26 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know
You’re 26 weeks pregnant!
By now it’s probably hit you there’s only three months left of being pregnant!
It’s a good time to start reviewing the sort of birth you hope for and putting together a birth plan.
This means by the time you give birth, you and your partner and on the same page as each other.
Worrying about uninvited guests turning up when you’re in labour?
This article Saying ‘No’ to Unwanted Birth Support People might help you both feel confident in choosing who will be notified when you do go into labour.
By now, you may be experiencing the phenomenon known as “pregnancy brain”.
You may find yourself being especially forgetful, even walking into a room and not remembering why you came.
It’s completely normal, though doctors aren’t really sure what causes it.
It may go away after pregnancy, or you may just begin calling it “mummy brain!” Lack of sleep is likely a big contributor.
You are also likely having trouble sleeping and may have headaches more frequently than usual.
Both of these problems are contributing to your forgetfulness, so if you’re feeling tired, try to get some rest.
Remember to get exercise during the day to help you sleep better at night.
Exercise is also a great way to keep your weight gain slow and steady.
In addition try to stop drinking liquids a few hours before bed to limit nighttime trips to the toilet.
26 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
At 26 weeks pregnant, it’s normal to experience some swelling, which may come and go until baby comes.
Most women report swelling in their ankles and lower legs, so remember to prop them up when you can.
It’s also not uncommon for your blood pressure to start to go up slightly.
However, any sudden increase in blood pressure or swelling which comes on suddenly or is very severe, can be a cause for alarm.
This is because high blood pressure (hypertension) and sudden or severe swelling can be an indicator of preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition marked by an abnormal rise in blood pressure and protein in the urine. You can read more about this condition in Preeclampsia – Signs And Symptoms Of Preeclampsia.
It’s a very dangerous condition that can lead to complications for you and baby, and even death.
Always contact your doctor or midwife immediately if you notice any signs of preeclampsia, as early treatment is essential.
HELLP syndrome is a rare condition which affects around 15 of pregnancies worldwide. You can read more about it in HELLP Syndrome During Pregnancy.
Treatment of preeclampsia is being researched with a recent study looking at the successful use of a diabetes drug.
When you’re 26 weeks pregnant, it’s not unusual to begin to experience clumsiness, too.
It’s related to the fact that your centre of gravity has shifted, your joints have loosened and you’ve gained weight.
It’s likely to get worse before it gets better so stick to wearing low heeled shoes and slippery surfaces.
You’re also probably starting to see more of your belly button than ever before!
At 26 weeks pregnant your uterus is starting to push forward as well as up.
The top of your uterus is about 2.5 inches (63m) above your belly button.
This means your belly button will start to pop outwards if you have an ‘innie’ navel.
It can be a little irritating as the skin inside your belly button isn’t used to being exposed to the world.
But don’t worry, your belly button will return to its usual position a few months after giving birth..
However you may notice it’s not the same shape, after the skin is stretched.
26 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
Baby’s eyes have been closed for the last few months but are beginning to open now.
Shine a torch at your belly and your baby might kick or wriggle in response to the light.
Your baby is practicing breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid.
From now until around 37 weeks the amniotic fluid levels will remain pretty much at 800 millilitres.
So even though your baby is swallowing fluid, they’re also excreting it as urine.
Sounds a bit gross!
But it all goes towards development and preparation for life outside the uterus.
Baby’s immune system is developing, too.
Right now this development consists primarily of absorbing your antibodies to be ready for the outside world.
Your baby’s eyes may open this week, which might lead you to wonder what colour they are!
However at this stage the coloured part of the eye, the iris, doesn’t have much pigmentation.
The retina is now formed, which is the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus.
This means your baby can now see what’s happening.
Although this isn’t likely to be too interesting as there’s not much to see in there, except for the umbilical cord.
But you can try shining a torch at your belly and see if you can get a response.
Some babies will kick and wriggle when a bright light is shining close by.
This week, your baby probably weighs between 600 grams and 1.2 kg, is about 34-38 cm long, and around the size of a large swede.