— Your baby opens the eyes
When you are 26 weeks pregnant, you are almost at the end of pregnancy’s second trimester. From this week onwards, you will see a rapid increase in your abdominal size, and also your discomfort level may increase a little bit this week as well as in the coming weeks.
The increase in belly size means there is more room for your developing baby, and the baby can easily move inside your abdomen. As the baby’s movements increase, you cannot sleep, and the discomfort level also increases. A few weeks are gone for the arrival of those baby’s big movements. Probably now you are planning for your little one’s arrival. You might be busy with things like setting up the nursery, deciding on a name, and packing your travel bag. If you haven’t started these things, it is the best time to start now. Even if you are busy with all these things, make sure to eat a healthy diet and regularly get some workout.
Symptoms experienced by a 26 weeks pregnant woman:
With the increase in your weight and belly size, you may experience several discomforts, such as rib pain, heartburn, indigestion, or stitch-like pain along the sides of the abdomen as your uterine muscle stretches.
During pregnancy, your body produces greater amounts of progesterone hormone, which helps to relax the muscle tissues throughout the body and includes the GI tract. This increase in hormone production slows down your digestive process so that you may experience constipation during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the treatments to reduce constipation.
The occurrence of Braxton Hicks contraction is more frequent from now onwards. Though such contractions are painless, they are similar to menstrual cramps. You may notice these contractions at regular intervals. The incidence of Braxton Hicks contractions means your body is planning for the delivery, and this will help tone the uterus for labor.
You are more likely to get back pain during this time, and this condition is due to the softening of the ligaments that prepare you for birth.
During the second trimester of pregnancy, most pregnant women notice nervous and restless legs, a very regular condition identified as restless leg syndrome. To decrease the severity of this condition, reduce caffeine intake, gradually stretch the calf muscles, and consider the deep muscle massage.
As there is a great increase in your weight and also belly size, it is common to experience some problems such as headaches, back pain, pelvic pain, and leg cramps. Some women may also notice high blood pressure, so it is essential to take additional care to overcome such conditions.
Some women may also experience dry eyes and clumsiness. As the ligaments are relaxing, it is more common to become clumsy than usual. So, it is very important to take precautions to avoid falling on your belly. If you have more discomfort with your eyes, you can use eye drops on your doctor’s prescription. A serious vision problem during pregnancy indicates diabetes or high blood pressure. If this is the case with you, make sure to consult your doctor.
Physical changes that occur in a 26-week pregnant woman:
During pregnancy week 26, your uterus is now the size of a volleyball and is now about 2½ inches above the belly button. So, it is very common for pregnant women to experience sudden relaxing and tightening of the uterus. From this week, you will gain about a pound for each week.
You may observe more vaginal discharge during this week. Instead of using special wipes to maintain the vagina clean and odor-free, it is better to take frequent baths and wear panty liners to stay hygienic and dry.
In the meantime, your hair may be fuller and thicker. You may also observe more stray hairs elsewhere on your body, but most of those will be gone 3-6 months after you give birth.
Fetal changes that occur in a 26-week pregnant woman:
When you are 26 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of 14 inches from head to toe and weighs 1 pound 12 ounces to 2 pounds 3 ounces. Approximately, now the baby is about the weight of three oranges. 50% of the babies that get to this age will survive if delivered. Remember that these measurements are just averages, and each baby has unique height and weight patterns.
By this week, your baby will have the ability to see and hear the sounds. Though your baby has been able to sense the bright light for the past few weeks, all this has been experienced with closed eyelids. The Baby’s eyelashes and eyebrows are detectable. Also, your baby is practicing exhaling and inhaling the amniotic fluid this week, which is very important because it prepares your baby for life outside your womb.
As your baby can hear clearly, make sure to spend quality time talking to your baby. Also, remind your partner to do the same.
This time, your baby’s movements are much more pronounced. As the baby’s nervous system becomes more developed, then his/her movements will become much more coordinated. When the baby increases in height and weight, movements will become more powerful and sometimes painful.
This week the growth of hair on the baby’s head takes place, which you can identify during 26 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan.
By this time, the air sacs in the baby’s lungs are well developed, and the baby starts to secret much more surfactant to keep the tissues stuck within the lungs.
Baby’s transparent skin now becomes opaque and begins to attain the color it may have at the time of birth. Also, fat deposition under the baby’s skin continues this week, thus making the skin wrinkleless.
This week, there will be rapid development in organs and brain tissues. Activity levels of the baby’s brain continue to develop and also they perform at accelerated stages for the initial seven to eight years of childhood.
What care should be taken by a 26 weeks pregnant woman?
As constipation during pregnancy is a most common condition with many women, consuming a fiber-rich diet and fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce the condition.
Make sure to get some fresh air every day and some physical exercise. These types of things can help to reduce sleeplessness.
If you are not vaccinated, it will be a bit late during this time. Also, from the 7th month onwards, air travel is not recommended because there is a possibility to go into labor during this time. So, before planning your air travel, make sure to take your doctor’s advice.
You should be careful with your diet. Avoid the consumption of fatty foods as they can increase stomach discomfort. Whenever you sit or lay down, make sure to maintain the correct posture.
As you become bigger each week, you should be careful with your feet. Don’t stay in the sun or cold, and try to observe your vaginal discharges.
Have a wonderful journey of pregnancy!! Go on to know more about the exciting things during pregnancy week 27…