Your pregnancy: 26 weeks

This week the blood vessels in your baby’s lungs are developing to prepare her for breathing when she’s born.

Felt box of french fries used to show how big baby is at 25 weeks
Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com

What’s going on in there: Fetal development at 26 weeks

At about 36 centimetres (14 inches) long and weighing about 770 grams (1.7 pounds), your little guy is now the size of a side of fries (and you’re two-thirds of the way through your pregnancy!). By 26 weeks pregnant, his eyes are forming, and they’ll be able to open soon. (That’s right, he could be batting his baby blues—or browns or greens—at you!) Meanwhile, his immune system is also under construction, soaking up all of your antibodies in anticipation of life on the outside. You’ve probably noticed that he has settled into a sleep-wake pattern, too, with distinct periods where you feel active kicking and punching and other times where he is quiet and likely sleeping (hopefully at night, when you are trying to catch some zzzs!).

26 weeks pregnant symptoms

Headaches
Stress and hormone fluctuations can contribute to more frequent headaches during pregnancy, as can dehydration and hunger. Be sure to take a water bottle with you for sipping water on the go, and eat every few hours to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Carry an apple and a protein bar in your purse for emergency snacking. If you’re prone to migraines, your usual meds are probably off limits to you now, but be sure to discuss this with your doctor. (It’s safe to take the occasional acetaminophen, but avoid long-term, chronic use.) Acupuncture, massage and meditation are proven, drug-free pain relievers you can try. If you have a headache that just won’t go away, call your practitioner. Combined with blurry vision, sudden swelling and/or upper abdominal pain, it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, which requires immediate treatment.

Clumsiness
If you find yourself slipping and tripping more than usual, you’ve got that big belly to thank. The added weight, shifted centre of gravity and reduced visibility (um, see ya later, toes!) can make you prone to stumbling. Thanks to pregnancy hormones, your loosened joints can also make you less steady on your feet. Be extra-careful in the bathtub, on the pool deck and on other slippery surfaces. Keep the stairs and hallways in your home clear of tripping hazards, watch out for your cat or dog underfoot and proceed with caution. A fall during pregnancy can be a serious matter, so report it to your practitioner if you do take a tumble.

What’s on your mind this week

Baby brain
It’s possible that you’ll lose your keys, miss an appointment and find yourself forgetting what you’re doing while you’re doing it. Congratulations, you have pregnancy brain! Absentmindedness is a common physiological symptom of fluctuating hormones and lots on your mind. It’s nothing to worry about, but it can be frustrating. Your forgetfulness will fade postpartum (though perhaps not right away because sleep deprivation with a newborn can have a similar effect). Until you’re thinking clearly again, be kind to yourself: Set appointment reminders in your phone, leave yourself notes around the house and keep a to-do list. As silly as it sounds, you may actually be less forgetful if you’re not stressing over it.   

Just for kicks

Childbirth in one GIF
We asked women to describe their birth story in just one GIF, and the results were hilarious. Check out the top contenders. 

Baby names

Did you know that you could turn baby naming into a career? Duana Taha (a.k.a. the Name Nerd) is the in-house expert at LaineyGossip.com when it comes to celebrity baby names and regular readers writing in to ask for her help. Check out her name advice. This is what baby names celeb parents have picked this year—will you be adding any of them to your “favourites” list? 

Leafar Von D Reyes

Pregnancy to-do list: Week 26

Pre-register at the hospital
If you’re planning a hospital delivery, save yourself a lot of time and hassle on D-day (when you’ll be otherwise occupied!) by registering in advance. You’ll need to fill out some paperwork with your health history and current info, as well as a form with your insurance and billing information. (If you’re hoping for a private room, most hospitals charge for this. Check your policy: Even if you have private health insurance, it may not cover the cost.)

If you haven’t already, book a tour of the maternity ward and check out the admitting area, parking situation, cafeteria and other key spots that you and your partner will need to locate on the big day. Getting familiar with the hospital may help you feel more at ease when it’s time to check in for the big event.

Read more:
#ThisIsMyLife: Mom brain
How 200 online friends helped me through my labour
Next up: 27 weeks pregnant

 

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