Welcome to week 26! Have stretch marks, pregnancy weight gain, and changes to your belly button been the hallmarks of the second trimester? Good news: you're almost in the third trimester.
Do you have a plan for when friends and family will visit after your baby is born? This week might be a good time to set expectations for who will be able to visit you and when. Visit in the hospital or at home? Visit right after delivery or give it some time?
You might feel a bit uneasy setting these kinds of boundaries, but remember that it’s completely up to you when to introduce your baby to friends and family.
If you haven't already had your glucose screening, it should happen in the next few weeks. This glucose test will help your doctor determine if you have gestational diabetes.
At week 26, your baby is the size of an acorn squash. They’ve gone through a period of rapid growth over the last several weeks and are now closer to full maturity.
26 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Do you feel as though you’re more prone to dropping things or tripping now that you’re pregnant? Many women feel clumsier in the second trimester of pregnancy when their bump starts to grow, impacting their center of gravity.
You have a belly the size of a soccer ball that wasn’t there before, your hormones are all out of whack, and you’re exhausted. Who wouldn’t feel like they can’t walk anywhere without tripping?
Clumsiness is usually a harmless pregnancy symptom, but continue avoiding activities with a fall risk. If you experience any discomfort, prolonged pain, vaginal bleeding, or a decrease in fetal movement, consult your health care provider right away.
If a full night’s rest feels elusive to you at this point in your pregnancy, you may be experiencing pregnancy insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it hard to drift off to sleep or stay asleep at night. It can also make you wake up early and not be able to get back to sleep.
Many pregnant women report struggling with pregnancy insomnia in the second and third trimesters. Pregnancy insomnia can be caused by a host of pregnancy-related issues such as breast tenderness, leg cramps, Braxton Hicks contractions, and more.
There are over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids that are considered safe for occasional use in pregnancy, but always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking these medications or an herbal supplement like melatonin.
Urinary Tract Infections
As your uterus grows, it can keep your bladder from being able to fully empty, causing urinary tract infections. A urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract.
UTIs can cause severe bladder or kidney infections if not treated. Let your health care provider know if you experience painful urination, a strong urge to urinate, or a fever.
To help prevent UTIs, make sure to stay hydrated and try to completely empty your bladder each time you use the bathroom. Adding unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet may also help.
Baby on Board
At 26 weeks, your baby is around 14 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds. If you experience any abdominal pain or discomfort, your doctor may want to do an ultrasound to measure the amniotic fluid levels in your uterus.
Under Construction: Eyes
Your baby’s eyes have been fused shut, but around this week, their eyes will finally open. Your baby might not have a lot to look at in utero, but they’ll have plenty of time to practice blinking. Soon, with the appearance of eyelashes, they’ll be able to bat an eye at you.
Under Construction: Brain Waves
Your baby's brain waves are gearing up at this stage in fetal development. By week 26, their brain waves are similar to those of a full-term newborn, and their breathing rate has slowed and deepened. Your baby may also respond to outside stimuli with movement or an increased pulse rate.
Under Construction: The Lungs
Your baby’s lungs are hard at work this week as your little one prepares to take their first breath after they’re born. The lungs are now starting to produce surfactant, a substance that helps the lungs inflate.
Under Construction: Fingernails
Your baby’s fingernails have arrived and will continue to grow while they’re in the womb. Watch out! They can be jagged and sharp by the time your little one is born.
What to Wear This Week
Looking to add a little luxury to your evenings? Treat yourself to our Camille Nursing & Maternity Pajama Set. Featuring an ultra-soft tank and shorts, the flattering, nursing-friendly Camille Pajamas are the perfect lightweight, breathable sleep set for warm weather or hormone-induced pregnancy hot flashes. Plus, these maternity pajamas have lovely lace accents!
Made for the modern mom, our Ribbed Signature Cotton Nursing & Maternity Bra was designed with a super-flattering plunge cut, convertible straps, and fixed padding (no more bunching!) - a dreamy combination of comfy and contemporary. Style it with our Emmaline Robe for hospital pictures.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice that has been medically reviewed. Please reach out to your doctor or midwife with any questions.