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Pregnancy Week 26

Pregnancy Week 26: A Comprehensive Guide


Congratulations on reaching week 26 of your pregnancy! This is an exciting time as your baby continues to grow and develop rapidly. This week marks the beginning of the third trimester, and you may start to feel more significant changes in your body and your baby’s movements.

Your Baby’s Development

At 26 weeks, your baby is about the size of a small eggplant, measuring approximately 13.8 inches (35 centimeters) in length and weighing about 1.5 pounds (680 grams). Your baby’s body is now fully formed, and most of its organs are functioning.

Physical Changes

  • Increased fetal movement: You will likely feel your baby moving more frequently and with greater intensity. These movements are a sign of your baby’s health and well-being.
  • Enlarged uterus: Your uterus continues to grow, pushing up against your diaphragm and causing shortness of breath.
  • Weight gain: You may gain about 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) per week during the third trimester.
  • Skin changes: Your skin may become darker, especially around your nipples, armpits, and groin.
  • Varicose veins: Increased blood flow during pregnancy can lead to the development of varicose veins, which are swollen, twisted veins that appear on the legs.
  • Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum that can cause pain, itching, and bleeding.

Emotional Changes

  • Mood swings: You may experience mood swings as your hormones fluctuate.
  • Anxiety: It is normal to feel some anxiety about the upcoming birth and your baby’s health.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping is common during the third trimester due to physical discomfort and hormonal changes.

Medical Care

  • Prenatal appointments: You will continue to have regular prenatal appointments with your healthcare provider.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound may be performed to check your baby’s growth and development.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests may be done to check your iron levels and screen for gestational diabetes.

Nutrition and Exercise

  • Nutrition: Continue to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is beneficial during pregnancy, but avoid activities that put excessive strain on your body.

Other Considerations

  • Braxton Hicks contractions: These are irregular contractions that may occur occasionally. They are usually painless and do not indicate labor.
  • Lightening: As your baby’s head descends into the pelvis, you may feel a lightening sensation, making it easier to breathe.
  • Pelvic pain: Pelvic pain is common during the third trimester as your ligaments and muscles stretch to accommodate the growing baby.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

  • Get enough rest: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Manage stress: Engage in activities that help you relax, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking: These substances can harm your baby.
  • Take prenatal vitamins: Prenatal vitamins provide essential nutrients for your baby’s development.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and rest when you need to.


Week 26 of pregnancy is a significant milestone, marking the beginning of the third trimester. Your baby is growing rapidly, and you may experience various physical and emotional changes. By following these tips and attending regular prenatal appointments, you can ensure a healthy pregnancy and prepare for the exciting arrival of your little one.

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