Your Pregnancy Week 26

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Learn about your symptoms and changes during the 26th week of pregnancy.

Your Baby

During pregnancy week 26 your baby will grow to almost 1.7 pounds. Your baby may be measured now by her crown-to-rump length, which is about 9.5 inches, or her total length, which measures roughly 14 inches long!

Changes in Your Growing Baby

As you continue your pregnancy your baby will continue building layers of fat to protect her during birth. Your baby's heart develops even further. Some women are able to hear their baby's heartbeat through a traditional stethoscope now. Don't worry if you can't though, some women aren't able to do this even up until the point of delivery!
Your baby is also busy building neural pathways inside their ears. These will allow your tiny miracle to respond to noises more routinely while pregnancy. You may notice that your baby tends to jump more or startle at the sound of loud noises now. This is perfectly normal. Your baby will also start to recognize your voice and that of your partner.

Your baby continues to practice breathing and swallowing amniotic fluid. Many boy babies go through a bit of a growth spurt now, as their testicles start their descent into the scrotum. Typically this process will be complete in just two or three days.

Your Body's Development

Your uterus should be roughly 2.5 inches above your navel and will continue growing roughly 1 centimeter every week of your pregnancy. Many women will have put on between 15 and 25 pounds by this time. Keep in mind that weight gain at 26 weeks pregnant often fluctuates significantly around this time primarily due to changes in fluid retention, so don't get bogged down by your scale and weigh yourself too frequently as this can lead to frustration or disappointment.

Changes in Your Body

As you continue your pregnancy growth you might start to become less comfortable. Common symptoms women experience around this time include back pain or pressure and leg cramps. You can help alleviate some of this discomfort by stretching routinely and by eating a nutritious diet to help keep your body charged with the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow properly.
Every week your baby develops your body's hormones also grow, change and adapt. Around this time your body's hormones change and may impact the way your body responds to routine exercise. Keep this in mind because your body becomes more prone to injury as your pregnancy progresses.

Some women start experiencing more headaches again as they approach the third trimester. Fortunately Tylenol is often all that is needed to relieve headache pain around this time. If your headaches seem overly frequent or severe you should consult with your doctor. Your doctor might be able to recommend other treatment choices.

Still other women experience some rib pain around this time as the uterus or your baby's feet even press against your ribs. It is quite normal in fact to feel some stabbing or sharp pains under your ribs when your baby moves about. Fortunately a simple change in position often helps alleviate this discomfort.

It isn't uncommon for many women's blood pressure to rise slightly at the end of the second trimester. Most women's blood pressure is lower in the weeks just before this then rises slightly. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure of course to ensure that your blood pressure stabilizes and does not rise too suddenly. A rapid increase in blood pressure accompanied by other symptoms including pain, swelling or blurry vision may be a sign that you are at risk for or developing pre-eclampsia. Most women will not develop this condition until the third trimester but it is never too early to be on the lookout for warning signs.

Video: What to Expect from the 26th Week of Pregnancy



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