Welcome to the last week of the second trimester! You’re almost in the home stretch! Here’s what’s going on with you (and your baby) during the 26th week of pregnancy!
Your Body at 26 Weeks Pregnant
The top of your uterus is approximately two and half inches above your navel, or ten and a half inches above your pubic bone. If you’ve been eating well and were of an average size prior to getting pregnant, your weight gain is most likely between 16 and 22 pounds.
You may be experiencing one of the not-so-welcome joys of pregnancy; constipation. Constipation is often the result of the high amounts of progesterone in your body at this point. Progesterone is known to slow down digestion, and stop things from moving the way they should. There are things you can do though, such as upping the amount of fiber in your diet, and increasing your activity level. Believe it or not, getting some exercise may help keep your bowels regular!
You may notice you’re experiencing headaches and migraines more. This isn’t uncommon towards the final trimester of pregnancy. Make sure you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day as dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches. Taking Tylenol may help relieve symptoms as well.
It’s normal for your blood pressure to increase slightly from this point on and your caregiver may begin to monitor it. If a rise in blood pressure is accompanied by other signs, such as swelling or blurred vision, it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia (toxemia) and medical attention should be sought immediately.
Leg cramps may begin to intensify this week. Be sure you’re eating a balanced diet, and stretching often to help avoid these painful cramps! You may also notice some rib pain this week. This isn’t uncommon and is the result of your uterus making its way further up into your ribs. Your little one might be kicking or moving around in such a way that irritates you as well.
Your Baby at 26 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is nearly two pounds and between nine and ten inches long! At this point, your baby is about the size of a large cucumber!
Your baby’s eyes have been developing up to this point, but this week they have opened! Your baby is aware of changed in light, and can see (although it is dark in her uterine home).
Your baby is now able to nod and shake her head, as if she’s signaling ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ By this week, she may even be sporting some hair on her growing head!
Your baby is continuing to pack on fat this week, and will continue to do so up until delivery. Your baby is still practicing her respiratory movements by inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid that surrounds her.
Your baby’s sense of hearing is developing even further this week and you may notice she’s reacting to noises more so than she did previously. If you drop a pan on a tile floor, don’t be surprised if your baby jumps as though she’s startled! She can hear quite well at this point and large noises can startle her!
If your baby is a boy, his testes will begin to descend this week.
A baby born during the 26th week has a good chance of survival if it is born in a hospital well-equipped to handle premature births.
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