Congratulations, because at 26 weeks pregnant you’re only days away from starting your third trimester. This week is the last week of trimester two!
How big is my baby?
At 26 weeks pregnant your baby now weighs around 2 pounds and could measure over 14 inches in length! That’s the size of a zucchini.
Your baby’s development at 26 weeks pregnant
Your baby can now open their eyes, although the colour has not yet been defined. Sensory changes are happening too, with your baby vastly improving their hearing and now being able to clearly hear you and your partner’s voice.
By 26 weeks pregnant, your baby will be responding to the outside world. They can taste, suck and hear, and may show responsive displays if you run your hand across your tummy firmly.
The lungs are developing at a rapid pace this week, although they are not quite fully mature yet. If your baby was born today, they would have about a 78% chance of survival within an intensive care environment (aided breathing).
Oh, if it’s a boy then his balls testicles will soon drop into the scrotum!
You & your body
You might be finding life a little tiring now with all the extra weight you’re carrying around. Make sure you’re clothes are the right size and try to dress comfortably with a well-fitted, supportive bra.
You may have noticed that your belly button has become outward-facing (known as an outie!). This happens because your uterus is pushing your abdomen forward. Your belly button will return to its normal position post-birth so don’t worry too much about it.
Look at the size of my belly!
At 26 weeks pregnant, your baby will be stretching and your uterus will sit at around 2 inches above your belly button. Your pregnant belly will also be growing at around a half-inch every week, so prepare to get a little larger!
As you approach your third trimester, a new pregnancy symptom, Braxton-hicks contractions, may start to appear. These contractions can begin in your second trimester but are much more common from trimester three.
Although rare, pre-eclampsia is a very serious condition mainly characterised by swelling of the legs and face and headaches. Flashing lights are also a reported symptom of the condition. Contact your GP immediately if you believe you are suffering from symptoms associated with pre-eclampsia.
It’s important to maintain an exercise routine going during pregnancy. Exercise will help your body adapt to the changes happening to your shape and weight. Another brilliant benefit of maintaining an exercise routine during your second and third trimesters is postpartum recovery. You will get back into shape much quicker after your baby’s born if you maintain your exercise routine.
Remember to adapt your exercise routine as you get bigger and aim for low-impact exercises, like walking, yoga and swimming. Remember to avoid strenuous exercise, especially in hot weather, and always take on plenty of fluids. If you’re unsure about how much exercise you should be doing, talk to your GP or midwife.
Things to do this week
Now is the right time to put some serious thought into your antenatal programme.
Some mums like the NHS antenatal classes, whilst others prefer NCT. These are both fantastic resources for UK parents to meet other local parents at the same stage of pregnancy because you all understand some key aspects of raising a newborn (feeding, medical conditions, nappy changing etc.).
Lots of parents make long term friends that they meet post-birth at these gatherings and remember your work has to give you time off to attend these important events.
If you are trying to keep to a strict baby budget, then buying second-hand is a sensible way to save money. There are lots of online marketplaces to seek out bargains. Be sure to check out all the usual suspects like; Facebook, eBay, Gumtree, and if you’re in the UK you can also try NCT sales.
Getting excited? It’s never too early to start reading some tips on how to approach your first day as a new mum.