What to expect at 26 weeks pregnant? Just another 14 weeks to go, and your baby will be ready for birth — how amazing is that? Baby weight now is around 2 pounds, and measures 23 cm long, head to heels. Even if your baby would be born early, he would still have a good chance of survival, so worry not. Sleeping may still be quite difficult at this time, so you may want to try sleeping on your left side instead of lying on your back, which will be significantly more comfortable. Here’s everything you need to know about week 26 — from symptoms to your baby’s development and other tips & tricks.
There are many other symptoms that will cause you discomfort — including backache. As your belly grows, it causes round ligaments to stretch, weakens abdominal muscles, and possibly presses on a nerve, which all result in lower back pain. Hormonal changes also loosen your joints and ligaments, so you may feel your back rather achy at the end of the day. Walking, standing, and sitting for long periods of time can put a strain on your muscles, worsening the pain and making it difficult for you to sleep.
Many pregnant women report getting hot and “bothered” to some degree by now.
Also, your skin might start to feel dry and itchy — or the other way around: oily and prone to acne. If you have any breakouts, make sure not to use any harsh chemicals to deal with them — some can be hazardous. Consider keeping a cooling spray in your handbag to help you get through sweaty periods and hot flushes. Use makeup remover to keep your skin fresh and free of dirt; make sure it’s a formula without moisturizer, or else you’ll risk making your skin even oilier.
Your Baby at 26 Weeks
Your baby is the size of a cantaloupe now and this week marks a major milestone in your baby’s hearing and sight. His hearing system (cochlea and peripheral sensory end organs) has started to develop since week 18, and is now fully formed. As your pregnancy progresses, your little one will become increasingly sensitive to sounds, and he’ll soon “jump” in response to loud noises. Since sound passes easily into your uterus, he can hear anything from your heartbeat to a dog barking or even your favorite classical music.
Right now, your fetus is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid. Don’t worry — doing this helps with the development of his small lungs. Not to mention that it prepares your little one for when he’s born and takes the first gulp air — such a thrilling event! He’s still in the process of bulking up, and he’ll continue to pile on fat until birth. If your baby is a boy, his testicles will descend into the scrotum in about 2-3 months. If she’s a girl, her genitals are now almost fully formed.
Ultrasound Images of 26 Week Pregnancy
Bellies at 26 Weeks
Is your back achy? Try taking a warm bath or applying a hot compress to help relieve the discomfort. For some women, a cold compress may be more efficient. Also, make sure you maintain a correct posture throughout the day, and avoid activities that involve bending and/or twisting — they’ll only worsen the pain!
If sleeping is difficult, try lying on one side only, with one or both knees bent with a pillow between your legs, and a second pillow to support your belly. Wear loose clothes that don’t press on your growing tummy, drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and be mindful of what you eat — you don’t want to put on unnecessary pounds!