You’re 26 weeks pregnant!
By now it’s probably hit you; you have only three months left of being pregnant.
26 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know
It’s a good time to review the sort of birth you are hoping for and to put together a birth plan.
This means by the time you give birth, you and your partner will both be on the same page.
Are you worried about uninvited guests turning up when you’re in labour?
This article, Saying ‘No’ to Unwanted Birth Support People, might help you both feel more confident in choosing who will be notified when you go into labour.
By now, you could be experiencing the phenomenon known as ‘pregnancy brain’.
You might find yourself being especially forgetful – walking into a room, perhaps, and not remembering why you were there.
Doctors aren’t really sure what causes it, but it’s completely normal.
It might go away after pregnancy or, if not, 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 might experience headaches more frequently than usual.
Both of these problems contribute to forgetfulness, so if you’re feeling tired, try to get some rest.
Remember to get exercise during the day.
Exercise is a great way to keep your weight gain slow and steady; it will also help you sleep better at night.
Don’t drink liquids in the few hours before bed; that will limit your nighttime trips to the toilet.
26 Weeks Pregnant: Your Body
At 26 weeks pregnant, it’s normal to experience some swelling, which can come and go until 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 slightly at this time.
However, any sudden increase in blood pressure, or swelling that 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 indicators 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 cause 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 that 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, 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 avoid slippery surfaces.
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 up.
The top of your uterus is about 2.5 inches (6.3cm) above your belly button.
This means your belly button will start to pop outwards – even 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.
It might not be the same shape, though, after the skin has been stretched.
26 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby
Your baby is practising breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid.
From now until around 37 weeks, the amniotic fluid levels will remain pretty much at 800 millilitres.
Even though your baby is swallowing fluid, he’s also excreting it as urine.
Sounds a bit gross?
Maybe, but it’s all about 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 colour they are.
At this stage, in fact, the iris – the coloured part of the eye – 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, which 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.
You can try shining a torch at your belly and see if you 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.