Pregnancy Calendar Week 26

YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 26

The sweet little one inside you weighs in this week in the 2-2.5 pound range and she’s about 13-14 inches long from crown to rump. For baby, she’s getting her survival instincts in order with helpful stress hormones and she’s quite the busy bee making many exciting new hand and feet movements now. For you, yep, you guessed it: more pregnancy challenges to cope with. Try to feel better by focusing on how far you’ve come and how beautiful your new baby will be when you welcome her arrival soon.

Your Body

At 26 weeks pregnant, getting a decent night’s sleep is probably tougher than ever, plus you may have concerns these days about some extra facial and body hair you wish would go away.

Insomnia

With peeing during the night, restless legs, trouble getting comfortable, heartburn and anxiety about bringing a new life into the world, who wouldn’t have some difficulty getting good shut-eye with all of these sleep-sapping triggers?If you’re finding it increasingly hard to fall or stay asleep each night, you’re in good company with the majority of pregnant women who report suffering from pregnancy insomnia. It’s especially prevalent as the third trimester approaches, and the woes of insomnia can make an already-challenging time in your life feel unbearable.But, getting a good night’s rest isn’t impossible, even if you’re starting to think it is. Sleep is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, so try taking these steps to help get the sleep you and your baby need:

  • Create a relaxing bedtime ritual that gets your body ready for rest. About 30-60 minutes before you lie down, enjoy a warm bath, listen to calming music, read a book, ask your partner for a soothing leg and back massage—whatever helps get you feeling sleepy.
  • In bed, try meditation or guided imagery, which can take you into a deeply relaxed state and help sleep come quicker.
  • Make sure your room is set up for sleep success by making it dark and setting it at a comfortable temperature.
  • Exercise every day and make it a morning or early afternoon routine so that the energy boost you get has a chance to fade by the time you turn in.
  • Avoid caffeine close to bedtime (coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) as the jolt it gives you can linger a bit too long, making sleep more difficult.
  • Drink most of your liquids during the day and cut them off a couple hours before bed to reduce bathroom runs at night.
  • If you can’t sleep after being in bed for 30 minutes, get up and do something. Watch TV, take care of a small task, play with your pet or read something until you feel drowsiness set in. Then, go back to bed and try again.

And, remember: don’t try using dangerous sleep aid medications or alcohol to get to sleep. These can harm your baby and are unsafe to take during your pregnancy.If the above remedies aren’t working, contact your doctor to see if you have a serious sleep disorder that may require professional care and treatment to get corrected.

Facial and Body Hair Changes

Are you seeing new hairs pop up on your chin, cheeks, upper lip, belly, breasts or back? And do you notice your facial and body hair growing faster?Although these hair growth changes are completely normal, this pesky pregnancy symptom can be quite bothersome.Typically caused by an increase in hormones called androgens, the unwanted hair growth you may be experiencing now will likely lessen about 3-6 months after you deliver.In the meantime, keep these tips in mind for taking care of any new facial and body hair you want to get rid of:

  • Tweeze, shave or wax away the hair, which are all safe options.
  • Don’t use bleaches or depilatories with harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into your skin.
  • Laser hair removal techniques can offer a permanent solution. But, they’re oftentimes painful and uncomfortable, something you may want to stay away from until you’re past the remaining rigors of your pregnancy.

Your Baby

In the 26th week of pregnancy, your baby is preparing to function without her life-sustaining placenta and the comfort of your warm and cozy uterus while her hands and feet move more and more each day.

Your baby is getting ready to handle stress. To help arm your baby for the many stressors she’ll experience in life outside the womb soon, her adrenal glands are beginning to produce helpful stress hormones. Researchers like to ponder that babies first try them out on mom by sending chemical signals to the placenta to kick-start labor—baby’s way of saying: I’m ready now, Mom! During her birth, your baby will produce more stress hormones than she ever will again. And they’ll be very helpful in making sure your little darling is well-equipped to survive and thrive when she’s born.

Your baby’s hand and feet movements are more coordinated. With the more finely-tuned muscle and nerve coordination your baby is enjoying now, she’s very active with movements like thumb sucking, touching her hand to her face, touching one foot to her other leg, touching one hand to her other hand, and moving her hand along the umbilical cord. Further along in your pregnancy, she’ll be even more impressive as she becomes able to grasp with her little fingers and “walk” around in your womb by pushing off your uterine wall with her feet.

Diet and Exercise Tips You Should Follow

To keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 26:

Take supplements to aid baby’s brain and eye growth. The optic nerve of the eye is directly linked to brain development in babies. Both are now rapidly growing in your baby. Take your DHA supplements during the rest of your pregnancy to give your baby what she needs for healthy brain and eye development. BabyQ recommends 200-400 mg/day.

Add prenatal pilates to your exercise regimen. Now is a great time to try pilates, another safe, energy-boosting pregnancy exercise that’s especially good for stretching and loosening tight muscles. Look for prenatal pilates workouts/classes in your community that are designed with expecting mothers in mind.

Things You Should Do

  • With your baby’s eyes and brain continuing to grow rapidly, be sure you’re keeping away from lawns that have just been sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers as they can harm developing nerves.
  • Start decorating your baby’s room and decide soon if your baby will sleep with you at first. If so, think about setting up an area for baby in your room.

Words You Should Know

Bloody Show:

A small amount of mucus and blood that’s passed through the vagina near the end of pregnancy.

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD):

A childbirth complication that occurs when the head of the baby is too large for the mother’s pelvis.

Dilation:

Stretching and opening of the cervix during childbirth.

Milia:

Tiny white bumps or small cysts on the skin that are typically seen on newborn babies.

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