Baby's Growth and Development at 26 Weeks Pregnant
At 26 weeks pregnant, it’s exciting to think about what your baby looks like as his appearance becomes more refined:
- By the 26th week of pregnancy, your baby weighs 1½ to 2 pounds, and is about the length of a small pineapple.
- Your baby’s eyebrows and eyelashes are well formed.
- His eyes are fully developed — he will start to open and close them at around 28 weeks.
- The hair on his head grows and thickens.
- Little footprints and fingerprints form.
- He starts using his lungs to mimic breathing.
- Essential fats accumulate under his skin.
Your Changing Body at 26 Weeks Pregnant
During the 26th week of pregnancy and in the weeks that follow, you might face some side effects as a result of your changing body. These include heartburn, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Learn how pregnant women manage:
Heartburn or constipation may occur during your 26th week of pregnancy as a result of your expanding uterus and the impact of hormones on your digestive system. Try these tips for managing heartburn:
- Watch what you eat, but don't give up the balanced nutrition your body needs.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- Eat slowly.
- Avoid eating late at night and don't lie down for several hours after eating.
- Ask your doctor about antacids that are OK to take during pregnancy.
Try these techniques for relieving constipation:
- Eat fiber-rich foods
- Drink plenty of fluids — at least eight glasses a day.
- Don’t forget the old favorites: Fruits and juices, especially prunes, continue to be an effective remedy.
- Try smaller, more frequent meals.
- Add a little more activity to your exercise routine during your 26th week of pregnancy. Just an extra 10 minutes may offer the boost your system needs.
- Iron supplements can sometimes cause constipation. Try taking them with prune juice.
Pregnant women may get hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are essentially varicose veins in the rectal area. They occur when the uterus puts pressure on the veins in the pelvic area. Hemorrhoids can worsen with constipation. They often can be relieved by diet, exercise, and other comfort measures, such as:
- Eating a diet high in fiber
- Drinking lots of liquids
- Keeping weight gain in check
- Taking baths (that aren’t too hot or too long)
- Using ice packs to reduce swelling
- Moving around to relieve the weight of your uterus
- Talking with your doctor about a topical cream
Wellness and Nutrition at 26 Weeks Pregnant
At 26 weeks pregnant, you are well into your second trimester. At your next doctor’s visit, he or she will conduct routine tests. Plus, your doctor might examine your readiness for labor and delivery. During your 26th week of pregnancy, you also might want to talk to your doctor about traveling.
- At the doctor’s office. Your doctor will check your vitals as in previous visits. He or she also might do the following:
- Check the baby’s position in utero, which is likely to change throughout the rest of your pregnancy
- Prescribe a glucose test for gestational diabetes, a temporary form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy
- Test for Rh antibodies, which can be treated during pregnancy
- Test for anemia caused by a lack of iron, which is treatable during pregnancy
- Consider taking a trip. With early pregnancy symptoms behind you and energy in your favor, traveling during your second trimester might be just the ticket. Check with your doctor to make sure it’s OK and consider these travel tips when you go!
- Plan a trip that will be comfortable and restful for you.
- Know the location of the closest health care facility, just in case.
- You may be feeling great, but take it slow.
Exercise Tip: Watch for Warning Signs
It's important to keep moving throughout your pregnancy. But, if you experience any of these symptoms, stop what you are doing. Speak with your doctor if symptoms are intense or do not subside.
- Chest pain
- Decreased fetal movements
- Difficulty walking