Your Pregnancy, Week 26
It may be hard to believe, but at week 26, you’re almost through your second trimester! It is likely that from now until the end of your pregnancy, there will be few new symptoms, but you may find that the ones you are already experiencing will become a little more challenging to manage. Remaining happy and comfortable is important, so try to keep up with your self-care; book a spa trip, rest when you need to and schedule in time for yourself before the big day.
Your uterus is now more than 7cm above your belly button. It has probably now grown large enough to push against your abdominal wall with sufficient force to pop your belly button out.
By week 26 of pregnancy, it is normal to feel aches and pains in your joints and muscles. This is as a result of the extra weight you are carrying, as well as hormones such as relaxin, continuing to loosen your joints. You may also find you are experiencing headaches, cramps and insomnia. The latter of these may be caused, at least in part, by an inability to get comfortable at night. If the headaches are severe and persistent speak to your healthcare provider. Some over-the-counter painkillers can be taken in moderation during pregnancy, but it is advisable to check with your doctor or midwife first. Maintaining regular contact with your healthcare team during pregnancy is essential and they will be able to help you manage symptoms as they arise. To reduce any aches and pains try and continue to exercise gently and incorporate pregnancy-appropriate stretching into your routine. Remember to also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Have you started decorating your baby’s nursery yet? Chances are the answer to this question will differ depending on whether or not this is a first pregnancy! At 26 weeks, you are about two-thirds of the way through, with just 14 weeks to go to full term. Whilst shopping for newborn essentials, make sure you are up-to-date on the current safety recommendations for cots, changing tables, infant car seats, pushchairs, and other items your baby will need. Sometimes recommendations change, so try not to rely on word-of-mouth and past experiences. Also, be aware that some items, including car seats have a lifespan, after which their use is not recommended. Bear this in mind if recycling equipment previously used by other children.
Your baby is now 24 weeks old. At this stage, he or she is likely to weigh between 0.7 and 0.9 KG, with a crown-to-rump length of at least 25cm. Your baby is still small enough to have plenty of room to move in your uterus, so the acrobatic activity is at its peak. As your baby continues to grow over the coming weeks, space will become more restricted and you may find your ribs take the brunt of your baby’s enthusiastic movements.
At this stage in development, your baby’s eyes are finally opening. The eyes sealed shut earlier in your pregnancy, but now they are opening and actually beginning to function. Within the confines of your uterus, there is not much to look at, but babies at this age can see light and may even react to it. The colour of your baby’s eyes will have been set in place when they were first forming during those early weeks of pregnancy, but lack of pigment means that the colour is non-discernable at the moment. In fact, it can take several months after birth for eye colour to fully develop.
“As your stomach gets larger and your center of gravity shifts, it is important to slow down when doing routine things like walking down stairs or carrying shopping.”
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