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The 26th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mom

In the 26th obstetric week of pregnancy, the first two trimesters of pregnancy are behind you, and there is only one third left – you are now in the “home stretch”. Belly continues to increase in size. You are gaining weight because the child is growing, the uterus and the placenta are increasing as well.

It becomes more difficult to cope with chores around the house, bend and squat. There are ailments such as back pain, leg cramps, bladder pressure. Do not worry, those are normal physiological sensations in this term

The size and development of the fetus in the 26th week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 26 size

In the 26th week of pregnancy your baby is developing very actively:

  • the weight of the fetus is 770-900 grams;
  • height is 33-34 centimeters.

His position in the uterus – breech and head down. This is due to the fact that there is now enough space to turn around. But this is no reason for worries.

Breech position in the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy is considered normal up to the 32nd week. The buttocks are down near the birth canal and during labor this may cause some complications. If the position of the baby does not change at the time of labor, obstetricians recommend to do a caesarean section.

[attention type=yellow]You can try on your own to determine the position of the child. Fully relax, lie down in a comfortable position, preferably on your back. Gently examine your tummy by palpating it without pushing. If you feel strong kicks – these are baby’s legs, if there is a flowing movement – these are his hands. This way you can determine the location of the baby’s head.[/attention]

Formation of the organs and body of the baby:

  • In the 26th week baby’s head is increasing up to 65 mm, chest – up to 66 mm, belly – up to 68 mm.
  • Skin color has somewhat changed. The skin is a little wrinkled, but a few weeks before delivery it will smooth out.
  • Baby’s face becomes more defined: eyebrows, nose, ears and neck are clearly visible.
  • There are small creases on the elbows; the baby’s hands and feet become stronger.
  • Average heart rate of the baby – no more than 160 beats/min.

He is asleep for approximately 20 hours a day, after which you can definitely feel his activity.

In the male fetus, this week the testes are already beginning to descend into the scrotum. Sometimes they drop after the birth – the delay of testes in the abdomen does not affect subsequent fertility.

 The development of the fetus at 26 weeks' gestationAt 26 weeks the baby is developing the rudiments of milk teeth.

Skills of the baby:

  • Begins to open his eyes frequently.
  • He already sees very well, feels the position and proportions of his body.
  • Distinguishes tastes and even smells.
  • The inner ear formation is completed and now he can hear.
  • It is believed that the normal motor activity baby on the 26th week   is 250 movements a day, in other words, on average 10 times per hour.

Sometimes, near the end of the 26th week you may feel strange fetal movements -a tapping, rhythmic twitching. This is your baby’s hiccups! Do not worry, it is completely healthy and the baby is not experiencing any discomfort. There is no exact answer as to why the baby hiccups.

[attention type=yellow]According to some research findings – the baby hiccups when accidentally swallowing amniotic fluid, and thus purposefully developing the lungs and diaphragm, as well as learning swallowing skills. In any case, if the “hiccup” does not let up, try to change the position of your body, lie on your side, cover the tummy or just gently pat him.[/attention]

If you are pregnant with multiples – twins – this is a great joy and an additional reason to be monitored by various professionals in order to avoid complications. At the 26th week of pregnancy twin fetuses must reach the weight of about 800 grams – this indicates proper growth and development. If the weight is below this standard, you should be screened to prevent a delay in development.

What’s going on with a mom in the 26th week of pregnancy

The pregnancy is “in full swing”. A little longer, and you will be able to hug your baby to your chest, hug and kiss him.

The condition of the abdomen and uterus

Photos of mothers belly 26 weeks pregnant

The tummy is already clearly visible underneath clothing. Body fat has significantly increased. This is how the mother’s body protects the fetus from hypothermia and various injuries. Above you can see photos of tummies in the 26th weeks of pregnancy.

Uterus has risen 3 finger-widths above the navel, and 26 cm above the pubic bone and continues to rise by 1 cm every week. Doctors will need to measure its size, vital functions and overall condition. More about uterine tone …

The uterus may press on the stomach and partially obstruct normal blood flow. Therefore, you may feel an unpleasant bitter taste of mercury in your mouth – do not worry, this is normal.

Very often, because of increased abdominal mass, moms experience some sleep disturbances. It is impossible to sleep on your stomach, and therefore, it is necessary to choose the most optimal sleeping position. The most comfortable and correct posture is considered to be on your left side with legs slightly bent at the knees. Also, to relieve pressure while resting, place cushions under the legs and lower back.

Weight of the future mom

In the period of the 26th week, the mother gains around 5-8kg. Weekly weight gain is 450-500 grams. There are several criteria by which we can determine which category of women may experience excess weight gain:

  • Weight before pregnancy. If the mother had a lower weight, the more weight she is allowed to gain during pregnancy.
  • The presence of early toxicity. Having lived through these events, the body compensates for the loss of kilograms.
  • The size of the child. The bigger the baby, the more kilograms the women gains.
  • Increased appetite. It so happens that a woman cannot control her desire to eat constantly.
[attention type=yellow]If you are nevertheless overweight – do not be upset. After giving birth, yoga, gymnastics and a reasonable diet will help you return to your previous shape. However, it is necessary at this point to limit your intake of baked goods and sweets, not to complicate the last weeks before birth.[/attention]

Mom’s sensations and pains in this term

Mom on 26 weeks of pregnancyDuring the 26th week, the movements of the child are more distinct, especially when you feel it push on the liver, gall bladder and intestines. These kicks may cause some tugging of the belly, but usually, the pain passes quickly by changing your body position.

Sometimes you feel periodic contractions. They are still called – “training” contractions. They are related to the preparation of the uterus for childbirth and intensive growth of the child. If these sensations are not regular and not too painful – do not worry. Neither you nor your child is in danger. Normally, within an hour you will feel no more than 5 such spasms.

If, at 26 weeks, the uterus contracts intensively with strong pain and watery discharge – immediately call the doctor!

You can also feel the preparation of your mammary glands: they have increased in size and secrete colostrum. They should be rinsed with cold water and wiped with a rough towel.

There is also the potential problem of late toxicity. At first, it develops with almost no symptoms: a little headache, minor swelling, slightly elevated blood pressure. Late toxicities may be dangerous to the health of the woman and may affect the development of the fetus. Be sure to with consult your doctor and tell him about your condition.

Discharge in the 26th week of pregnancy

If during this period you have clotty, mucous or purulent discharge – this could be a sign of an infection in the genital tract. This is dangerous because pathogens can destroy the membranes and get inside of the uterus and infect the fetus.

If discharge is bloody immediately call an ambulance. This may be a sign of placental abruption. Do not reach the hospital on your own, as bleeding can develop at any time. Instead, lie back and wait for the doctor. More about secretions here.

The psychological and emotional condition

The beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy is associated with not only physical, but also psychological changes. Most often, during this period, there are mood swings. This is due to mom’s hormonal changes. They are almost impossible to control, but it is worth to try to explain your condition to your husband and family. Remove all sorts of negative stimuli around you and surround yourself with positive emotions.

If you feel distracted, which is also explained by hormonal changes, write yourself little notes or reminders. In order not to be overwhelmed with the fatigue of pregnancy – try to find the silver lining of this condition!

[attention type=yellow]Many moms experience a fear of childbirth. This is all due to the uncertainty. In this case, read special literature, talk to your doctor.[/attention]

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 26th week of pregnancy

 Photo fetal ultrasound at 26 weeks of pregnancy

In the 26th week of pregnancy, there is a routine consultation with a gynecologist to measure blood pressure, determine the circumference of the abdomen and listen to the fetal heartbeat. You must also have blood and urine tests to check levels of hemoglobin.

An ultrasound is done in case the woman missed a scheduled ultrasound or there are health reasons.

The doctor examines the vital signs of the baby in the 26th week of pregnancy, and also eliminates the chance of missed abortion. Normal size ranges of large bones this week of pregnancy are:

  • femur 45-53 mm;
  • forearm 35-43 mm;
  • humerus 41-49 mm;
  • shin bone 41-49 mm.

Also, the doctor examines the state of the uterus itself, the amount of amniotic fluid and the location of placenta. We invite you to watch a video of a fetal ultrasound in the 26th week of pregnancy, and see the photo of the child above.

Possible abnormalities

It may happen that, during your ultrasound, the doctor diagnoses oligohydramnios. It means that the level of amniotic fluid does not reach the norm. The are many reasons for the occurrence of this condition, including abnormal development of the fetal membranes, various infections, as well as “leakage” of amniotic fluid.

Oligohydramnios in this period of pregnancy is considered a dangerous and unfavorable diagnosis, which can lead to:

  • complications of fetal development (malnutrition);
  • spontaneous abortion (miscarriage);
  • complications in the process of birth;
  • death of the fetus.
[attention type=yellow]If the diagnosis is confirmed – the woman has to be hospitalized to determine the cause. Usually it is wise to reduce physical activity and exercises, take a complex of vitamins and assure proper nutrition. The most important thing is not to resort to self-treatment.[/attention]

Nutrition, skin care and exercises in the 26th week of pregnancy

Nutrition of the pregnant woman

Mothers nutrition on the 26 weeks' gestationYour baby is growing rapidly and you should accordingly increase your food intake to 2000-2200 calories a day. This does not mean that there is a need to eat for two. It simply means that your diet should be varied and balanced in proteins, vitamins, fiber and carbohydrates.

The child during this period needs extra proteins. They are found in meat, milk, fish, nuts and other products. It is useful to drink plain clean water and natural juices.

Some products should be excluded from the diet or limited in intake:

  • smoked meats;
  • canned and prepackaged meals;
  • spicy foods;
  • store bought juices (replace with fresh-squeezed);
  • salty foods;
  • alcohol.

Carefully watch the amount of fluid intake, as the load on the kidneys is now increased.

Exercises in the 26th week

Pregnancy is not a disease! Therefore, physical activity is required. Of course, intensive exercises are not appropriate, but you need to engage in light exercises.

The first is breathing exercises:

  • inhale through the nose, hands on your ribcage, exhale slowly through the mouth;
  • one hand on the ribcage, the other on the stomach: a quick breath through your nose, holding for 1 sec. and exhale through the mouth. This is called diaphragmatic breathing.

Then, positional exercises:

  • the “cat”: stand on all fours with a rounded back, head down, and then raise your head up and bend the back. This exercise is very useful and beneficial in any month of pregnancy;
  • sit on the floor, hands behind your back and lean back against the floor. Cross your left hand to the right with twist of the body and repeat in the other direction. So you need to do 3-4 repetitions.

In addition, walking and swimming are necessary. Most importantly – before any physical activity, consult a physician.

The skin condition in the 26th week

A pregnancy “tests the limits” of the whole female body. The skin is no exception. During this period, it may be more thin and sensitive. This is due to hormonal changes.

  • Choose alcohol-free moisturizers and cleansers. Ideally, use proven brands appropriate for your skin’s current condition.
  • Do not go out in the sun without applying skin creams with the sun protection level of at least SPF-15.
[attention type=yellow]Also, at week 26, there are stretch marks on the abdomen and thighs. In this case, it is necessary to use moisturizing creams for pregnant women, to keep the skin elastic. Or you can use olive oil or butter.[/attention]

Sexual activity in the 26th week

Sexual relations in the 26 week of pregnancyIf there are no contraindications from the doctors, then sex at the 26th week of pregnancy is considered not only permissible, but necessary and useful.

This is due to the fact that particularly in this month the woman experiences pleasure from sex, and this is very beneficial to the baby’s well-being: the placenta begins to function more actively, and produces happiness hormones – endorphins – which the baby also gets.

The only excluded poses are those that put pressure on the stomach.

Conversations with the baby, types of music to play for him

In the 26th week the child hears you clearly. He easily reacts to sounds. He mostly distinguishes between low sounds, so the voice of the father will be very pleasant to him.

Talk to him, read fairy tales, joke with him! He will actively respond to it.

Let him listen to light classical music. You will figure out what music your baby prefers. Sing lullabies to him. All of this will have a positive effect on the baby’s psycho-emotional development.

Recommendations for future moms

Spend this time with the maximum benefit for yourself and the baby:

  • stroke your tummy and talk to the baby;
  • if there is back pain, use a special girdle;
  • keep an eye on any discharge and blood pressure – if it appears, call the doctor right away;
  • walk in fresh air, eat more fruits and have more positive thoughts;
  • attend courses for expectant mothers.

Video about the 26th week of pregnancy

We invite you to watch a video on how your baby is developing. This video will assure you that you are doing everything right.

[attention type=yellow]Of course, the third trimester of pregnancy is a very “special period” in a woman’s life. Your baby is developing intensively and you feel a lot of changes in your body. I hope that this article has been useful to you throughout this period. I invite you to share your feelings and experiences in your comments.[/attention]

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