26 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy Week By Week
26 WEEKS PREGNANT
Are you stressing yourself out with worries and concerns about impending motherhood? With only 13 weeks left to go until your due date, it’s only natural to have some anxieties about being responsible for the life and well-being of a tiny, helpless little life. If this is your first go-around at being a mom, having a baby might be a little scary at first. But don’t let those temporary worries get to you because your natural mothering instincts will kick in right away, and over the course of the first couple of weeks you’ll learn what your baby’s cries mean, and then before you know it, you’ll get into a routine that will become your new normal.
At 26 weeks pregnant, your baby is as big as an acorn squash, measuring in at around 14 inches long and weighing about 1.7 pounds!
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS WEEK 26
You’re probably wondering, what’s new this week in the world of (not so) joyful pregnancy symptoms? Well, sorry to say, not much is new. The same symptoms you’ve been experiencing over the last couple weeks will still haunt you during week 26 of your pregnancy and you get to welcome two new pregnancy symptoms! Luck is on your side this week, isn’t it?
Starting with the two new symptoms, here is the run-down of the pregnancy symptoms you may experience during week 26:
- Increased blood pressure. Around the 26th week of pregnancy, it can be normal to have a slightly higher blood pressure than you usually have. However, if your blood pressure increases too much, your OB may decide to monitor your blood pressure a little more closely over the coming weeks. This is because if a pregnant woman’s blood pressure rises too high, it could be a sign of preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome, which are pregnancy complications that can be dangerous for both you and your baby.
- Pregnancy brain. There’s no doubt that you’ve heard other pregnancy women complain of being plagued with pregnancy brain. Have you been forgetting things lately? If you have, then you’ve also been hit with the pregnancy brain plague! There’s no real explanation for why pregnant women have a more difficult time remembering things – it could be due to hormone fluctuations, or it could be just because you have a lot on your mind! Tying a string around your finger to help you remember things may not work this time around, because, well, you’ll probably just forget why you tied a string around your finger anyway.
- Difficulty sleeping. Between not being able to get comfortable because of your bigger belly, having to get up to pee several times during the night, and all the things on your mind, sleep may be getting harder to accomplish. Try finding something to do that will relax you enough that you might be able to catch a few restful Z’s at night, like taking a warm bath, having your spouse give you a massage, or drinking some calming tea.
- Headaches. You might be getting frequent headaches lately. These headaches could be due to hormone fluctuations or they could come on when you’re hungry. Headaches can also be a sign of dehydration, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Swelling. Your legs and feet may swell up occasionally, especially if you’ve been standing on your feet for an extended period of time. Mild swelling is normal and can usually be helped by sitting, resting, and putting your feet up. If the swelling is severe and/or comes on suddenly, contact your OB right away as this could be a sign of a pregnancy complication like preeclampsia.
- Braxton Hicks contractions. You may feel your belly tightening up and getting a bit firmer to the touch because of these contractions. But don’t worry! Braxton Hicks contractions aren’t real contractions – they’re generally sporadic and their timing is very irregular. They’re called practice contractions because your uterus is preparing for the real contractions that will come later on when you’re in labor.
26 WEEK BABY BUMP
Hopefully, you’ve been taking belly pics each week so you can see the baby bump changes from week to week. It’s fun to have those pictures to look back on later or to compare to future pregnancies to see how different one pregnancy is from another.
By 26 weeks pregnant, the recommended weight gain is in the ballpark of 16 to 22 pounds for a singleton pregnancy. If you’re carrying twins, that ballpark goes up to between 27 and 42 pounds. Remember, these numbers are just the recommended weight gains. If you’ve gained less or more, don’t worry unless your doctor does!
26 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
At 26 weeks pregnant, your little one is getting chubbier by the day. He’s also beginning to breathe – though what he’s breathing in is amniotic fluid and not air right now. Your baby’s eyes have been shut tight up until now, but that will change very soon! He will be able to start opening and closing his eyes at will before long – possibly even as early as this week!
As each week goes by and your baby continues to grow, the space he has to move around in is getting more cramped, so you’ll not only feel the baby move around, but you’ll begin to see the baby move if you watch your belly!
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING AT 26 WEEKS PREGNANT?
While you still have 13 weeks until your expected due date, that time is going to go by faster than you expect it to, so it’s best to get some of the preparations for your baby’s arrival out of the way now rather than later. Here are a few things you should be doing at 26 weeks pregnant:
- Preregister at the hospital. Most hospitals will allow you to register in advance (you know, filling out all the paperwork and insurance information) so you don’t have to worry about doing it all while you’re in labor.
- Tour the maternity ward. Contact the hospital you plan to deliver at and ask for a tour of the maternity ward. A lot of women find these tours helpful in calming their nerves about labor and delivery because they can get a visual of what to expect on the big day!
- Do something special for yourself. While it’s important to focus on preparing for your baby’s arrival, you also need to focus on your needs and wants. Take a day and go do something for You know what they say, if mama isn’t happy, no one in the home is happy. So, take some time to go do something that makes you happy!
- Sam C's Editorial Team