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26 Weeks Pregnant

Dr. Daniel Lee

Reviewed by
Dr. Daniel Lee

26 Weeks Pregnant : What to Expect

As you enter your twenty-sixth week of pregnancy and draw closer to the end of the second trimester, you may be feeling great one day and terrible the next. This is normal, considering the many changes happening within your body. 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

By now you’ll be experiencing more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions, which feel like menstrual cramps, and you’ll frequently feel the need to use the restroom and the need to lie down. Many women begin to experience pain under their ribs as the baby kicks and stretches inside the uterus. Try changing positions to relieve the pain. You may also feel more back pain due to your increased weight — you should have gained about 20–23 pounds by this point. Try to avoid weighing yourself daily or more than once a day, as your weight will fluctuate due to water retention.

Baby’s Development

Your baby is growing quite gradually at this point, weighing about two pounds and close to 14 inches in length. During the twenty-sixth week your baby’s eyelids (which have been sealed shut until now) begin to open and blink on their own. The eyes are blue, but 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.

26-weeks-pregnant

Pregnancy Week 26 Tips

If you’re experiencing severe pains, contact your doctor, and try resting as much as possible. Headaches and 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. Next is pregnancy at 27 weeks.

Photo credit: Kelly Wagoner 26 weeks pregnant, ultrasound

Photo credit: Kelly Wagoner 26 weeks pregnant, ultrasound

[Page updated August 2014]