26 Weeks Pregnant : What to Expect
Reviewed by Dr. Shawn A. Tassone, OB/GYN.
As you enter your 26th week of pregnancy and draw closer to the end of the second trimester, you might be feeling great one day and terrible the next. This is normal and due to the many different changes happening within your body, as well as with the baby. This is also the time when you will have scheduled screening tests for anemia, gestational diabetes, and possibly a rhogam injection.
Symptoms and Body Changes at 26 Weeks
Resembling the feeling of menstrual cramps, Braxton Hicks contractions are probably becoming more frequent, as is the need to use the restroom and the need to lie down. At 26 weeks pregnant many women begin to experience pain under their ribs as the baby kicks and stretches inside the uterus. Try changing positions to relieve the symptoms. You may also feel more pregnancy back pain due to your increased weight, which should be about 20-23 lbs at this point. Try to avoid weighing yourself daily or more than once a day, as weight fluctuates due to water retention and being bloated at different points of the day.
Your baby is growing quite gradually at this point, weighing about 2 lbs, and averaging close to 14 inches in length. During the 26th week your baby’s eyelids (which have been sealed shut) begin to open and blink on their own. The color of the eyes is blue, however this will often change after birth. The development of your baby’s eyes is almost complete, and although he or she still seems very lean, fat is definitely building underneath the skin and will continue to do so until birth. The fetal heart is pumping blood, the lungs are developing blood vessels, and the circulatory system is fully functional. The umbilical cord continues to grow stronger and thicker and provides your baby with all essential nutrients. If you are having a boy, the testicles will move into the scrotum during this week.
Pregnancy Week 26 Tips
If you’re experiencing severe pains contact your doctor, and try resting as much as possible. Headaches, leg, foot, pelvic, back, and chest pains are all probably becoming more frequent. A little R&R can really go a long way at this stage. Drinking plenty of fluids and exercising can help with the uncomfortable symptoms of being pregnant such as dehydration, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, and swelling. Also, you may want to consider purchasing a home fetal doppler or fetoscope. Hearing the baby’s movements and heartbeat may help you bond before the birth. A kick counter is another good product to document your baby’s kicks. Next is pregnancy at 27 weeks.