26 Weeks Pregnant

26 Weeks Pregnant

Week 26 marks the end of your second trimester as you embark on the all important third and final trimester that will end with the birth of your precious newborn baby.

Try to enjoy this time as much as possible. Many mums miss their bump once it's gone and look back on their pregnancy as a happy memory so try to make the most of it and consider keeping a diary or journal and take regular 'bump' pictures that you will be able to look back over in future years, you'll be amazed at how much you'll forget once baby has arrived!

Changes to you and your body

You probably will have thought about a birth plan or looked at methods of birthing in order to make an informed choice about your baby's delivery and we'd highly recommend researching all the options available to you to help you make your plans.

However, unfortunately not all births go according to plan and it may be worth checking out what might happen in an emergency. For example, you may end up having to have a caesarean section despite not planning on one. Looking up information about recovery times and what may happen would be a good way of preparing for all eventualities even if you are planning a home birth, hynobirthing or a birthing pool.
Consider keeping a diary or journal that you will be able to look back over in future years, you'll be amazed at how much you'll forget once baby has arrived!

Changes to your baby

Your baby is growing all the time and gaining up to 80grams each week. With improved dexterity, your baby may be thumb-sucking or holding onto the umbilical cord. Your baby can also now open their eyes as well as breathe and swallow although he will only be breathing in amniotic fluid until born, but it's all great practise for the real world!

By 26 weeks your baby will be around 36 cm long and weigh approximately 750g. However all babies are different so don't worry if yours is slightly inside or outside these measurements.

Your baby may have developed a routine in the womb and you may notice they have quiet periods for a few hours before kicking around for a while. Generally speaking, the period between 24 and 28 weeks is also the most active before the baby gets too big to move around as freely in the third trimester.

Tips for a happy pregnancy

As the baby rises upwards and pushes against your rib cage you may find it slightly harder to draw breath and may also experience indigestion or acid reflux. Consult your GP or midwife for pregnancy safe medication as not all over the counter treatments are suitable for pregnant women so it's always take professional advice. For indigestion, many women find that adding more pillows to your bed can help, along with a glass of milk.

By now your employer should be aware of your pregnancy and your maternity leave plans should be in place. You can start your maternity leave 11 weeks before the birth so you may only have three weeks left in work if you have chosen to leave early! It's wise to start looking into child care options around now as well and decide whether you will return to work or remain at home. Many women make a plan which then changes when their baby is born and you have the right to change your mind in either direction.

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