26 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey there pregnant moms and dads-to-be, and congratulations on being 26 weeks pregnant! Can you believe you’re almost in your third trimester? I certainly can’t! During my previous five pregnancies, I got really tired pretty early on in my third trimester. So I’d definitely recommend trying to get ready for baby rather than assuming you’ll have the energy later on. (I also have had the experience of delivering my other babies early between 35 and 38 weeks.) Anyway, let’s talk about Week 26, shall we?
26 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
26 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
As your body nears the third trimester, you may experience an increase in blood pressure. If the increase is small, this is no cause for concern and is actually fairly common. I’ve only had a slight increase in blood pressure — my doctor isn’t concerned at all. Thank goodness! However, if your blood pressure is consistently over 140/90, your doctor will likely begin to monitor you more closely, as you may be at a higher risk for preeclampsia and cardiovascular problems.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 26 Weeks
At week 26, your baby weighs 2 pounds and is 14 inches long, about the size of a head of lettuce. I for sure was surprised when I learned that babies can open their eyes for the first time during week 26! If you can’t face these facts, let’s focus on the lower face. The nerves in your baby’s mouth and lips are maturing, meaning that your baby will attempt to latch onto anything that comes close to their mouth.
In addition to the vital nutrients and oxygen your baby is absorbing from you, you will also begin providing them with your antibodies! Your baby will share some of the antibodies your immune system has accumulated during your lifetime, which is imperative for your baby’s health in the months after birth, before the fetal immune system response can build up.
Your baby will be sure to leave his or her own mark on the world, especially now that their fingerprints and footprints have fully formed! These hands and feet are moving in a more coordinated fashion, as your baby’s neural connections continue to mature. Finally, your baby’s permanent teeth are already forming. They won’t descend from their place high up in the gums until several years after birth, but how interesting that these piercing pearls have already begun to develop!
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
Your uterus is powerful… literally! During a contraction, the force within your uterus is approximately 400 pounds per square foot! This means there are essentially 3 pounds of pressure for every inch being placed on your baby during childbirth.
My Pregnant Belly Progression
Check out my 26 weeks pregnant belly!
Creating Your Personal Birth Plan
Birth plans are a great way for expectant mothers and fathers to align their views and preferences for birth with their healthcare providers’ standards and practices. A birthing plan also helps inform future moms and dads of all the different aspects and procedures that come along with delivering a baby.
When writing a birth plan, consider more than just the ideal labor situation. Include some of your preferences for what to do when things don’t go according to plan. Of course, you and your baby’s health and safety come first, so certain situations may cause the plan to change. During my first pregnancy, I thought for sure I wanted pain medication. However, my baby came so fast that I did not have time. My friends thought I was a hero for opting for natural childbirth but I had no choice, believe me! Make sure your priorities are in line with what your hospital or healthcare providers can offer you. Below are some topics to consider when you begin your birth plan:
Your Pregnancy at 26 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
The following prenatal tests are available during Week 26:
The biophysical profile includes an examination of 5 different fetal measures that are typically performed anytime after week 26 of pregnancy. Using a heart rate monitor and ultrasound, a doctor will rate your baby’s movement, muscle tone, breathing, heart rate, and the amount of amniotic fluid on a scale of 0 to 2. If your baby receives a low overall score on the biophysical profile (less than 6 on a scale up to 10), then your doctor may order vibroacoustic stimulation. A biophysical profile is a good way to ensure your baby is healthy and is commonly used during high-risk pregnancies.
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Eating healthy during pregnancy requires a lot more than just taking a prenatal vitamin every day. Check out Week 4 for more information and check back in each week for a healthy pregnancy recipe.
Quick, Healthy Meal Tip
Whole Wheat Pita Sandwich: Add some spinach, chopped veggies, spicy mustard, and meat (avoid deli meats) to a slice of pita. Add some fruit on the side for a complete, healthy meal! (FittobePregnant)
Why Spinach? Spinach is a tart, leafy green that is loosely related to both quinoa and beets. This Persian vegetable is absolutely packed full of antioxidants and nutrients, which combine to provide numerous health benefits including protection against cancer, improvement of the health of your eyes, and reduction of blood pressure. Spinach contains lots of Vitamin A, folic acid, Vitamin C, and calcium.
How Many Months Is 26 Weeks?
26 weeks in months means you are around 6 months pregnant.
Week 26 Pregnancy Checklist
- Pre-register for admission to your hospital now if possible
- Clean the kitchen every time after you prepare food (especially after raw meat)
- Finalize your birth plan
- Maintain good posture throughout the day
- Get exercise and stay hydrated
- Research infant car seat carriers
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists