26 Weeks Pregnant: What to expect

Heading: Pregnancy Progress at 26 Weeks

  • At the 26-week mark of pregnancy, you're well into the second trimester and approaching the third trimester.

  • Your baby might open its beautiful eyes this week. On the symptom front, you might grapple more with pregnancy-related insomnia and a bit of clumsiness as your belly continues to grow.

Your Baby's Development at Week 26

  • Your baby's eyelashes are growing, and it's almost time to see those cute eyes in action. Your little one will soon be batting those eyelashes at you.

  • Watch out for those tiny fingernails that have now appeared. Be prepared, they might be a little jagged and sharp by the time your baby arrives.

  • Your baby is still practicing the essential skill of swallowing amniotic fluid this week, which plays a crucial role in lung development.

Understanding Your Pregnancy at Week 26

  • If you're 26 weeks pregnant, you're officially in your sixth month of pregnancy, with only three more months to go. Here's a breakdown of how weeks, months, and trimesters align during pregnancy.

  • Your baby has now reached a weight of 2 pounds and measures over 14 inches in length. As it continues to grow, you might notice less space for those acrobatics and somersaults.

Baby's Eyes Opening

  • This week marks the exciting development of your baby's eyes starting to open. For the past few months, its eyes were closed as the retina developed. While the view inside your uterus isn't too thrilling, you can try shining a flashlight on your belly to see if your baby responds with a kick.

  • At this stage, the iris doesn't have much pigmentation yet, so it's too early to guess the eye color. Even the color your baby is born with may change during the first year.

Brain Activity in Your Baby

  • Your baby's brain-wave activity is ramping up during this week, enabling it to not only hear sounds but also respond to them, albeit not verbally. This response may manifest as an increased pulse rate or movement.

Changes in Your Body at Week 26

  • As you reach the 26-week milestone, your uterus is about 2½ inches above your navel. You may notice that your belly button has popped out (become an "outie") due to the expanding uterus.

  • Pregnancy insomnia might be keeping you up at night due to various discomforts such as heartburn, leg cramps, bathroom trips, and the growing baby bump.

Baby's Movements

  • You might be feeling your baby's movements intensify, with it practicing various motions that it will use outside the womb. As the nervous system develops, these movements become more coordinated and sometimes even strong enough to cause discomfort.

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 26

  • Symptoms you may experience at this stage include bloating, gas, pregnancy brain, clumsiness, migraines, blurred vision, and round ligament pain.

Tips for Week 26

  • Limit your fluid intake after 6 p.m. to reduce nighttime bathroom trips.

  • Ensure meat is cooked thoroughly by checking for doneness with a meat thermometer.

  • When setting up your baby's nursery, prioritize safety by adhering to CPSC standards and avoiding vintage drop-side cribs.

  • Staying active during pregnancy is great, but consult with your healthcare provider to determine the right exercise intensity.

  • Practice good hygiene in the kitchen, especially when handling raw meats, to prevent foodborne illness.

  • Maintain proper posture to alleviate pregnancy-related back pain, and consider using a pillow for lower back support.

  • When handling eggs, cook them thoroughly and avoid consuming raw cookie dough or cake batter, which is a good practice even when not pregnant.

In essence, you're well into the second trimester, your baby's eyes are opening, and its brain activity is increasing. Your body is going through changes, including an expanding belly button and potential sleep troubles. While your baby's movements may be more noticeable, you might also experience various pregnancy symptoms. Staying safe and healthy is essential, including proper cooking practices and posture maintenance.