Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 26th Week
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Congratulations! You are in a good week where you can calm down the excitement of the day you will hold your baby by saying that most of them are gone, and few are left. The 26th week of pregnancy is the last week of the 2nd trimester. As you enter the last three months, your baby grows as he grows, and your body makes a serious effort to keep up with all the changes. How about going on a short information journey that will answer all the questions in your mind about the 26th week?
Baby at 26th Week
Your uterus has grown in length and width; It excites you every time you see a tiny creature with a prominent face, eyes, and nose. You are curious about how much he has grown, what he can do, how his organs have developed, and many more… So let’s satisfy your curiosity and meet the 26-week-old baby.
How Big Has My Baby got?
As seen in the table below, the weight and height of the 26-week-old baby, which is the length of a large pumpkin, will increase much faster than in the previous weeks.
Your pup’s fetal values may be outside of the above range. In this case, do not panic. The difference in values is probably due to the difference between the actual fertilization and the estimated fertilization dates or the genetic inheritance of the baby from the parents. So your baby may be tall like his father or petite like his mother.
The Development of Your Baby's Systems and Newly Gained Skills
The vital organs, which constitute the systems that will ensure the baby’s survival, would continue to develop since the first day. Finally, the 24-week-old baby’s organs and systems are almost entirely formed, except for the respiratory system. If we give information about all systems in general:
Nervous System and Endocrine System
The brain continues to grow and form folds. As the number of neurons increases, synaptic connections between neurons become stronger. However, brain wave activity increases. The baby can now perform skeletal movements voluntarily and under brain control.
His metabolism works faster than his mother. Therefore, her body temperature is also higher than that of her mother.
The pancreas and thyroid gland had already begun to produce their hormones. At the 26th week of pregnancy, the adrenal glands begin to secrete the hormone adrenaline.
The Circulatory System
The heart beats 60-100 times per minute. These beats are loud enough to be heard even when a stethoscope is held in the womb.
Your baby swallows his amniotic fluid and urinates into the placenta. Then it swallows again and creates urine again.
Every time he swallows amniotic fluid, he works his digestive system as if he had eaten. The only difference is that he doesn’t poop while he’s in the womb; he’s accumulating his poop little by little in the intestines. This deposit is called meconium. Dark brown and paste-like meconium will be the baby’s first poop after birth.
The respiratory system was formed by now. However, for the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide after birth, they must produce a substance called surfactant. Finally, at 26 weeks of pregnancy, surfactant begins to be produced in the lungs.
Support and Movement System
His skeletal system has reached the level it should have been when he was born. Head, trunk, and legs each 1/3 of the body.
The reproductive system organs are fully developed. It will be during puberty that it matures enough to gain reproductive ability.
The vagina and penis became clear enough to be easily distinguished from ultrasound. Therefore, the gender of the 26-week-old baby is now obvious.
The baby’s immune system is dependent on the mother. The mother gives the IgG antibodies she produces to the baby through the placenta. These antibodies circulating in the baby’s blood will be the substance that will protect the baby against diseases until the first three appearances after birth.
The vernix caseosa material continues to thin out since the baby started receiving antibodies from the mother.
26 Weeks Baby Movements
Your baby’s bones and muscles are stronger now. Therefore, the kicks and somersaults are at a level that you can easily feel. It is so strong that someone from the outside can even feel the movements of the 26-week-old baby.
Sit in a comfortable position and place your partner’s hand on your stomach. At the same time, talk to your baby and wait for him to move. Thus, you can experience the pleasure of witnessing a miracle together.
Sensory Organs and Developmental Characteristics in 26 Weeks Old Baby
Your puppy’s sense organs are fully formed structurally. Now all that remains is to refine it with fine touches.
Eye and Sight
Eyes are sensitive to light. Even in the womb, she can distinguish between night and day. Eyelids that were closed until now can be opened at any time from this week.
Ear and Hearing
The inner ear is fully developed. Your baby now balances more easily in the womb.
Now there is another person among you who joins your pleasant conversations or enjoys music. A 26-week-old baby can hear outside sounds. So much so that when she hears a piece of music that you used to listen to her very often while pregnant, she will recognize the rhythm and react to it after she is born. It will be good to remember the warm and safe environment in the mother’s womb, and it will calm her.
Likewise, when you are nervous or arguing with someone, the tone of voice he will hear can make him nervous and uneasy. For this reason, a peaceful and calm pregnancy will positively affect the psychology of both you and your baby.
Skin and the Sense of Touch
His skin was reddish because the veins were beginning to appear under the skin. But the amount of fat she stores increases, and her skin is already plump and turning a baby’s skin pink.
As the fat layer accumulated on the face increased, the facial features of your little one began to become clear in the ultrasound images. You are in a beautiful period when you will guess who your little one will look like by looking at the close-up images your doctor will take, and you will have dreams by putting those lines on a baby’s face in your dreams.
Hair continues to appear on the scalp. However, the hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes are white because there is not enough color pigment.
Lanugo hairs begin to fall out gradually. Because brown fat accumulating under the skin helps your baby in heat insulation.
Tongue and Taste/ Nose and Smell
At 26 weeks pregnant, the baby’s sense of taste and smell is perfect. The baby swallows amniotic fluid, the fluid enters his mouth and nose. In the meantime, he can taste and smell the food his mother eats and the acids in the liquid.
Mom at 26 Weeks Pregnancy
You are at a time when you experience pregnancy symptoms more intensely than in the last trimester. You can already guess this when you look in the mirror and see how much your belly has grown. So let’s see what awaits the expectant mother in the 26th week of pregnancy…
The surprising changes in hormone values can cause spots on your skin, linea nigra in the abdomen, and facial deterioration during pregnancy. These effects will disappear after birth when the hormones return to normal.
Rapid weight gain does not give the skin the opportunity to stretch and make room for new weights. Thus, the skin gives the area it needs by cracking it. Purplish, pink, and white skin cracks are permanent and do not go away after birth.
Pregnancy hormones increase the blood volume of the expectant mother to meet the baby’s nutritional and oxygen needs. The increase in blood volume causes the vessels to dilate. This brings along the problem of varicose veins.
Shortness of Breath:
As the uterus grows, it begins to put pressure on the mother’s internal organs to make room for itself. This pressure is also transmitted to the lungs and causes shortness of breath.
Bloating and Gas:
The enlarged uterus puts pressure on the intestines and stomach. In addition, when pregnancy hormones slow down the work of the muscles, digestion slows down completely, causing bloating, indigestion, and gas formation.
These days, do you often get stuck, drop something from your hand, or even hit the flat wall of the hallway? Oh, be careful, don’t trip over! As of the 26th week of pregnancy, clumsiness will follow you along with you. You ask why?
The weight of the baby and the protrusion of the uterus disrupt the mother’s center of gravity. When pregnancy hormones flex the muscles, the expectant mother has difficulty providing hand, arm, and leg coordination. This is the main cause of sickness.
Pregnancy hormones cause dark spots on the skin surface. These spots are not permanent and will go away on their own after birth when the hormones reach normal levels.
Again, with the effect of pregnancy hormones, a dark line extends from the navel to the vagina. This shade, called the linea nigra (belly line), will also disappear by itself over time after birth.
One of the deteriorations caused by pregnancy on the skin and the most important one is pregnancy stretch marks. Because the cracks will not go away on their own after birth, these will be a lasting memory for you from pregnancy. For this reason, to prevent its formation, it is necessary to take measures in advance to moisturize the skin and gain flexibility against increasing weight.
Your hormones relax the ligaments in the pelvis area to make room for the growing uterus on the hipbone and deliver birth. When the weight of the uterus is placed on the loosened ligaments, pelvic pain, low back and back pain occur. Stretching with pregnancy exercises will reduce your pain.
Braxton Hicks Contractions:
These contractions, also known as false contractions, begin to be seen as of the third trimester. Therefore, one of the symptoms accompanying you in the 26th week of pregnancy is Braxton Hicks contractions. It usually comes at irregular intervals and continues without pain. If the contractions become severe over time and the arrival time becomes regular, you should immediately inform your doctor in case of real labor pains.
As the weeks progress, pregnancy symptoms become a little more disturbing, disrupting the mother’s sleep quality. The mother with a growing belly cannot sleep comfortably, her reflux reaches an uncomfortable level, her back and leg pains prevent her from falling asleep, and she has to go to the toilet every hour… Of course, it is not easy to sleep in this situation.
One of the most apparent symptoms you will observe in yourself this week is forgetfulness. Where did you put the remote you just had? I can not be! You were going to meet your friends today, but have you forgotten?
Both pregnancy hormones and insomnia are among the factors that cause forgetfulness. When you add to this the excitement of being pregnant and the anxiety about taking the best care of your baby and how to do it, forgetfulness is normal.
Tips to Minimize Annoying Pregnancy Symptoms!
For 26 weeks pregnant, the third trimester is when pregnancy symptoms are more intense than the previous weeks. So it’s good to take some precautions.
- First of all, do not gain unnecessary weight. Thus, you will reduce your skeletal system pain and digestive system problems.
- Take good care of your skin. Avoid going out in the sun without using sunscreen. Use products that will keep your skin moist and help it maintain its elasticity. Be sure to get your doctor’s advice on what to use.
- Dizziness is a common occurrence these weeks. Do not take a long time between your meals; drink plenty of water and sit or hold in a safe place, trying not to move in case of dizziness.
- Find ways to cope with insomnia. To not interrupt your sleep, do not drink water before going to bed, do not eat late. To help you fall asleep more easily, support your waist, abdomen, and legs with pillows, take a warm shower, or drink a glass of warm milk while you sleep.
- You can prevent forgetfulness from affecting your daily life by jotting down what you need to do during the day in a small notebook.
- To reduce the formation of varicose veins and leg pain, be careful not to stand unnecessarily and to rest a lot by lying down.
How Much Weight Should You Gain?
Gaining weight during pregnancy is a natural part of being healthy. However, it should not be forgotten that any extra weight you gain will add weight to your body and cause the pregnancy symptoms that bother you to be more severe. Therefore, it is important to gain weight in a controlled manner.
It is impossible to give an exact value about how much weight you should gain at 26 weeks of pregnancy. However, it is expected that you have gained about 7-9 kilos so far. If you are far below or above this range, you should evaluate the process with your doctor and take the necessary precautions.
Exercise is the whole of activities to maintain your body condition healthily. It is not just activities to lose weight as it is thought. For this reason, continuing to exercise at birth is a behavior that will positively affect physical health. If your doctor does not mind doing this, you can exercise at any stage of pregnancy. The 26 weeks pregnancy exercises you can do are as follows.
- Lightweight pilates
- Stretching movements
- Kegel exercises
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Abdominal exercises
You should not forget to do all of the above exercises in movements and levels suitable for pregnancy.
Nutritional Recommendations at 26 Weeks Pregnancy
- Eat a balanced and regular diet. Make sure you get enough of each nutrient.
- Don’t make the wrong judgment that you have to eat a lot because you’re pregnant. It is enough to take only 400-450 calories more per day compared to the past.
- Do not starve yourself for long periods during the day. Eat three main meals and three snacks a day.
- Drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day. In hot weather, try to drink more fluids.
- Relieve the digestive system by consuming fibrous foods such as oats, flaxseed, unrefined grains, apples, pears, dried figs, apricots, prunes.
- Avoid oily, spicy, and very salty foods.
- Stay away from addictive, harmful substances such as processed meat, packaged products, and alcohol.
- When consuming seafood and meat products, make sure they are fresh and well cooked.
- Before consuming your vegetables and fruits, soak them in vinegar water and rinse with plenty of water.
- Consume foods containing minerals that strengthen bones, such as calcium and magnesium. Take nutritional supplements if needed.
Checklist at 26 Weeks Pregnancy
- Start collecting information and researching about childbirth.
- Make your birth plan. Which hospital? What type of birth? Which obstetrician?…
- Research the differences between labor pains and false contractions and ask your doctor about it.
- If you are a working mother, plan for maternity leave and look after the baby after birth.
- If you want to have a baby shower, the 26th week of pregnancy is a good time for you.
- If you have high blood pressure, measure your blood pressure frequently. If it rises, definitely go to a health institution and try to lower it. Remember that high blood pressure during pregnancy is a sign of preeclampsia.
- The growing uterus can find a comfortable position and prevent you from sleeping. You can sleep more comfortably by supporting your waist and legs with pregnancy pillows.
Read books about breastfeeding, baby care, motherhood, research on the internet.
If you want to have a healthy pregnancy both physically, mentally, and socially for your baby and yourself, you need to know the process. For this reason, it always gives you the advantage to have a detailed knowledge of what awaits you at the 26th week of pregnancy.
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