Baby Growth at 26 Weeks Pregnant
Congrats mama! Welcome to week 26; only 14 weeks left to go. This week your baby got a little bigger, about the size of an acorn squash now. It weighs about 2 pounds and is nearly 14 inches long. Baby might start to feel a little cramped in your uterus, so you might notice fewer big movements and instead smaller ones like poking and wriggling.
As they start to grow fingernails, we can imagine that some pokes might be a little sharp with those unmanicured edges. Although, the baby is very well protected in the womb. Another exciting update is that they are finally opening their eyes! Their eyes are fully developed and are beginning to open. The retina is in the perfect position to help focus on images. Your little one can get adventurous in your belly now with their open eyes and moving fingers.
Here’s a new party trick: try shining a flashlight at your stomach. Your little one might actually kick back as a response! Even though those eyes are blinking at you, it’s still too early to see the color of their eyes. The iris hasn’t fully pigmented, but they will fill in over the next couple of months so we still have some more surprises coming along the way.
Other than being able to see lights, your baby’s brain wave activity is also in fetal development. At week 26, they should not only hear sounds but also have the ability to respond to them. You can try playing soft music or reading to your baby. There's no harm in reading more books, for both you and the baby! Speaking or reading to your baby can help stimulate their brain waves. Your baby can recognize your voice at birth, especially if you speak or read to them while they are in the womb. If you are a talkative person in general, you might not even need to try at all since they are hearing your voice often.
You and Your Body at Pregnancy 26 Weeks
As your baby grows bigger and bigger, your belly is also growing. Because of this, new or additional stretch marks may start to appear. But don’t worry, it’s natural and all part of the journey; we all get them. You might notice your belly button is becoming an outie if you didn’t have one before, but it will all go back to how it used to be a few months after the baby is born.
As you head off to the third trimester, insomnia might start to progress as your body starts to have trouble calming down and drifting off. A bathroom might become your second bedroom since your bladder is being pressed by…yup, you guessed it – your little one.
Try getting some exercise during the daytime. If your life is becoming chaotic, setting a time to go on a walk every morning can help build some regularity in a daily routine. Pick a podcast for the walk; listening to someone else sharing their pregnancy stories may help with easing some anxieties you may have about becoming a mom.
Typical Symptoms at 26 Weeks Pregnant
With that adventurous energy, the little one is going to practice some moves before it’s showtime. While you’re getting ready to be a mom, they are getting ready to show off some kicks and punches inside. With the baby’s nervous system becoming more and more developed, fetal movements will be more coordinated. As they get bigger and stronger, some moves might hurt quite a bit.
Your baby might also try to stretch since it’s getting tight in there. Try changing positions and do some stretches yourself if they’re in an uncomfortable position.
Some other common symptoms you may experience:
- Bloating and Gas
- Decrease in memory (temporary)
- Blurred vision
- Round ligament pain
If you are like most of us with smartphones, you can utilize your smartphone to keep a to-do list. It will be harder to lose it that way! Then, you can keep track of any tasks you need to complete and easily add or remove them.
Pregnancy Week 26 Tips and Advice
You’ve been waiting for this for what seems like forever. You can’t wait to meet your baby; you’re so excited and yet overwhelmed. We get it, having a baby marks a big milestone in your life, but don’t forget to set aside time for yourself and put some effort into maintaining that main-character energy. Self-care is important!
Drink lots of water. If you are not a water person, try a squeeze of citrus or add fresh fruit to infuse your favorite fruit flavors. Another great source of Vitamin C is mango and strawberries; try making a tropical smoothie, get creative with smoothies and take this opportunity to incorporate some greens if you are not a veggie person. Although, watch out for too much fluid intake after dinner time so you can sleep like a baby without having to take several bathroom trips.
Pregnancy-intended belly creams and lotions can hydrate, nourish and soothe your bump with gentle ingredients. They’re developed to help with relieving itchy bellies while minimizing stretch mark appearances, although they cannot be completely prevented. It never hurts to treat yourself with some mom-only products because you are special!
As beautiful as this journey is, don’t forget to also take care of yourself. Put on a movie and enjoy this time together with the little one in your belly. It’s never too early to start a tradition with your sweet babe.