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26 Pregnancy Week

Week 26 of Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Guide

Congratulations on reaching the 26th week of your pregnancy! This is an exciting time as you approach the third trimester and your baby continues to grow and develop. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand what to expect during this week.

Fetal Development

At 26 weeks, your baby is about the size of a large cantaloupe, measuring approximately 14 inches (35 centimeters) in length and weighing about 1.5 pounds (680 grams). Your baby’s organs are fully formed, and they are now beginning to mature.

  • Brain: The brain is rapidly developing, and your baby is starting to learn and remember.
  • Lungs: The lungs are still maturing, but your baby is now able to make breathing movements.
  • Heart: The heart is fully developed and beating strongly.
  • Bones: The bones are hardening, and your baby is starting to develop a layer of fat under the skin.
  • Eyes: The eyes are now open, and your baby can see light.
  • Movement: Your baby is very active and may be kicking, punching, and rolling around.

Your Body

Your body is also undergoing significant changes during the 26th week of pregnancy.

  • Uterus: The uterus is now about the size of a soccer ball and is pushing up against your diaphragm. This can cause shortness of breath and heartburn.
  • Abdomen: Your abdomen is growing larger, and you may be starting to show stretch marks.
  • Breasts: Your breasts are preparing for breastfeeding and may be leaking colostrum, a yellowish fluid that is the precursor to breast milk.
  • Weight gain: You may have gained about 15-20 pounds (6.8-9.1 kilograms) by this point.
  • Fatigue: You may feel tired and exhausted, especially in the afternoon.
  • Back pain: The weight of your growing uterus can put strain on your back, causing pain.
  • Constipation: The increased levels of progesterone in your body can slow down digestion, leading to constipation.
  • Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids, swollen veins in the rectum, can develop due to the increased pressure on your pelvic area.
  • Varicose veins: Varicose veins, enlarged and twisted veins in the legs, can also occur during pregnancy.

Common Symptoms

During the 26th week of pregnancy, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Shortness of breath: The growing uterus can press on your diaphragm, making it harder to breathe.
  • Heartburn: The relaxed muscles of your stomach can allow stomach acid to reflux into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
  • Constipation: The increased levels of progesterone can slow down digestion, leading to constipation.
  • Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids can develop due to the increased pressure on your pelvic area.
  • Varicose veins: Varicose veins can occur due to the increased blood volume and pressure in your veins.
  • Leg cramps: Leg cramps can be caused by the increased weight of your uterus and the pressure on your nerves.
  • Frequent urination: The growing uterus can put pressure on your bladder, causing you to urinate more frequently.
  • Insomnia: The physical and emotional changes of pregnancy can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Mood swings: The hormonal changes of pregnancy can cause mood swings and irritability.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and comfortable during the 26th week of pregnancy:

  • Eat a healthy diet: Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Get regular exercise: Exercise can help you stay healthy and reduce the risk of pregnancy complications.
  • Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Manage stress: Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking: Alcohol and smoking can harm your baby.
  • Take prenatal vitamins: Prenatal vitamins can help ensure that you and your baby are getting the nutrients you need.
  • Attend prenatal appointments: Prenatal appointments are important for monitoring your health and your baby’s development.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Vaginal bleeding: Any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is a cause for concern.
  • Severe abdominal pain: Severe abdominal pain can be a sign of preterm labor or other complications.
  • Premature rupture of membranes (PROM): If your water breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is considered PROM and you should call your doctor immediately.
  • Decreased fetal movement: If you notice a decrease in your baby’s movement, call your doctor.
  • Fever: A fever during pregnancy can be a sign of infection.
  • Severe headache: A severe headache can be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication.


The 26th week of pregnancy is a time of significant growth and development for both you and your baby. By understanding the changes that are occurring and following these tips, you can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.

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