At this point in your pregnancy, your 26 week baby bump is most likely the center of your world. Every action you take, from the food you eat to the way you rest, everything is done after thinking about the baby first. Even as new symptoms come along to rock your boat, you keep going on, bearing all the discomfort bravely, all for the sake of your tiny one. It’s like everything revolves around those tiny but mighty movements inside your belly.
You don’t know it yet, but this is a prelude to parenthood. Caring for a child is more than just buying the correct care products and baby-proofing the house. It is about staying patient and steady even when the world shakes with all the changes happening. It means doing your best to look after your little one, trying your best to make things safe and happy for them, as well as your family.
Each hurdle that you overcome in these weeks makes you stronger, no matter how much it may make you stumble. Each time, you get with even more determination to finish off these remaining laps with all the energy you can muster.
Size of the baby at 26 weeks
The size of the baby at 26 weeks is around 14 inches, weighing approximately 1.7 pounds. If you want a clearer picture, the size of the baby at 26 weeks is about as big as a head of kale. All this time, your baby has been working hard, doing their best to support you by growing more with each day. Now, they will start breathing in the amniotic fluid, getting practice for the day when they will breathe the same air as you. Their immune system is slowly getting ready by absorbing various antibodies from you.
The baby is also already growing eyelashes and their eyes are forming. These eyes are still shut but will open soon, allowing the baby to take a peek at their surroundings. The skin is moving closer to opaque and your tiny one is as active as ever, eager to move around with their new limbs. As the nerves in their ears develop, they are slowly starting to be able to discern your voice from others.
At 26 weeks pregnant, the size of your belly has grown significantly, too. If you are carrying a single child, your 26 week baby bump has probably added significant extra weight. You may have put on 16 to 22 pounds by now. If you are pregnant with twins, this weight gain is even more in value, being around 27 to 42 pounds.
If you touch your belly with the 26 week baby bump, you may notice that the top of your uterus is about 2.5 inches above your belly button. This will only keep growing with the time to come, around 0.5 inches per week. You are probably marveling at how beautiful the shape of it looks inside all your favorite maternity outfits. As uncomfortable as you may feel because of all the symptoms, the pride you have for your baby is never going to change.
26 weeks pregnant symptoms
Your 26 weeks pregnant symptoms will bring with them a wave of discomfort as your baby keeps growing inside of you, which means your body has to adjust accordingly. Not all these adjustments will feel pleasant and you may feel more stressed because of the increasing changes, especially when they bring pain.
However, remember that you have been hanging in there for so long and you can still keep going. After all, you are a team, and as long as you stay resilient, your baby will stay strong through all that growth. As long as you stay together, supporting each other, no symptom is too unbearable.
Here are the 26 weeks pregnant symptoms that you may experience:
The puffiness and mild swelling of limbs from the previous weeks are likely to continue this week as well. You may be annoyed by swollen feet and ankles, but elevating your feet may give you some relief. In case the swelling is severe or sudden, make sure to inform your doctor as soon as possible to have it checked out. It is always good to convey any and all concerns to your doctor so that you can avoid further complications.
2. Trouble sleeping
Due to all these different changes as well as the increased movement of the baby inside of you, it may be difficult to catch some sleep. Try some solutions such as limiting your caffeine intake, drinking lots of water, as well as doing some light exercise such as walking to make your body feel more at ease while resting.
All the fluctuating hormones mixed with the stress can give your bothersome headaches, which means that you need moments of silence and rest to catch your breath. Having a trusted friend or therapist to discuss your doubts and fears can provide you with a healthy outlet to process your emotions.
For these headaches, it could also be hunger pangs and dehydration at work, so remember to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day while also drinking plenty of water. Keep a glass or bottle of water handy so you can take a few sips in the middle of work.
Pregnancy can do funny things to you, one of which is making you more forgetful. The exact cause of this is unknown, but hormones are a likely suspect, along with the fact that you do have a lot on your plate. So, if you find it harder to remember things or focus as much as you could before, try not to get too frustrated.
Remember that this is only temporary and not your fault in any way. Soon, when you are holding a tiny life in the cocoon of your arms, all these inconveniences will seem much smaller in the face of that huge happiness.
5. Braxton Hicks Contractions
You may have read up about labor and contractions, but did you know that there are practice contractions that happen in your body even before you go into labor? These contractions are called Braxton-Hicks contractions, also known as “false labor”.
These feel like an occasional tightening in your abdomen, without growing stronger or closer over a period of time. These are just your muscles testing themselves out as practice for labor. So, don’t panic, because you still have time before the delivery and your body is only preparing itself for that.
In case the contractions become steady, severe, or painful, inform your doctor immediately.
6. Higher Blood Pressure
A slight boost in your blood pressure can happen during this time, but it is usually nothing to worry about. Your doctor will only have you monitored if they spot a higher boost. This is because hypertension, which is a systolic reading of more than 140 mm Hg or a diastolic reading of more than 90 mm Hg, can be a sign of complications. Thus, if there is any hint of risk, your doctor will address it immediately
26 weeks pregnant Ultrasound
Though you probably won’t have 26 weeks pregnant ultrasound as you still have a couple of weeks left until your next appointment, you may still feel curious about just what is happening inside your belly. At a hypothetical 26 weeks pregnant ultrasound, you would be able to see that the baby slowly coming into that image of a newborn. They are breathing the amniotic fluid in and out, while their eyes can sense shifts in light even as they remain shut. The baby also moves around much more now, and they may even suck their thumb.
Your tiny one is getting ready to survive in the world outside, changing more and more with each passing day.
Self-care tips for being 26 weeks pregnant
At this point in your pregnancy, you likely have stuck to your checklist faithfully. Still, there are a few things you may need to add to your list this week and others that you need to continue.
Keep up the healthy diet that you have been maintaining up till now because it will reduce the chances of hypertension and gestational diabetes. Eating food that is nutritious and rich in fiber can also help battle pregnancy constipation. Eat meals in small increments throughout the day, so that digestive troubles such as ingestion and heartburn can be prevented. Make sure to drink a lot of water and also continue taking your prenatal vitamins.
Light exercise during this time will also help keep the weight gain in check. Ask your health practitioner about what is safe and what precautions you should take. Continue doing your kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.
You may have already made a decision on which hospital to choose by this point. There are certain procedures that you need to do along with that, such as touring the maternity ward and inquiring about all the facilities that will be provided. You need to have full faith in the place you choose because this is where you will be cared for at the most vulnerable point of your pregnancy.
Once you make a final decision, you can preregister at the hospital beforehand by filling forms with your details and completing transactions, so that you do not have to do all that when you are in the pain of labor.
Talking to your baby
As the nerves in your baby’s ears develop, they will slowly be able to tell voices apart from each other, which means they will recognize your voice. Thus, you can start communicating with your baby, by speaking to them, singing lullabies, playing them your favorite music, and even getting a headstart on reading those fairy tales.
Your partner can develop their bond with the baby by also speaking to them over your belly, having small communication sessions. This all may seem silly at first, but it is the start of a connection that will last a lifetime.
As time passes, with each week, you’re learning something new. Every day, you’re becoming someone braver, kinder, and warmer. There is so much love inside you, still, and it only keeps growing. When your child comes, they will be able to bask in the entirety of it.