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26 WEEKS PREGNANT
You haven’t met baby yet, but he or she’s taking over your life! Interfering with your sleep.
Messing with your memory.
And even giving you a stress headache or two at 26 weeks pregnant.
Um, he or she will do all those things after birth too! When they say we have nine months to get ready for baby, they don’t just mean growing the baby and buying a car seat and bouncer.
We need to mentally prepare for a newborn to become the center of our attention.
And already, at week 26 of pregnancy, baby’s giving you some practice in that department.
How Big Is Baby at 26 Weeks Pregnant?
At 26 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a head of kale.
Your 26-week fetus measures about 14 inches and weighs about 1.7 pounds.
He or she is developing senses, features, and even talents! Wow!
26 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
26 weeks pregnant is five months and about three weeks pregnant.
You’re making your way through the sixth month of pregnancy.
26 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
Your 26 weeks pregnant symptoms are mostly discomforts—and are steadily getting more uncomfortable as baby grows and your body begins to make changes to get ready for childbirth.
Yawn! The closer you get to your due date, the tougher it might be to get some rest! Watch your caffeine intake, stay hydrated, and get a little exercise (take walks!) to help your body settle down at night.
You might not like the puffiness, but it’s normal to have some mild swelling around week 26 of pregnancy.
But it’s important to watch out for swelling that’s severe or sudden, which could be a sign of a dangerous condition called preeclampsia.
Call your doctor if your swelling seems worrisome.
These are often due to hormone fluctuations or stress. But you can get also get headaches if you’re hungry or dehydrated,
so continue taking care of yourself and baby by eating at least every few hours and keeping a glass of water by your side for frequent sipping
Is it getting tricky to remember stuff? That may be a physiological symptom of hormone fluctuations, but it also might be because, well, you’ve got quite a bit on your mind.
Braxton Hicks contractions.
Notice your belly occasionally feeling really tight? That’s a contraction.
(Braxton Hicks might be more noticeable for women who are 26 weeks pregnant with twins.)
Don’t freak out though—your muscles are flexing to practice for labor.
As long as the contractions aren’t steady or severe, they’re run-of-the-mill.
Tell your doctor if the contractions are painful or don’t stop; those are signs of preterm labor.
Higher blood pressure.
A slight boost in blood pressure is normal at 26 weeks pregnant.
If your doctor sees too high of a boost though, she might have you monitored more closely.
That’s because hypertension—a systolic reading of more than 140 mm Hg or diastolic reading more than 90 mm Hg—could be a sign of preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome.
These potentially dangerous pregnancy complications would need to be treated right away.
26 WEEKS PREGNANT BELLY
By 26 weeks pregnant, you’ve probably gained about 16 to 22 pounds—or about 27 to 42 pounds if you’re 26 weeks pregnant with twins.
When you touch your 26 weeks pregnant belly, you’ll notice the top of your uterus is about 2.5 inches above your belly button.
Your belly will keep growing about a half inch each week for the rest of your pregnancy.
26 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
You’ve probably got a couple weeks until your next prenatal appointment and typically there is no 26 weeks pregnant ultrasound, so you’re probably itching to find out what’s going on inside your 26 weeks pregnant belly.
Here’s a look: Baby’s taking breaths—of amniotic fluid, not air. It’s good practice for those first moments after birth!
Baby’s getting his or her immune system ready for life on the outside by soaking up your antibodies.
And baby’s eyes are forming, and his or her eyes will soon start to open.
Can you believe your 26-week fetus has already grown eyelashes? Soon, he or she will start batting them. (Aw!)
Your Baby at Week 26
Baby’s Running Out of Room
What’s up with your baby? He now weighs a full two pounds and measures 14-plus inches long.
Your baby will soon be feeling a little cramped in your uterus — but not to worry, there’s still plenty of space for him to grow.
It just means your tiny gymnast will have less room for those somersaults, cartwheels and other Olympic feats.
26 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 26 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 6 of your pregnancy.
Only 3 months left to go! Still have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Baby’s Eyes Open
Look who’s looking! It’s your baby! His eyes — which have been closed for the past few months (so that the retina, the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus, could develop) — are beginning to open at 26 weeks pregnant.
That means your baby is able to see what’s going on now, though unfortunately the view in your uterus isn’t all that exciting.
But do try this at home for kicks: Shine a flashlight at your stomach.
Your little peanut might kick in response (as in: “Get that light out of my eyes!”).
Right now, the iris, which is the colored part of the eye, still doesn’t have much pigmentation (that’ll fill in over the next month or two), so it’s too early to start guessing your little one’s eye color.
And even the color your baby is born with might not be the permanent shade.
You may be kept guessing until he’s a year old, with the most dramatic changes occurring between six and nine months.
Brain-Wave Activity Kicks In
Look what else is going on this week:
Your baby’s brain-wave activity is gearing up at this stage in fetal development, which means your little one can not only hear noises but can now also respond to them.
Not in so many words, of course, but with an increase in pulse rate or movement.
Your Body at Week 26
At 26 weeks pregnant, you’re two-thirds of the way through your pregnancy and your uterus is about two-and-a-half inches above your belly button.
And speaking of your navel, have you noticed that it’s taken on a life of its own — a larger-than-life life?
A newly outie belly button may not be your idea of forward fashion (especially when you have a navel piercing or when your once innie belly button now bulges through tight clothes), but it’s de rigueur for the pregnant set.
And it’s easy to understand why.
Beginning somewhere around the middle to end of your second trimester, your enlarging uterus swells enough to push your abdomen forward, making your navel pop out like a timer on a well-done turkey (even though you have a way to go before your baby is “well done”).
Your belly button should revert back to its regular position a few months after delivery — though it may have that stretched-out, “lived in” look. Until then, you can look at the bright side:
It gives you a chance to clean out all the lint that’s accumulated there since you were a kid.
If a full night’s rest has become elusive, welcome to the (sleepless) world of pregnancy insomnia.
Between heartburn and leg cramps, bathroom runs and that big beach ball (with its protruding navel!) beneath your nightie, it’s no wonder your body’s having trouble calming down and drifting off.
But there are lots of tactics to try that should help keep you in bed (and asleep!) instead of pacing the floor, including daytime exercise, a daily dose of fresh air and limiting fluids before you hit the hay.
Baby’s Movements in the Womb
Feel like you’re carrying the Karate Kid with all the kicking going on?
Your baby is actually practicing all kinds of movements that will eventually be used in life on the outside — including pedaling against your belly, a sort of pre-walking skill.
As your baby’s nervous system becomes more developed, fetal movements will become much more coordinated.
And as she gets bigger and stronger, those movements will become much more powerful…and occasionally, even painful to you. If your baby lands a good one, that tiny left hook might hurt — a lot.
Another trick she may try — stretching that leg out so far that the foot becomes lodged between your ribs (ouch).
Next time you come under attack, try changing positions or doing some stretches of your own.
You can also gently push your baby back with your hand when your knee-jerker jerks a little too hard.
You just might be able to send your little slugger back into the corner of the ring