26 weeks pregnant: what can I expect?
Every week your pregnancy progresses, your chances of delivering a normal healthy baby increase. In the beginning your check ups would have been once every two weeks, after you reach the 30 weeks mark your antenatal check ups will be once in four weeks. Your doctor or midwife will monitor you more frequently if they fear pregnancy complications.
Physical changes in you at week 26
- With weight gain and stretch marks women sometimes feel unattractive during pregnancy. You may be feeling you look unattractive in your partner’s eyes and may be worried about putting on too much weight. At times like these it’s important to remember all the changes happening in your body to accommodate the new life inside you.
- You might find the rings on your fingers are getting tight. Swelling of fingers and ankles during pregnancy is normal; this is caused by the extra blood that is circulating in your body. Drinking water and putting your feet up will help control the swelling to a certain extent.
- You will experience frequent Braxton Hicks during different stages of your pregnancy. These are just contractions of uterus that doesn’t last longer than a minute or two. These are harmless and think of it as practice contractions before your labor. To cope with these contractions practice your labor breathing techniques or walk around to feel comfortable.
- Constipation will be a constant side effect throughout your pregnancy. Vitamin supplements like iron and hormonal changes can make it difficult for frequent bowel movements. Continue drinking plenty of water and eating fiber rich foods to deal with constipation.
- As the blood in your body increases your heart rate goes up during pregnancy. This causes you to feel light headed or giddy at times. Avoid standing up suddenly to prevent dizziness. Not eating or dehydration can make you feel giddy too.
Emotional changes in you at week 26
- Swollen feet, constipation, weight gain, stretch marks and other symptoms might make you feel irritable during pregnancy. You might hate being pregnant because of all the negative effects on your body and you might wish that the nine months would fly. It’s normal to feel like this but you can’t make time fly any sooner, deal with these feelings by being positive and enjoy this time as bonding time with your baby.
- If this is not your first pregnancy you might feel guilty about not paying enough attention to them. You might worry if they will feel neglected once the baby is born because a new born needs more attention. You can make your older children a part of this pregnancy by taking them shopping and letting them decide the color of the crib or clothes. This will make them feel excited and you less guilty.
- At week 26 it’s a good idea to plan who will stay with your children when you are at the hospital. If you want to your mum or sister to stay with the children it’s a good idea to make plans ahead. If they are unable to do so, you have sufficient time now to make alternative plans.
How’s my baby doing?
- Your baby is roughly around 900 grams this week and your baby spends most of its time curled up in your womb with its feet tucked under.
- Your baby’s eyes will no longer be fused together like the past weeks. It’s slowly learning to open its eyes.
- As your baby is growing there will be less space in the womb and you will be more aware of your baby’s movements when it kicks and stretches.
- A new born roughly weighs around 3.5 kilograms and your baby has a long way to go before it can reach that weight. Your baby’s body will now be laying more vital fats to protect and nourish your baby’s skin.
- You might be becoming more familiar with your baby’s pattern of movements. At your antenatal checkups your doctor might ask you if feel the baby moving and you might respond by saying it moves a lot in the evening. You are more aware at 26 weeks when your baby rests and when it is active.
Useful tips for you this week
- You might consider buying used baby furniture if you are on a small budget. There are many ways to do this. You might consider placing ads in the local newspaper or check with your friends and relatives who have had children.
- The reason iron deficiency is common in pregnancy because women need twice as much the iron requirements when they are pregnant. Check with your doctor if your iron levels are low, you could take iron supplements to prevent anemia. Iron supplements can increase constipation, so don’t forget to eat fiber rich foods.