Pregnancy Calendar Week 26 – Your Belly Will Start Growing Half Inch a Week

Pregnancy Calendar Week 26 – Your Belly Will Start Growing Half Inch a Week

Congratulations Mama! You are just a couple of weeks before you enter the last trimester. The anticipation for the baby is growing with each passing week. The 26th week of pregnancy is too marked by several changes in your body as well as your baby’s development. Let’s know what changes both of you are going through this week.

Week 26

Time is flying, isn’t it? You are about to enter the third trimester of your pregnancy. Your baby has already started giving you gentle reminders (kicks) that he or she is arriving soon. Though the baby hasn’t arrived yet but he or she is taking over your life by messing up your sitting and standing as well as interfering with your sleep. So you need to be mentally strong to tackle all these problems.

Your body this week

Pregnant belly and bodyweight

This week you will feel like your belly is steadily moving up and up to your abdomen just like a balloon. You can now feel your growing womb is above 2.5 inches of the belly button. Try using your thumb to measure this. This will continue to expand approximately half an inch every week for the rest of your pregnancy.

This week the baby will start showing more movements through kicks and pokes. If the kung fu practice going inside hurt your ribs then shift your position. You have also gained about 9 kgs of weight and if these numbers are stressing you out then don’t worry as majority of the weight gain consists of expanded uterus, placenta, breast tissue and amniotic fluid.

Typical symptoms

As baby grows, the discomfort increases in your body and this will only grow until the baby is delivered. Also, your previous symptoms troubling you from past weeks may also continue this week. Some of the discomforts include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Swelling especially in ankles and feet
  • Forgetfulness (pregnancy brain)
  • Headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Round ligament pain
  • Heartburn or acidity
  • Stretch marks

Complications at 26th week of pregnancy

Mild high blood pressure is normal at this point of time. However, sudden fluctuation may raise concern as it’s a sign of preeclampsia. And if you have history of preeclampsia, this may lead to another complication after 20th week known as HELLP syndrome. Both these problems require immediate medical attention.

Obesity is the common factor in both of these complications, so consult your doctor if there is sudden fluctuation in blood pressure.

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Your baby this week

The baby is growing unstoppable and this week is no exception. He or she will be feeling a little cramped inside but isn’t a matter of concern as there is enough space for him to grow.

Skin and facial development

The skin of the baby which was transparent once is now steadily turning into opaque. The eyes are still shut but the eyelashes are sprouting continuously.

Development of nervous system and sensory organs

Though the eyes of the baby are closed, he or she can sense the light that sails through your abdomen. Simultaneously, the nerves are continuously developing that makes the baby respond to noises of the outside world.

Sexual organs development

If the baby you are carrying is a boy, then the testicles which were developed weeks before have now started to descend into his scrotum. This process can take upto three months.

Size, weight and appearance

Your baby is undergoing rapid development and by the time you enter 26th week, he or she is about 13 inches in length or the size of a cabbage. The baby is also gaining mass, so at present it weighs around 770 grams.

Healthy eating

You are currently in the crucial phase of your pregnancy, so you must take very good care of yourself. Healthy eating is the part of this caring and this week your nutrient intake should include:

  1. Lean meat and eggs which are high in choline needed for brain development
  2. Fresh fruits and vegetables to get healthy dose of fiber and vitamin B
  3. Leafy green vegetables which are rich in lutein, an antioxidant that promotes healthy eye-development

Expecting dads

Your partner will be getting vaccinated for whooping cough (pertussis) between 27-36 weeks. This is very important as antibodies of the mom will be passed on to the baby, preventing him or her from this illness. Not only mom, in fact, all adolescents who would come in close contact with your baby should get updated on their vaccination.

So you have to play safe during this time. Call your doctor and check whether you need Tdap vaccination shot and also share this information to your close relatives.

Screening

If you are one of those who had undergone glucose screening in last couple of weeks, then you will be under close monitoring of your doctor. This is to prevent from complications such as premature birth and preeclampsia.

Further if you are undergoing or had history of placental problems or carrying multiple babies, then there are chances you would hear a term intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) from your doctor. This means the growth of the baby inside is slow and it is generally determined through ultrasound or fundal height measurement.

If the size difference is about 2 weeks or more, then it’s likely your baby’s movements, growth, blood flow and the amniotic fluid will be monitored closely. The next visit to your doctor’s office will be within a couple of weeks when you enter into the third trimester.

Tips of the week

You are taking very good care of yourself. But by this time you will start feeling slightly inconvenient while moving around. This would affect your health schedule but you should be brave enough to handle all hurdles coming in your way. Here are some of the tips in this respect:

  1. Continue with your exercising schedule, don’t give up
  2. Having sex during pregnancy inculcates the sense of well-being
  3. Get a lot of sleep
  4. Keep your weight in check

FAQs at 26th week of pregnancy

I am having pain under the ribs, is it common?

Some pregnant women might experience pain under the ribs as baby kicks inside. This also occurs due to stretching of the uterus. Try to change your position while sitting, standing or lying down. It will surely help you.

What are some of the best ways to control blood sugar levels during pregnancy?

If you are one of those unfortunate women who are diagnosed with abnormal blood sugar levels, then you can counter this through various measures. These include walking, swimming or joining prenatal fitness classes. Regular and moderate exercise can better your insulin levels. Also don’t forget to add fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting fat intake. Talk to your doctor for more detailed guidelines.

Sources

1. American Diabetes Association. How to Treat Gestational Diabetes. read more
2. The Nemours Foundation. Kidshealth.org. Pregnancy Calendar, Week 26 read more
3. National Women's Health Resource Center. Healthywomen.org. Pregnancy & Parenting Second Trimester of Pregnancy: 26 Weeks 
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