursery. In case you have found out the sex of your child you can go all ahead with the colors. If not, then it’s wise to stock up the essential stuff like diapers, baby clothes, bottles etc.
- Keep a habit of lying down on your left side and getting up with support to avoid round ligament pains.
- Make sure you take lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of your diet. Remember to take your prenatal vitamins regularly.