At 26 weeks, you are in the last phase of the second trimester of pregnancy. By now, there are obvious and
prominent physical changes in your body. During the 26th week of pregnancy, you can find your uterus nearly 2.5 inches above your navel. The expectant mother will have a noticeable bulge of the tummy. She may be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions on a regular basis. These contractions are a normal occurrence at this stage and they resemble menstrual cramps. Generally, Braxton Hicks contractions are painless. They prepare the body for upcoming delivery and labor pains. The expectant mother might be distressed due to weight gain, slight rib pains, heartburns, cramps and muscle stretches. If you feel that the pain or discomfort is persistent or unusual, then consult your doctor immediately.
The expectant mother must keep a track of baby’s development by going for regular antenatal medical check ups. At this stage, you might be due for anti tetanus and other vaccines, so consult your doctor. Now is the time, when the mom to be can start planning baby’s nursery and baby care.
Expectant mothers must take adequate rest at this stage. Light exercises and yoga help in calming agitated nerves and aid relaxation. Indulging in light workouts will help the woman to alleviate certain pregnancy related problems. It will also help the pregnant woman in easy handling of labor during childbirth. The mother to be must take good care of herself for ensuring good development of the baby.
Your Symptoms: Stretch marks are probably present by now if you are going to get them. If you don’t have any, consider yourself lucky!
Baby’s Development: Nerve cells are beginning to connect. Baby may respond to loud noises and music by startling. She can also hear your voice, so don’t feel silly talking to her.
Baby’s Size: 30 cm (size of a cucumber), 600 g.
To Do: If you work outside of the home, think about whether you would like to return full-time, part-time, or not at all after the baby is born. If you will be returning, spend some time researching what maternity leave benefits you are eligible for.
The baby’s development is going on at a steady rate during the 26 weeks pregnant stage. The baby’s approximate length is about 9 to 10 inches. This is the crown to rump length and it does not include the measurements of the legs. The baby will weigh approximately 2 pounds during this week of pregnancy. The baby’s eyelids were shut for the past month. During the 26th week of pregnancy, baby will start opening and blinking his eyes. The development of baby’s eyes is nearly complete by now. The eye color of all babies in mother’s womb is blue and will change later in life. Some babies are born with a darker shade of blue and others are born with a lighter blue shade. The baby will now start putting on fat layers till the time of birth. The baby is still quite lean at this time.
The baby during the 26th week of pregnancy resembles a normal baby. The baby develops a good sense of touch. The baby’s heart has started pumping blood. The lungs start developing blood vessels. The baby starts making breathing movements. Baby’s circulation system becomes totally functional. The umbilical cord grows and thickens as blood is strongly flowing through the body for nurturing the baby. The size of the placenta becomes equivalent to the baby’s size. Finger nails and toe nails are growing steadily. The baby has short eyelids and eyebrows at this stage. If the baby is a boy, then the testicles will move down into the scrotum now.
Changes with Your Body
You will continue to grow and put on weight at 26 weeks pregnant. If you have been taking a good balanced diet, then you must have gained around 20 to 23 pounds, which is quite normal. The weight may fluctuate daily due to water retention and bloating at different times in a single day. The uterus has moved further up and is 2.5 inches above the belly button. It will continue to move up further in the next few weeks.
The Braxton Hicks contractions are felt by many women during this stage. Some women experience pains under the ribs as the baby might be sticking out its hand or foot under the ribs. This pain can be relieved by changing the position slightly. The women may feel extra strain on the lower back due to weight gain. There are many different types of minor aches and pains that women might feel during the 26 weeks pregnant stage. These include cramps, sciatica pain, ligament pains and headaches and so on.
These aches and pains can be relieved by doing light pregnancy exercises and yoga. Simple stretching exercises also help a lot in improving blood circulation and relaxation. If the woman feels that the pain is unusual or persistent, then she must consult the physician or doctor immediately. The frequency of urge for urination also increases considerably during this stage. The woman may get up at many times during the night for the same. There might be a lot of stretching of abdominal muscles now due to distended stomach.
What To Expect
Many obvious physical changes are taking place in your body during the 26 weeks pregnant stage. Learn to accept them as normal and natural part of the pregnancy process. You have put on a lot of weight at this stage due to the baby and excess fluids. One must realize that this weight gain is only temporary and you will come back to your normal size after the delivery. This is the time when an expectant mother must take ample rest. Adequate sleep and rest help in relaxation. The woman must do some light exercises, stretching and yoga for relieving minor aches and pains. Use a full bodied pregnancy pillow to relieve stress and pains.
The stretch marks on the abdomen can be minimized by using good anti marks cream. The expectant mother must go for regular antenatal check ups. She can hear her baby’s heartbeats by using stethoscope or Doppler device. The pregnant woman must take due care during the complete pregnancy period so as to ensure her well being through pregnancy and also that of the baby. The woman must take a well balanced diet, indulge in light exercises and keep a positive lookout so that her pregnancy is safe and baby is healthy.