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Week 26 of Pregnancy: Week by Week Pregnancy Calendar

Your baby is now the size of a zucchini in length, measuring a little over nine (9) inches from crown to rump (or fourteen [14] inches from head to heel) and weighing between one and two-thirds (1.6) and two (2) pounds. You are in your sixth month of pregnancy.

Your Baby

Baby Eyes

Your Baby’s Eyes Open
During Week 26 of Pregnancy

During week 26 of pregnancy, your baby opens his or her eyes for the first time. Your baby will practice opening and closing the eyes starting this week to get used to the new ability and to practice blinking. The eyes, which were previously developing under fused eyelids, can detect light. Shining a bright light on your bare abdomen will likely get a response in the form of movement from your baby. As the network of nerves in the ears continue to develop, your baby’s hearing also becomes more developed and sophisticated. Your baby may respond more enthusiastically to sounds like your voice and music. Your baby may even move to the rhythm of music. Your baby’s pulse increases in response to noise.

If born during week 26 of pregnancy, your baby will still be extremely premature but will have a 90% chance of survival. Your baby is still quite small and wrinkled, but layers of fat continue to develop under the skin, plumping your baby up and keeping your baby warm after birth. The lungs continue to develop and mature as your baby inhales and exhales amniotic fluid in preparation for breathing. Your baby has distinct patterns of waking and sleeping and brain wakes that are almost identical to a full-term newborn.

Your Body

Baby Bump at 26 Weeks

Baby Bump at 26 Weeks

During week 26 of pregnancy, your blood pressure may increase slightly, although your blood pressure should still be lower than before pregnancy. High blood pressure is a sign of a dangerous condition known as pre-eclampsia. Protein in the urine, rapid weight gain of more than four pounds per week, and extreme swelling of the face are also other common symptoms of pre-eclampsia. The condition usually appears after week 37 of pregnancy but can occur sooner, so contact your health care provider immediately if you begin showing any of the signs, which also include severe or persistent headaches, double vision or blurred vision, sensitivity to light, temporary loss of vision, intense pain or tenderness in the upper abdomen, or vomiting.

Speaking of vision changes, your eyes may be drier than usual because pregnancy hormones decrease tear production. If you wear contacts or glasses, you may notice your vision worsening. Pregnancy-related vision changes may continue until after you stop breastfeeding. Your uterus is now well past your belly button and will begin pushing on your ribs. You may notice that breathing is more difficult that usual. You may also notice unusual aches and pains as the uterus presses on different nerves in your body. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees can help alleviate some of the achiness. Other symptoms during week 26 of pregnancy include headaches, forgetfulness, clumsiness, sleeplessness, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, lower abdominal achiness, backaches, and increased vaginal discharge (leukorrhea).

Zucchinis

Baby Is the Size of a Zucchini
During Week 26 of Pregnancy

Learn about your baby during week 25 of pregnancy or week 27 of pregnancy.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice of your health care provider.

References

26 weeks pregnant: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/26-weeks-pregnant_70832
Curtis, Glade B. & Judith Schuler. 2011. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th edn. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Stone, Joanne & Keith Eddleman, eds. 2003. The pregnancy bible: Your complete guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. Willowdale, Ontario: Firefly Books.
Your pregnancy: 26 weeks: http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-26-weeks_1115.bc
Your pregnancy week by week: Weeks 26-30: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-26-30

Image Credits

Baby Eyes: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baby_teeth_in_human_infant.jpg
Baby Bump at 26 Weeks: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sheila_26_weeks.jpg
Zucchinis: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Courgette_jaune.jpg

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