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As big as a scallion now, your baby is on the fast track to world domination! Well, dominating the world within your womb that is.
Right about this time, your sprightly little one is engaged in an array of activities geared towards self-exploration that can be described best vigorously spirited and full of vim and vigor.
With baby’s increased growth and additional capabilities, your physical health can take a significant turn and become unpleasantly unpredictable. Many pregnant women during their twenty-sixth week will suffer from a lack of quality sleep, pervasive memory issues (baby-brain), ongoing migraine headaches, cramping, and much more.
However, most women during this time in their term will readily agree that all the debilitating symptoms in the world are completely worth it because it is during this week that your baby amazingly and finally opens his or her eyes and begins to see its first images of the world within your womb.
Incredibly exciting for both you and baby, this new development is widely considered by a majority of women to be among the most exhilarating weeks in their pregnancy.
Read on below to learn more about week twenty-six of pregnancy and all of its many thrilling aspects!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
26 Weeks Pregnant
Week twenty-six in pregnancy can commonly herald in an era of “snack-attack” type feelings and an overwhelming urge to binge on odd food cravings.
Despite the urge to pig out, you have to do your very best to be mindful that the food you eat is also consumed by your baby, affecting their health, level of nutrition, and even their particular taste buds.
It may be extremely difficult to get through the food craving episodes but strive to eat healthy for you and your baby and perhaps allow yourself one day per week to eat some of the foods that you have been hankering for.
Equally important to remember is to eat enough. Small meals that are well-paced throughout the day will ensure that your blood sugar remains stable, your energy remains intact, and your mood stays even keel. A great way to ensure you’re eating enough is to keep a supply of convenient, healthy foods easily accessible, such as yogurt, nuts, fruit, and precut veggies that are ready to eat.
Some of the most common symptoms that women experience in week twenty-six of pregnancy include the following:
- Bloating and gas issues: Due to your expanding uterus placing pressure on your stomach and intestinal area, you may experience significant bloating and gas. Minimizing your meals to smaller ones throughout the day as opposed to larger, less-frequent meals can help to not overload your already impaired digestive system
- Migraines: Resulting from a variety of factors, pregnant women very often experience migraine headaches, either sporadically or on a chronic level. Be aware that nearly all migraine medications will be not allowed use while you are pregnant. Useful alternatives worth looking into include massage, heat pads, plenty of rest, yoga, and low-impact exercise
- Backaches: Comfort yourself with warmth, heat, soft pillows, and gentle exercise
- Trouble breathing: Be ready to take frequent breaks by sitting down and focusing on breathing. Do not exert yourself; pass off labor-intensive tasks to your partner or family members
- Braxton Hicks contractions. Your tight feeling belly is nothing to fear. Ratherit is your body’s way of practicing for the day when you give birth. As your muscles flex to practice for the arduous labor process, these contractions are harmless and benefit you in myriad ways. However, if your contractions are long, painful, and chronic, contact your doctor immediately as these could be indicators for preterm labor
- Pregnancy Brain: Forgetfulness, absentmindedness, and cloudy thinking can become very prevalent during week twenty-six due to wildly fluctuating hormones. Try to stay organized by writing down your thoughts, tasks, and plans on a pad of paper, so you don’t forget important things
- Mild swelling: Try to keep your feet elevated as much as possible
- Weight gain: Weight gain will be ongoing during this period in your term
- Increased vaginal discharge: Par for the course, this symptom will often worsen during this time and become much more frequent
- Eye issues: Pregnancy hormones decrease the production of tears and result in dry, itchy eyes. Before administering eye drops, talk with your doctor to see what kind of remedy they recommend
Your Baby’s Health and Status
26 Weeks Pregnant
Spry, agile, vivacious, frisky, and lively. These words are exactly how to describe your baby at this moment during your pregnancy. Your baby is having an absolute blast in your womb, dancing around, kicking, punching, somersaulting, swallowing, listening, perfecting hand and leg movements, and now also opening their eyes!
Fascinatingly, the movements that your baby is engaging in on the inside of your womb are movements that will eventually be used in “real” life. For example, your baby sometimes “pedals” against the walls of your belly, which is basically a type of primitive pre-walking and is great practice for building leg muscles and preparing him for actually walking one day.
During this week, your little one’s nervous system is becoming even more developed, with their range of fetal movements becoming far more coordinated as well as exhibiting an increase in overall power in the movements made.
Concurrent with the ongoing development of the nervous system are brain wave activities entering a sort of overdrive mode, with your little baby able to not just hear various noises but able to respond to them as well!
For many mothers, it is the climactic event of the opening of their baby’s eyes that enthralls them the most. Closed for the entire pregnancy term up until this week, your little one is now able to look, blink, and explore his immediate world within your womb.
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
26 Weeks Pregnant
- Have your birth plan firmly in place. Whether you are giving birth at home or in a hospital, going through a doctor, a doula, or a midwife, make sure you have everything set and ready to go
- The best nannies are always in strong demand. Start looking now for a nanny if you’ll be going the route with your child care routine. You’ll want to start looking far in advance to secure their services.
- Consider having your partner look into paternity leave (if available) to help you in the difficult initial post-birth days
- Often pregnant women around the week twenty-six time will experience a mild increase in blood pressure
- If you were given a swab by your doctor to check for vaginal infections such as thrush, you may have had results that came back for group B streptococcus. This is typically a harmless condition (except in the rarest of circumstances), and many women have it without even know it
Week 26 To-Do List and Reminders
26 Weeks Pregnant
- If you haven’t already, take your glucose challenge test and if necessary your glucose tolerance test
- Schedule your 28-week prenatal visit
- Begin baby-proofing your home. It’s a time-consuming process. Adding one baby-proofing measure at a time will help to ensure that you are well on track to creating a safe environment for your baby
- On a daily basis go over immediate goals, upcoming goals, and goals pertaining to exercise, nutrition, and health
- Fine tune your maternity leave plans
- Consider paternity leave
- Stock healthy snacks
- Have your delivery and birthing plan firmly in place
- Be vigilant in looking out for pre-eclampsia symptoms, with the combination of severely painful headaches, blurry vision and swollen feet and hands being a strong indicator of the condition
- If you are experiencing clumsiness, consider installing affordable grab bars in the shower along with grip tape to avoid any falls from the wet, slippery surface
Group B streptococcus: Found in the vagina or rectum of expecting mothers, group B streptococcus is bacteria that is typically found in about twenty-five percent of healthy women. This condition can be passed on to babies, with current figures estimating 1 out of every 2000 babies contracting the condition from their mother. Despite a baby having this condition, it does not necessarily mean they will fall ill. WHile relatively rare, the affliction can potentially create severe outcomes for mother and baby.
Cool Things to Know
- Your baby’s eye color at this point may very well be blue. It’s not until after they are born that your little one’s eye color will become fixed in color and hue, with the most dramatic of changes happening from seven to nine months after birth.
- Your pregnant belly will continue growing at a rate of about half an inch for the remainder of your term
- Now that your baby can open their eyes, they are able to respond to light
- Your belly will keep growing about a half inch each week for the rest of your term
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?