Are you just as excited as we are about the arrival of your baby? (Duh, of course, you are!) As of now, you are carrying a 26 week old fetus in your belly that is just a few weeks away from finally getting into your arms. We are absolutely sure that imagining the first touch of your baby gives you chills and unexplained tears. It is just a matter of time before this scenario in your head turns into reality.
How far along are you in your pregnancy?
26 weeks is equal to five months and three weeks. You are slowly moving towards completing the sixth month of your pregnancy. Your 26 week old fetus is going to enter the third and last trimester of pregnancy. We know you want your baby in your lap as soon as possible. But you will have to wait for a couple more months.
Your baby at 26 weeks
Many changes occur in 26 week old fetus. These changes are described as follows:
Development of fingernails
At this point of development, teeny tiny nails begin to appear. These nails, although very small, begin to get sharper and longer until the time of delivery. Babies usually have somewhat sharp nails when they are born. Their formation begins this week.
As the baby prepares itself for the outer world, it practices many movements and reflexes. One of these movements is swallowing reflex. The 26 week old fetus swallows the fluid present inside the mother’s belly. This fluid is called amniotic fluid.
Swallowing of this fluid gets impaired in some developmental abnormalities of the food canal. If such problems occur, the level of fluid in the belly increases. These increased levels are harmful to the development of the baby.
Opening of eyes
Your little one opens its eyes for the first time this week. Although the sense of sight of the baby doesn’t develop properly by this time, the opening of eyes lids is an achievement itself. And your baby deserves three cheers for that!
The inside of the uterus is dark and the baby cannot see anything. However, the opening of eyes is a developmental milestone that your 26 week old fetus achieves.
Increased brain activity
Another developmental milestone that your baby achieves this week is related to the brain. Studies have recorded an increase in the amount of brain activity at 26th week. This means that your baby is soon going to be capable of reflex responses. Even though the organs through which it performs reflex activities are still developing, the reflex circuits have formed.
Size of the baby
How big is the baby at 26 weeks? Your baby measures about 14 inches in length. This length is as big as the head of kale.
Even though the baby is increasing in size as compared to previous weeks, the real growth spurt is going to happen in the coming weeks. So get ready to see the visible and marked increase in your belly size as well.
The weight of the baby
Your 26 week old fetus weighs about 1.7 pounds. Yes! This is how heavy your baby is at this moment. You must have gotten used to carrying this weight by this time of pregnancy. Your baby is going to get thrice of this weight until the time of delivery.
Movements of a 26-week baby
You might be feeling your 26 weeks pregnant baby moving a lot at this point. This is very healthy. The movements usually increase by the time fetus reaches this week. These movements are shown in the form of kicks and punches (lol, not as brutal as they sound).
However, if you feel lesser activity or movement from your baby as compared to previous weeks, contact your doctor immediately. This sign is most dangerous. It means that your baby’s life is at risk.
Your body at 26 weeks
As we always say that not only does your baby change throughout this pregnant journey, but your body also changes. We are here with changes that happen to your body in the 26th week.
Trouble while sleeping
Insomnia or having trouble to sleep is one of the symptoms you will experience in this week. This can happen due to the following reasons:
Hormonal changes are one of the major causes of changes in your sleep-wake cycle. Increased levels of pregnancy hormones can prevent you from getting a good night sleep.
We totally agree that pregnancy puts a lot of stress on your body both physically and mentally. It is due to these sheer stresses that your sleep gets disturbed.
Some tips to help you sleep better at night
You can adopt the following ideas to sleep comfortably:
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid caffeine
- Do light exercises
- Avoid sleeping on your back
- Prop yourself with sleeping pillows
- Use scents and dim lights
- Listen to soothing music
- Understand your pregnancy better to remain stress-free
These techniques can reduce your stress levels and you will feel better.
With your 26 weeks old fetus in your belly, are you becoming more forgetful? Does remembering and memorizing stuff seem hard for you? You have got a “pregnancy brain” these days.
This term is referred to as a condition of forgetfulness that most of the mothers-to-be experience due to excessive stress. Well, that’s totally fair considering the load you’ve got on your mind.
Higher blood pressure
When you enter the 26th week of your pregnancy, the chances of you getting higher blood pressure increase. The total circulating blood in your body increases. This, along with so many other pathological reasons, your blood pressure raises. This is not something to worry about as long as it doesn’t cross a particular limit and is under control.
But if your blood pressure remains constantly high then you need to have a talk with your doctor.
Headache and swelling
Headache is a complication that most of the 26-week pregnant mothers report. Due to the stress of upcoming delivery and changes that occur inside your body due to pregnancy, you get headaches. Taking a low potency painkiller approved by your doctor often helps.
As you move along your pregnancy, the swelling in your body also increases. This increased swelling can sometimes be problematic to you when your shoes don’t fit anymore. This swelling disappears once your baby is delivered.
26 weeks pregnant cramps in lower abdomen
Are you noticing your belly muscles being really taut and painful? Yep, those are Braxton-Hicks contractions. These contractions become more prominent in the 26th week if you are pregnant with twins.
There is nothing to worry about. As we have mentioned before, these contractions are just a way for your body to prepare itself for the actual event of delivery. Just breathe through the pain and try to stay light and breezy.
Must have essentials for 26-week pregnant mothers
There are some items that you must carry with yourself when you’re having 26 week old fetus in your belly. Some of these items are:
- Belly belts
- Flip flops
- Bra extenders
- Belly cream
- Pregnancy pajamas
- Pain and heat wrap
- Over the counter pain killers
Having these items with yourselves can really ease this week for you.
Start setting up a baby nursery
Setting up and renovating a room for your baby is a very long process. Finding the right crib, matching the color schemes, finding safe toys, and so many other things are really overwhelming. You must start planning now!