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As you move into the third trimester of your pregnancy, you might feel different day by day and week by week. There is no rule to whether or not you'll be feeling well rested and energized, or you will wake up feeling drained, bloated, and fatigued. The only thing you can do to make yourself feel better is to follow the pace of your own body and allow yourself enough rest.
Your baby at week 26 of pregnancy
Something beautiful will happen to your baby this week. Up until now is eyelids were sealed shut. At one point during this week, your baby will open his eyes for the first time. Your baby is not yet able to see anything inside of the uterus. He will blink and close and open his eyes as he falls asleep and wakes up.
Usually, the babies are colored blue, which will change naturally as the baby grows after birth.
Your baby still looks very lean, but he will gain fatty supplies and increase weight gradually throughout the remaining weeks of the pregnancy.
How big is your baby at 26 weeks pregnant?
Your baby is now the size of a beetroot, measuring around 14 inсhes (35.6 cm) in length and weighing around 2 pounds (907 g). The uterus is becoming tight for him, and you'll feel more and more uncomfortable when he kicks and stretches.
26 weeks pregnant baby position
Because of the growth, the baby is starting to run out of room to do the acrobatics you’re accustomed to. However, there’s still room for maneuvering. At 26 weeks, your baby usually begins to find a position for birth, usually turning so that the head faces down. It’s also not strange at this stage for the baby to lie horizontally across your belly in a transverse lie.
Pregnancy week 26 fetal development
Baby's blood vessels are fully functioning. Her heart is pumping blood. The circulatory system is now fully functional. Your baby has grown all of the blood vessels and they are now performing their role.
Babies lungs are also developing blood vessels at this stage. As the lungs aren't yet fully functional, premature babies experience trouble breathing but are still theoretically viable. This means that in the case that you go into premature labor, the baby already has a chance of survival.
However, this is a circumstance you should try to avoid so that your baby gets more time to grow her lungs and brain properly inside the uterus.
The umbilical cord is now stronger and thicker, supplying the growing baby with all of the necessary nutrients. The more you approach the end of the pregnancy, your appetite becomes stronger because of this. However, you should keep your food choices healthy, avoiding sweets and snacks.
If there are any issues detected with your placenta, you can also contribute to its health with healthy foods and hydration. Lean meats and eliminating excess fat and processed foods from your diet will keep fragile blood vessels that are feeding your baby through the placenta and the umbilical cord healthy.
Keep in mind that your dietary choices also affect the health of blood vessels that feed your baby. They are not as resilient as the blood vessels in your body. To keep your placenta and the umbilical cord in good shape, eat a lot of greens like spinach, broccoli, and cucumber, and also enjoy plenty of lean meats which are a good source of iron.
At this stage of the pregnancy, you should have gained between 20 and 23 pounds (9-10.5 kg). The extra pounds may not feel comfortable and your body may have changed so much that you are no longer happy with how you look. Most patients should gain between 20 and 30 lb (9-13.6 kg) during pregnancy.
An average woman requires 2,000 to 2,500 kcal/day during pregnancy. The caloric requirement is increased by 500 kcal/day when breastfeeding. So you are not gaining extra weight for no reason.
Try not to get upset over this. Towards the end of the pregnancy, your body changes rapidly. You may have noticed that your shape was nothing like before, and you might start to feel down and lose confidence. Try not to worry about this too much.
After labor, you will gradually shed excess pounds because, the baby will be out, and you will also be more active with breastfeeding. You will lose a lot of water weight. A great portion of what makes you look bloated and stuffy in the face is the build-up of water inside your body. This happens normally during the pregnancy.
Keep in mind to be kind and respectful to your body, and don't be too judgemental towards your own reflection in the mirror.
26 weeks pregnant belly
Typically, your belly button will have popped out already, and the skin might feel tight and itchy. Pay attention to moisturizing and hydration to give your skin more elasticity.
26 weeks pregnant symptoms
At week 26 of your pregnancy, Braxton Hicks contractions will be more frequent and stronger than during the previous weeks.
As the baby puts more and more pressure on your bladder, you will feel more urge to go to the bathroom.
It's common to feel pains under your ribs and in your lower back as the baby is rapidly growing and stretching to feel more comfortable inside the womb. To ease these pains, try changing positions and making yourself comfortable on the couch while using pillows to support your back.
You could experience pregnancy insomnia, or otherwise, have trouble sleeping due to back pain and general discomfort.
Usually, you will see your baby bring his hands towards the face during an ultrasound, and you might also see the baby stick her tongue out. As the fetal movement coordination improves, so will the baby's movements. Your doctor will be able to tell you the gender with a great deal of accuracy.
Contact your doctor if you're experiencing severe pains. Some pains are normal like those in your lower back, in your ribs, legs, and knees, because of the increasing body weight.
However if your sensations make you feel concerned and the pains don't feel natural and normal, contact your doctor right away.
You should also talk to your doctor if your ankles, as well as knees, start to swell, especially if the changes are sudden and the swelling wasn't there before. Headaches and migraines are also normal at this stage. You should talk to your doctor if your headaches are becoming more severe and more frequent.
Hydration is of the biggest importance as you are moving into the third trimester. Drinking enough water will secure that the baby has sufficient supplies of the amniotic fluid and you don't suffer from fatigue and constipation more than you already are. Don't push yourself to drink as much water as possible, but feel free to drink whenever you feel thirsty.
The 26th week of pregnancy is a great time to go on a "babymoon", a short vacation with your partner to enjoy all of the romantic time before you give birth.
Soon after your baby is born, you won't have as much time for yourselves as you once had, so enjoying the last remaining lone time with your partner is a great idea. Especially because this is the last remaining time period during pregnancy when you can travel safely.
You might feel an urge to stay active at all times as you move into a state that's called "nesting syndrome", but make sure to not overwork yourself and avoid skipping meals.
While you still feel energized and you're still in the mood for some housework, it's a good time to discuss household changes with your partner.
Keeping the home in order will be a lot more difficult with a baby. This is why it would be wise to minimize all of your belongings and furnishings, keeping only what is necessary and of frequent use. It's a good time to throw a garage sale or do a purge of all the things that are unnecessary in your home. This will help you not only to maintain your home faster and easier, but your house will also look tidier with all of the baby's things that will be lying around after you give birth.
Sex at week 26 of pregnancy
Towards the end of the second trimester, sex might feel a bit uncomfortable, but it's still safe and healthy. With proper guidance from your doctor, try to stay as intimate as possible with your partner.
Here are some important to-do's for the 26th week of pregnancy:
- Organize a "babymoon" if possible.
- If you haven't already, schedule screening for gestational diabetes.
- Plan and schedule regular, healthy meals to avoid crash-eating sweets and snacks.
- Track fetal kicks and movements.
- Purge and organize your home.
What to ask your doctor?
Communicating closely with your doctor during pregnancy is important for you to feel calm and not worry too much. Issues like fetal movements and the pace and frequency of the baby's kicks are also concerning for parents who aren't familiar with what's normal and what's not. Ask your doctor how to track the baby's activity and kicks, and when to check in if you feel like the baby is becoming agitated or overly still.
Bloating is normal during pregnancy but talk to your doctor about when to check in in case you experience excess bloating of your ankles and joints. There is no 'one size fits all' measurement in this area, so your doctor should be able to tell you and perhaps give a visual presentation of what sort of swelling should alarm you. Your doctor should instruct you about TORCH syndrome and the dangers of fetal infections.
If you're experiencing nervousness and agitation during pregnancy, talk to your doctor about how to manage stress. Your doctor might prescribe some light medication or light exercise like yoga. If you're suffering from mental illness during pregnancy talk to your doctor about ways to deal with stress and panic.