26 Weeks Pregnant: Week-by-Week Guide

    26 Weeks Pregnant: Week-by-Week Guide

    Congratulations! You’re 26 weeks pregnant. At this stage of your journey, new developments are beginning to unfold. Check out this week-by-week guide to find out what’s in store for your baby and your body in week 26 of pregnancy

    With week 25 of your pregnancy complete, you’re on week 26. Enjoy it, as week 27 is on the horizon! 

    One of the most exciting things about pregnancy is how many changes you’ll experience with your little one over the span of just 7 days! Here’s some tips and tricks to keep on top of all that’s happening.

    At 26 weeks pregnant:

    • Your baby is the size of kale
    • You’re nearing the end of the second trimester.
    • The countdown continues: you’ve got 14 weeks to go!

    What happens during the 26th week of pregnancy?

    • In the blink of an eye: Up until now, baby’s eyes have been sealed shut as the retina develops. But at week 26, they open and blink.
    • Time to bat their eyes: Along with the blinking, their eyelashes and hair continue to grow, as do their recently developed fingernails.
    • Windows to the soul: While baby’s eyes are now open, there’s very little color in their irises. The final eye color can change even after birth and over the first year!

    What should I be feeling at 26 weeks pregnant?

    • At week 26, you’ll probably start getting symptoms that cause some level of discomfort, starting with insomnia—it’s like your body is prepping you for sleep-affected nights. Take into consideration how you can manage your sleep hygiene to get as many winks as possible to avoid fatigue.
    • You may notice changes in your hair and nails during pregnancy and wonder what’s going on. They can grow faster, or in the case of your nails, become brittle. Your pregnancy hormones are the culprit, and there are several other surprising body changes in your skin, vaginal discharge and more.
    • Your little one is getting active in there: they’re pedaling, kicking and stretching. It can hurt at times or just feel plain weird.
    • Your baby is taking breaths—not of air, but of amniotic fluid.
    • Your little one is now able (and likely) to respond to outside stimuli (such as sound or light near your belly) with excited movements or an increase in pulse rate.

    How big is your baby at 26 weeks pregnant?

    26 Weeks Pregnant
    Baby Weight 1.8-2 pounds
    Baby Length 9 inches
    Baby Size Comparable to kale

    Week 26 pregnancy symptoms

    During week 26 of pregnancy, your body is changing quickly. As your baby grows, you will too, and there are certain pregnancy symptoms you may experience at this time.

    4 common week 26 pregnancy symptoms

    • You can get clumsy, which in addition to pregnancy brain vagueness can make you feel like you’re losing your faculties. Thankfully it’s only a short-term symptom. 
    • Along with the clumsiness and lapses in memory, you may also experience blurred vision.
    • You’re possibly getting swollen, bloated and gassy with the extra pressure on your intestines not helping the situation. You may also feel constipated, but fear not! There are several constipation home remedies.
    • Higher blood pressure is something to be aware of at this stage of the pregnancy. Speak to your doctor to check that it is in the healthy range as hypertension can cause complications. Regular exercise may prevent hypertension, which affects 6-8% of pregnant women in the United States.

    3 expert week 26 tips for a healthy and safe pregnancy

    Being 26 weeks pregnant is an important time for you and your baby. Here’s some more expert-recommended advice on how to adjust to this new stage and keep you and your baby safe.

    1. Prevent those cramps: Experts aren’t 100% sure why the second and third trimesters are often accompanied by painful spasms in the calf muscles, feet or both. You can try to prevent cramps by staying hydrated, being active and wearing comfortable shoes with good support.
    2. Magnesium to the rescue: With that in mind, magnesium could help with cramps. Not only is magnesium deficiency linked to cramping and muscle twitches, it also has been linked to poor mood or anxiety, sleeping issues, fatigue, high blood pressure—all of those also happen to be pregnancy symptoms. Check with your doc to see if you’re getting enough (the recommended amount if you’re pregnant is 350 mg/day.) Natural sources are greens, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, wheat germ and oat bran. An avocado black bean salad or tortellini broccoli dish are recipes that are chock full of magnesium and more. If you’re taking it as a supplement, take it at night if it makes you feel drowsy.
    3. Treat cramps: When you cramp, try flexing and pointing the foot. Gently massaging the calf may also loosen the muscle. If the leg pain does not resolve quickly, or if you have swelling, warmth, or redness, call your doctor right away.

    Week 26 checklist: How to plan your pregnancy

    Knowing what to do week-by-week can help you feel prepared and alleviate stress. Add these new items to your to-do list this week. You’ve got this, mama!

    To-Do Complete
    Take a maternity ward or hospital tour with questions in hand.
    Start your baby registry.
    Remember to relax—take a yoga or mindfulness class. If you haven’t taken a babymoon yet, try to squeeze one in if possible.

    Learn more about your pregnancy, including pregnancy planning and pregnancy nutrition to feel prepared to continue this magical adventure. You’re armed with the facts, what to do, and now you can take time to connect with the little one growing inside you. 

    With week 25 in the rearview mirror and week 26 going strong, look to the future and what’s coming up in week 27!