You’re 26 weeks pregnant and in the second trimester.
By now it has probably hit you; you have around three months left of being pregnant.
You will be seeing your midwife or healthcare provider this week; it might help to make a list of questions you would like to ask at your appointment.
How many months is 26 weeks pregnant?
You are six months pregnant. There is a lot to be done this week, and time to start those preparations.
The second trimester is a good time to review the sort of birth experience you are hoping for, and to put together a birth plan.
That means by the time you are ready to give birth, you and your partner will both be on the same page.
The birth plan also helps the hospital staff to be aware of your wishes at the time you go into labor, and during the birth.
Don’t forget to ask your care provider to book your breastfeeding and birth preparation classes.
Are you worried about uninvited guests turning up while you’re in labor?
This article, Saying ‘No’ to Unwanted Birth Support People, might help you both feel more confident about choosing who will be notified when you go into labor.
By now, you could be experiencing the phenomenon known as ‘pregnancy brain’.
You might find yourself being especially forgetful – for example, walking into a room, and not remembering why you were there.
Doctors aren’t really sure what causes it, but it’s completely normal.
It will probably go away after pregnancy. If it doesn’t, you could just start calling it ‘mummy brain’. Lack of sleep is probably a major contributor.
You are likely to have trouble sleeping right now, and you might experience headaches more frequently than usual.
Both of these problems contribute to forgetfulness, so if you’re feeling tired, try to get more rest.
A 26 weeks pregnant, remember to do some exercise during the day.
Don’t drink liquids in the few hours before bed; that will reduce the number of night time trips to the toilet.
26 weeks pregnant belly
You’re 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 upward.
The top of your uterus is about 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) above your navel.
That means your belly button will start to pop outwards – even if you normally 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 navel will return to its usual spot a few months after giving birth.
It might go back to its usual shape, though, because the skin has been stretched.
26 weeks pregnant symptoms
When you’re 26 weeks pregnant, it’s not unusual to begin to experience clumsiness, too.
It’s related to the fact that your center of gravity has shifted, your joints have loosened, and you’ve also gained weight.
This is likely to get worse before it gets better, so stick to wearing low heeled shoes and avoid slippery surfaces.
You might or might not have experienced Braxton Hicks contractions. They are ‘practice’ contractions that tighten your tummy.
Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome at pregnancy week 26
At 26 weeks pregnant, it’s normal to experience some swelling, which can come and go until the baby arrives.
Most women report swelling in their ankles and lower legs, so remember to prop them up whenever you can.
It’s also common for blood pressure to start to go up, or even slightly down, at this time.
Any sudden increase in blood pressure, however, or any swelling that comes on suddenly or is very severe, can be a cause for alarm.
This is because hypertension and sudden or severe swelling can be indicators of preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count).
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition marked by an abnormal rise in blood pressure and protein in the urine.
More information here: Preeclampsia – Signs And Symptoms Of Preeclampsia.
It’s a very dangerous condition that can lead to complications for you and baby, and can even cause death.
Always contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately if you notice any signs of preeclampsia. Early treatment is essential.
HELLP syndrome is a rare condition and affects about 15% of women with eclampsia or severe preeclampsia.
You can read more about it in HELLP Syndrome During Pregnancy.
Treatment of preeclampsia is being researched, and a recent study looks at the successful use of a diabetes drug.
GDM (gestational diabetes) at 26 weeks pregnant.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells.
The GTT (glucose tolerance test) is requested for all pregnant women at 26-28 weeks. If you have any complexities associated with your pregnancy, you will be requested to do an early GTT as well.
You will be required to eat nothing overnight, and to have a glucose drink in the morning. Then you will have three blood tests; each blood test is an hour apart.
GDM testing has increased by a huge amount; all pregnant women between 26 and 28 weeks are tested. The outcomes for mothers and babies, however, have not improved because of testing.
If you don’t want to do the GDM test, there are other ways of testing your blood sugar on a daily basis.
How is GDM treated at pregnancy week 26?
Those who develop gestational diabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
In most cases, there are no symptoms.
A blood sugar test during pregnancy is used to make a diagnosis.
Treatment strategies include daily blood sugar monitoring, a healthy diet, exercise, and monitoring the baby.
If blood sugar is too high, medication is required.
Is bending down bad when 26 weeks pregnant?
Physical demands (lifting, standing, bending), heavy lifting, standing for long periods of time, or bending a lot during pregnancy could increase your chances of miscarriage, preterm birth, or injury during pregnancy.
Always bend at your knees, not at your waist. Keep the load close to your body, lifting with your legs, not with your back.
26 weeks pregnant and weight gain
Your weight gain should still be steady as your baby continues to grow. Too much weight gain can lead to problems.
Above all, choose healthy eating. It’s good for you, and it makes sure your baby is getting the best building blocks for development.
You can have an occasional treat, of course, but try to ensure your diet is based on nutritious whole foods.
Continue to get some exercise at 26 weeks pregnant as it will also make you feel better.
In fact, movement keeps your circulation going and can reduce the swelling in your feet and legs.
Remember to keep the exercise low key. Don’t overdo it – especially if you’re not used to exercising, and during hot weather.
This is not the time to step up your exercise program. The amount of exercise you’ve been used to doing up to this point should be your guide as to how much you do in the future.
If you haven’t been exercising and want to start now, begin with a gentle exercise routine at first.
Every expectant mother can benefit from a leisurely walk.
More information here: Exercise and Pregnancy.
What happens to sperm when you’re already pregnant?
Most of it will simply be discharged from the body through the vaginal opening.
Thanks to the placenta, amniotic sac, and mucus plug covering the cervix, your baby has a protection system that’s very specific about what goes in and stays out!
Can you hurt your baby in the womb while sleeping at week 26?
At 26 weeks you can sleep on either side — preferably on the left, if possible. This is an ideal position for you and your baby.
Lying on the left allows for maximum flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta, and less stress on the vena cava (a major blood vessel leading to the heart). It also enhances kidney function, which means better elimination of waste products and less swelling in your feet, ankles, and hands.
If you have trouble sleeping, try a pregnancy pillow that might ease your discomfort and help you into that comfortable sleeping spot that is sometimes impossible to find.
Is it okay if my baby doesn’t move for a day at 26 weeks?
At 26 weeks your baby has a pattern of movement that they develop. Most women can feel these movements from around 20 weeks.
This pattern is different for all fetuses. Some might move more in the evening; some in the morning. Some kick all the time and others not so much. The pattern should not change.
The key is, that if your pattern changes or you feel reduced movements, you need to contact your doctor for an assessment.
Babies do sleep, however, and will not be moving as much at this stage. Some have extended periods of sleep.
There is some outdated information out there. You might hear, for example, that if you have a cold drink, the baby will move, or that your baby’s movements slow down in the third trimester.
This information is not correct.
Always check it out with your healthcare provider, if you’re not sure.
26 weeks pregnant baby position
Your baby can be in any spot it likes! The baby has plenty of time at 26 weeks pregnant to get into that optimal fetal position, and she might or might not be head down yet.
Be careful not to recline too much. Try a more forward leaning posture to encourage the baby to move into an anterior position.
Here are some tips to help get your baby into a good spot:
- Optimal fetal positioning with Spinning Babies
- Chiropractic care
- Relaxation – let that oxytocin flow
Chat to your doctor or healthcare provider for more information.
26 weeks pregnant and your baby
Your little one is practicing breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid.
This week, your baby probably weighs around 600 grams (1.32 pounds) and is about 34-38 cm (13-14 inches) long, and around the size of a large swede.
From now until around 37 weeks, the amniotic fluid levels will remain at about 800 milliliters.
Between 25 and 35 weeks gestation, if the baby is a boy, the testicles migrate down slender channels into the lower abdomen (inguinal canals) and settle into the scrotum.
What is my baby doing inside the womb at 26 weeks?
At 26 weeks, even though your baby is swallowing fluid, she’s also excreting it as urine.
Does that sound a bit gross? Maybe, but it’s all about the baby’s development and preparation for life outside the uterus.
Baby’s immune system is developing, too. Right now this development primarily consists of absorbing your antibodies, to be ready for the outside world.
Your baby’s eyes might open this week. That probably leads you to wonder what color they might be.
At this time, in fact, the iris – the colored part of the eye that gives us our eye color – doesn’t have much pigmentation at all.
The retina is now formed; that’s the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus. This means your baby can now see what’s happening.
It isn’t likely to be too interesting, though. There’s not much to see in there, except for the umbilical cord.