The third trimester begins in week 28, which means that you are only two weeks away from a bog milestone in the pregnancy cycle. Although you’re still in the “honeymoon phase” of the pregnancy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t experience any symptoms. Every woman’s pregnancy is unique.
At 26 weeks pregnant, there may still be many questions that you have about the rest of the journey. How big should my belly be? How big is my baby? What does he/she look like? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
26 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
The most common signs of pregnancy at week 26 are:
Lack of sleep is a common pregnancy symptom at week 26. As the baby grows larger, you will need to adapt your sleeping position to accommodate for the growth. If you are somebody who sleeps on their back, it is a good idea to start sleeping on your side, as the increased pressure on your spine can cause complications while sleeping. Regardless of your sleeping position, your baby still might wake you up throughout the night with a kick or while stretching its newly formed muscles.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / Tingling Hands
If you have noticed a tingling sensation in your hands, you could have carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a common pregnancy symptom during the second half of the gestation period and is caused by the increased blood volume putting extra pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is responsible for giving sensation to different areas of skin on your hand, and when it is compromised, your hands might tingle. If this symptom persists or becomes painful, consult your doctor for advice.
- Pregnancy Brain
Confusion, dizziness and forgetfulness are all common signs of pregnancy at week 26. This diminished cognitive functioning is temporary and is caused by rapidly fluctuating hormones coursing through your system.
Progesterone is a vital hormone for fuelling the development of your baby throughout the pregnancy. Yet, it also has a slowing effect on your digestive tract. This means that many women experience constipation or heartburn when they are pregnant and can cause great discomfort throughout the day. To minimise the effects of this symptom, eat smaller mouthfuls and be sure to chew your food sufficiently before swallowing.
- Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction (SPD)
Symphysis pubic dysfunction is caused by the muscles in your pelvic region becoming more relaxed from the pregnancy. It is a common symptom of pregnancy at week 26 and can cause pain in the pelvic area. To counter this, Kegel exercises can be performed to strengthen the muscles in the area and stabilise the pelvic region.
Your Body at Week 26
On average, women need to consume between 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day during the gestation period. This means that you should have gained around 20 pounds by week 26 of the pregnancy. This weight gain can be a cause of anxiety for many pregnant women, but it is completely healthy and, in fact, vital for your baby’s development.
On top of the probably weight gain that you’ve experienced, you may also be noticing your baby bump getting bigger with each passing day. It is important to remember that every woman’s bump will grow at a different rate – it is not a good idea to compare sizes to other women. Some women only develop bumps late on, while other women might display a rather noticeable bump at 26 weeks pregnant.
Aside from the weight gain and the baby bump, your body may also start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These are fake contractions that are felt around the abdominal region and can be a great cause of discomfort for up to 15 minutes. As you get nearer to the day of birth, your body sometimes practices with these phantom contractions. Not every woman experiences this, though, so it is nothing to be worried about if you don’t feel any contractions before the birth.
Baby Size at Week 26
At the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy, your baby will be the same size as a beetroot. Over the past few weeks it has grown at a remarkable rate, now measuring between 23 to 25 centimetres and weighting around 850 to 950 grams.
The fetus at 26 weeks old is continuing to practice swallowing for when it enters the outside world. To do this, it takes in the surrounding amniotic fluid and uses it to practice ingesting foods, this is also essential to the development of the lungs. Another important development this week is that your baby’s eyes have opened or are beginning to open. This allows the retina to slowly start processing images as the baby inside your womb improves its focus.
Week 26 Pregnant Ultrasound
Usually, there is no ultrasound at week 26 of the pregnancy. Your mid-pregnancy scan will likely have taken place a few weeks ago, and the next scan will normally be scheduled in a few weeks’ time. Other tests can be performed at this stage, however, such as the glucose screening test, which examines your body’s reaction to sugar in order to test for gestational diabetes.
How does your stomach feel at 26 weeks pregnant?
If you are experiencing some twenty-six-week pregnancy symptoms, your stomach may feel slightly bloated and gassy, due to the progesterone (pregnancy hormone) coursing through your bloodstream.
What to expect at 26 weeks pregnant?
The twenty-sixth week of pregnancy is still within the second trimester, which means that you are experiencing less signs of pregnancy and are enjoying more energy than in the first few weeks.
How do you feel at 26 weeks pregnant?
Some of the symptoms prevalent in the third trimester might start to take effect at 26 weeks pregnant, meaning that you could feel tingling hands and pelvic pains.
What does your stomach look like at 26 weeks pregnant?
With the extra weight (around 20 pounds) and noticeable baby bump, people will be able to tell that you are pregnant by looking at your stomach after 26 weeks.
Tips for Week 26 of Pregnancy
- Document Progress
Documenting the changes in your body is a nice way to look back at how far you come. Whether that is something you day later in life or as an ongoing thing, it is nice to see pictures or read diary entries to remind yourself of what your body went through.
- Maintain Good Posture
It might feel difficult at 26 weeks pregnant, but it is important to maintain the best posture possible. The extra weight can make you carry your body in an awkward way, leading to pain in your back, pelvic region, legs, and feet.