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Pregnancy Week 26

What to expect when you’re 26 weeks pregnant

Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
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Baby development at 26 weeks pregnant

You’ve made it to 26 weeks pregnant, and your baby is hard at work developing their cute little eyelashes and eyebrows. By now, you might be starting to feel like your little one is consuming your every thought.

Your baby now measures 13.38 inches long (340 millimeters). Your baby is now the size of an acorn squash.

At 26 weeks pregnant, your baby’s eyes are fully formed, complete with lashes and brows. The Moro reflex is beginning to develop in the womb and will stay with the baby about three to six months after they’re born. The Moro reflex, also known as startle reflex, is the response that newborn babies have to loud sounds.

Week 26 pregnant belly

In the second trimester of pregnancy, many women gain roughly 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you feel you are gaining too much or too little weight at this point in your pregnancy, be sure to consult with your physician to make sure you are on the right track.

As you approach the third trimester, you may start to notice some of those aches and pains really starting to kick in. It’s normal to start feeling some light pains in your pelvis and along your sciatic nerve and an occasional tightening in your abdomen caused by Braxton Hicks contractions.

Common pregnancy symptoms at 26 weeks

At 26 weeks pregnant, you are in your sixth month of pregnancy. Believe it or not, you only have about three more months before you meet your baby! As you approach the end of your second trimester, you may be feeling like your baby is starting to run out of room. Make you are still dressing comfortably as your breasts and belly continue to grow. You may have developed some stretch marks, and your skin may be feeling itchy as it thins and stretches to cover your expanding belly.

  • Urinary tract Infections: UTIs are common during pregnancy because the growing fetus puts pressure on your bladder and urinary tract, making it easier for bacteria to get trapped.
  • Trouble sleeping: Feeling tired but unable to get a full night of rest? The closer your due date gets, the harder it might be to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Pregnancy brain: Feeling a little foggy and forgetful is common during pregnancy. It’s thought that “pregnancy brain” is caused by the increase in hormones, sleep disturbances and heightened stress.
  • High blood pressure: Your blood pressure will be monitored throughout your pregnancy. At 26 weeks pregnant, slightly elevated blood pressure could mean you need to be monitored closely to watch for preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome.
  • Heartburn and indigestion: It’s probably a good idea to stay away from acidic foods as your pregnancy continues. Heartburn and indigestion become more common due to relaxing muscles in your stomach.
  • Braxton Hicks: Braxton Hicks contractions are your body’s way of practicing for labor. Many women feel this as a tightening sensation in their stomachs. They come and go as irregular, nonpainful contractions. If you notice an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions or experience them regularly, call your healthcare provider.

pregnant woman working on computer

Pregnancy checklist at 26 weeks pregnant

During this time in your pregnancy, you will want to get vaccines recommended by your doctor. These can include the Tdap vaccine to protect against whooping cough and a flu shot, depending on the time of year you’re pregnant. Around 26 weeks pregnant, you will also get your blood screened to determine your blood type.

Reminders for
Week 26
  • Cord blood banking. Cord blood banking is the process of preserving the cord tissue and blood from your baby’s umbilical cord. After the baby is born, the stem cell-rich blood and tissue can be saved and used if it is needed to repair your child’s body after illness.
  • Consider a birth plan. Have you been envisioning what the day of your baby’s birth might look like? Now is a good time to create a plan. This plan will let your partner and doctors know what you are looking for.
  • Preregister with the hospital. It may sound like an unnecessary step, but preregistering helps get the majority of your paperwork taken care of before you go in to deliver. Not all hospitals offer this option, but it can be a big time-saver later on.

Explore pregnancy by week
Week 25 | Week 27


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Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.